Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW review

18 May 2009
Our Rating 
3/5
Price when reviewed 
233.98
inc VAT

Specifications

Piezo inkjet, 40ppm print speed, Hi-Speed USB, 802.11b/g, Ethernet, Pict Bridge, 550x250x501mm

Multifunction peripherals (MFPs) are ideal if you need an all-purpose colour printer, flatbed scanner and low-volume copier, but don't have room for separate devices.

The catch is that MFPs have always lagged behind standalone inkjets when it came to photo printing, but that's no longer the case.

As you might expect for a device that crams in so many functions, the PX800FW is a bit of brute, but it is relatively-self contained. The paper tray slots completely into the printer's base and the sheet-fed A4 scanner stacks pages on the top, but you'll still need to leave clearance in front for the paper tray.

Copy, fax and print (from memory card) functions are all handled with a large touch-sensitive panel that runs along the PX800FW's front, and this pivots and locks in position at anything up to 90° from vertical. The menu system is clearly presented, with buttons running down either side of the central colour screen, and the screen is responsive enough for tapping out fax numbers quickly.

The PX800FW isn't the fastest photocopier in the world, but it's fine for the kind of low-volume copies required by many home and small offices. The paper-handling mechanism is rather noisy, though, making this an MFP that's best positioned away from where you work. Fortunately, with both Ethernet and WiFi, this is easily achieved.

Six ink tanks (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan and light magenta) suggest the PX800FW could be a capable photo printer, but while prints are photographic, they're nowhere near as good as a standalone inkjet's. Excess contrast made images with subtle areas of shading look unnatural and this was particularly noticeable with flesh tones. Unfortunately, text output is nothing to write home about, either; output was too soft and nowhere near as black as we'd like, even in high-quality mode.

At this high price, the PX800FW doesn't produce good enough print quality for us to be able to recommend it.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Maximum native print resolution 5760 x 1440dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 40ppm

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 1m 27s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 8m 3s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 6
Number of ink cartridges 6
Maximum number of ink colours 6
Maximum number of cartridges 6
Quoted photo durability 200 years
Quoted photo durability source Epson

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces Hi-Speed USB, 802.11b/g, Ethernet, Pict Bridge
Size 550x250x501mm
Weight 13.0kg
Noise (in normal use) 34.6dB
Power consumption standby 6W
Power consumption active 26W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4
Maximum paper weight 95gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 120
Maximum paper inputs 3
Maximum paper input capacity 120
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Borderless printing up to A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards CompactFlash, MemoryStick, SD, MiniSD, MMC, xD
CD printing Yes

General

Printer technology Piezo inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/XP64/MacOS 10.3.9
Other inkjet features A4 sheet-fed scanner, fax, 19.8cm touch-screen with 8.9in colour LCD
Other inkjet options Optional 3-year warranty; Bluetooth

Buying Information

Price £234
Consumable parts and prices All colour inks £9.10
Price per colour A4 page 0.1p
Warranty one year repair or replace
Supplier http://www.amazon.co.uk/epson-stylus-photo-px800fw-printer/dp/b001ehf92m
Details www.epson.co.uk

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 1m 27s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 8m 3s

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