Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD review
40ppm print speed, USB, PictBridge, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n wireless, 446x458x150mm
Epson's inkjets have long used individual ink cartridges attached directly to the head assembly, but the Stylus Photo PX720WD is something of a departure. Its cartridges fit into a front compartment and ink is fed to the moving print head through tubes.
We're enthusiastic about the squat design that this arrangement makes possible. While it's not quite as slick as Canon's latest PIXMAs, this MFP's orange-lit, touch-sensitive control panel and the slot underneath it remind us of a very expensive VHS player from the mid-1980s. Unfortunately, the duplexer protrudes at the back, making it much deeper than it looks.
The PX720WD confirms button pushes with a beep, but it's so annoying that we had to turn the notification off. Fortunately, the controls are quick to respond. You can de-select parts of the bundled software during the install process, but it's still fairly long – allowing you to mutter at the dubious grammar of messages such as "Epson Easy Photo Print lets you print photos from PC easily and in fantastic layouts".
A couple of small details help you set up this MFP. Once it's on the network (there are both wired and wireless interfaces) it automatically prints a sheet with details of the connection and, once the software has installed there's an automatic print test sheet. Unfortunately there's no automatic head alignment, but the single-sheet process is easy enough.
Like other Epson inkjets, this isn't a great printer for black text. Draft output isn't black enough, but it isn't striped. Normal-quality text is good enough for occasional use. It's quicker than many Epson inkjets we've reviewed in the past, rattling off draft text at more than 20ppm, slowing to 8.8ppm at the default Text quality. Things aren't much slower in colour. Our mixed-colour test appeared at exactly 6ppm and, even at the highest-possible quality, 6x4in photos printed from a PC or memory card took less than a minute and 20 seconds each.