Epson Stylus Photo RX520 review

Epson's RX520 prints lovely-looking photos, but it's slow and the direct print menus can be confusing.

17 Feb 2006
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT


Epson's latest all-in-one printer and scanner has been designed with amateur photographers in mind.

Featuring a built-in card reader that supports every memory card format you could want, including xD picture card, it also has a PictBridge port. The RX520 has something to offer owners of film cameras too - it's one of the few multifunction devices that can scan 35mm negatives and mounted slides.

Printing from a memory card involves using the 1.5in colour screen. The on-screen direct printing menu uses lots of icons, but because many of these don't have any explanatory text, the process can be confusing. To keep direct print speeds high, the RX520 doesn't print photos from memory cards at its highest quality settings. Even at the best direct print setting, pictures didn't look as nice as they did printed from a PC - they were slightly grainy.

At its highest quality setting the Epson took a lengthy 33 minutes and 41 seconds to print six borderless 6x4in photographs. Details were sharply resolved and colours bold and natural. Text quality, however, wasn't as good - letters were blotchy. It also took a long time to print our text documents, managing only 3.3 pages per minute (ppm) - the HP PSC1610 in our Buying Guides printed the same test at 12.9ppm.

The RX520's scanner is excellent. It took only 25 seconds to capture an A4 document at 300 dots per inch (dpi). At 1200dpi, it scanned a 6x4in photograph in 1 minute and 34 seconds. Film scans were a little slower, taking just under three minutes to capture a single negative at 2400dpi. All of the images were sharply focused, with colours that were faithful to the original.

The Epson RX520 prints very good quality photos, but it's slow and text quality isn't great. While it has a lot going for it, the HP PSC1610 in our is still better value.

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