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Epson Stylus SX525WD review

Simon Handby
23 Jun 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
65
inc VAT

An inexpensive MFP that's cheap to run, but its great scanner is let down by a disappointing printer

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Specifications

36ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 164x455x359mm

There's something about the current generation of Epson Stylus MFPs that reminds us of top-end VHS recorders from the end of the 1980s, and the Stylus SX525WD is no exception. While perhaps appearing more dated than Canon's gloss black PIXMA range, we like the look of Epson's printer. It's a squat and tidy device with an enclosed paper cassette rather than a sloping tray at the rear, meaning you can push it right to the back of a desk if needed.

The SX525WD is aimed at home users, and comes without a fax modem or an automatic document feeder. You can use it to print, scan or copy, however, and connect via USB, wired Ethernet or a wireless network. Unlike the recent Kodak ESP Office 2170, the Epson can print on both sides of each sheet of paper automatically, which helps reduce costs and waste.

Epson Stylus SX525WD controls

While the printers in Epson's photo-orientated Stylus Photo range use dye inks, which give vibrant colours and a consistent gloss finish on coated papers, the all-rounder Stylus SX525WD uses Epson's DURABrite Ultra range of pigment inks for better plain paper performance. We often criticise the faint, slow plain paper printing of the Stylus Photo range, but the SX525WD was much quicker in our tests, reeling off more than 17 pages of draft text each minute and dropping to only just shy of 15ppm at normal quality. At 3.8ppm, its colour speed was less impressive, but printing 10 colour sides on five sheets of paper took three minutes and 28 seconds, which is competitive.

There's no doubt that text was better from the SX525WD than from Epson's dye-based models, with far darker, bolder characters, but the outlines were still not as crisp as those from the best competition. Colour graphics on plain paper were solid and strong, although hues were a touch under-saturated. Unfortunately, while the colours in photos exhibited Epson's hallmark accuracy, the prints' finish had a sheen, easily marked by light scratching, that's typical of some pigment inks. We were disappointed in our black and white test photo, which was far too light and had a magenta colour cast.