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Epson Stylus SX525WD review

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


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.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Maximum native print resolution 5,760×1,440dpi
Max optical resolution 2,400×2,400dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 36ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 36ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 9m 43s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 15m 4s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 164x455x359mm
Weight 6.2kg
Noise (in normal use) 53dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 300gsm
Standard paper inputs 1
Standard paper input capacity 150
Maximum paper inputs 1
Maximum paper input capacity 150
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes


Printer technology piezo inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Other inkjet features 6.3cm colour screen
Other inkjet options Three year warranty

Buying Information

Price £65
Consumable parts and prices £10
Price per colour A4 page 4.1p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 325 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) Cyan 474, magenta 378, yellow 616 (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty one year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 4
Number of ink cartridges 4
Maximum number of ink colours 4
Maximum number of cartridges 4
Quoted photo durability 105 years
Quoted photo durability source Wilhelm Imaging Research

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 6s
A4 document at 150dpi 12s
A4 document at 300dpi 16s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 18s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 1m 0s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 12s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 30s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge support No
Borderless printing A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards Memory Stick Pro/Duo, SD, MMC, xD
CD printing No

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max mono copy resolution 2,400×2,400dpi
Max colour copy resolution 2,400×2,400dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution N/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages) N/A