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Epson Stylus SX415 review

Kat Orphanides
21 Sep 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
100
inc VAT

Despite its excellent photo printing and scanning, the SX415's mediocre text printing means it's not an ideal choice for most home users.

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Epson's Stylus SX415 is an inoffensive, though not massively stylish, inkjet MFP.

It has a fairly well-rounded set of features, with a colour screen, a PictBridge USB port for printing directly from digital cameras, and slots that can handle CompactFlash, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro and xD memory cards. Its maximum print resolution is 5,760x1,440dpi and it has a 1,200x2,400dpi scanner. This is what you'd expect for an MFP at this price, though, so the real deciding factors are print quality, speed and running costs.

As we'd expect from an Epson inkjet, photo quality is excellent. Light and dark tones were accurately rendered and subtle areas of shading were smooth. A few very light tones looked slightly overexposed against their white background, but photo quality is generally excellent for a four-colour MFP. Fine detail was sharp and clear. Photo printing is slow, and we had to wait over 22 minutes for six borderless 6x4in prints. A 6x4in print costs around 24p on Epson's Premium Glossy photo paper.

At normal quality, our text was dark and easy to read, though there were a few imperfections on the rounded edges of some characters. However, print speeds of just 4.5ppm are slow compared with those of similarly priced Canon and HP MFPs. Draft text printed at a fast 13.6ppm but was so pale as to be virtually useless. Our mixed-colour documents were richly coloured and emerged at a reasonable 2.7ppm, although shading and detail weren't entirely accurate. Copy quality was less impressive, with some banding on both colour and mono copies. Both took around half a minute.

The 1,200x2,400dpi scanner was excellent, reproducing the colour and shading of our documents and photos perfectly. The accuracy of our 1,200dpi scans was also brilliant, preserving fine detail.

Home inkjet print costs tend to be high, but 9.7p for a mixed colour and black A4 page is steep by any standard. The SX415 costs more to run than cheaper MFPs that use combined tri-colour cartridges, such as Canon's Pixma MP240 (see Editor's Choice), which has a mixed-colour cost of just 7.3p per page. Even a mono page on the SX415 costs 3p.

Although its photo printing and scan quality are both excellent, the SX415 struggles to justify its price. The screen and card reader are handy if you want to print photos without switching on your PC. However, most homes print more documents than photos, and it's here that the SX415 falls down, with unremarkable print quality and high costs. If documents are your priority, Canon's MP240 costs less to buy and run, while most photographers are better off with a single-function device such as Canon's Pixma iP4600.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Maximum native print resolution5,760x1,440dpi
Max optical resolution1,200x2,400dpi
Output bit depth48-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A434ppm
Quoted speed, colour A434ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.03m 12s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.022m 13s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB
Optional printer interfacesnone
Size182x450x342mm
Weight5.8kg
Noise (in normal use)41dB(A)
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle4W
Power consumption active16W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4
Maximum paper weight255gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity120
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity120
Duplex (code, cost if option)No

General

Printer technologypiezo inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows 2000/XP/XP-64/Vista/Vista-64, Mac OS X, Linux
Other inkjet features2.4in colour LCD screen
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Price£100
Consumable parts and prices240 page black T0711, 375 page cyan T0712, 270 page magenta T0713, 405 page yellow T0714, £7.61 each, 2x 385 page black T0711H, £22.73
Price per colour A4 page6.7p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge240 pages (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)375 cyan, 270 magenta, 405 yellow pages
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.oyyy.co.uk
Detailswww.epson.co.uk

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges4
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges4

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview9s
A4 document at 150dpi23s
A4 document at 300dpi30s
6x4in photo at 600dpi35s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi2m 8s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.027s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.030s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge supportNo
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsCF, SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
CD printingNo

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99
Max mono copy resolution1,200x2,400dpi
Max colour copy resolution1,200x2,400dpi

Fax Features

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