To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £125.90
inc VAT

There are better MFPs for general office work, but Epson's PX730WD is a superb choice if you want the best scans and photo prints available

Epson’s Stylus Photo PX730WD is a direct replacement for the PX720WD, which won our Best Buy award, so we were keen to see if it’s a worthy successor. It’s a squat inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP) comprising printer, scanner and colour copier. There’s a tilting, touch-sensitive control panel with a 6.3cm colour screen which displays either various menus or the contents of a memory card inserted in one of the MFP’s slots.

The PX730WD’s specifications reflect the fact that it’s aimed at photographers and other creative users. It can scan with a high 2,400×4,800dpi resolution, while the printer is based on a long-standing Epson engine that’s been at the heart of many of our favourite photo inkjets. Its six-ink setup includes light cyan and magenta inks, which should give the printer exacting control of lighter shades without individual dots of ink becoming visible.

Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD

Epson has recently updated its inkjet setup program to give the user more choice over which components are installed, but things seem more complex than necessary when it comes to choosing which of the MFP’s three interfaces you’ll be using. We tested using a wired Ethernet connection, but this is only activated once the wireless interface is switched off from the printer’s control panel; you can’t connect computers through a mix of Ethernet and wireless networking.

Telltale ‘tearing’ in our initial text prints revealed that the printer’s heads needed alignment which, almost uniquely in 2012, remains a manual process. Fortunately it’s not something users will need to do often. Once aligned, black text looked good at all quality settings except Draft, when it was rather pale and blocky. Although colour prints weren’t especially vibrant or powerful on plain paper, fills were solid and shade progressions were free of banding and very smooth. When using fairly thin 75gsm paper, we noticed a small amount of bleed from one side of the paper to the other when using automatic duplex printing.

The PX730WD really comes into its own when printing photos. It’s quite fast even at the highest possible quality settings, delivering each 6×4″ photo in just 79 seconds, but the results are exceptional. Superbly judged shading and accurate colour combine to deliver class-leading reproductions of both colour and black and white prints.

Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD back

There aren’t any nasty surprises elsewhere. We’re not overly impressed by the hinges of the scanner lid, which extend only slightly to accommodate thicker originals, but the scanner itself is well matched to the printer; together they deliver very good photocopies. The scanner is reasonably rapid, even when tested over an Ethernet connection, and it benefits from Epson’s excellent TWAIN interface.

The scanner’s focus is unusually sharp, while colours are captured extremely accurately, but what really sets it apart from lesser rivals is its ability to preserve the full dynamic range of originals, including subtly different shades in the darkest and lightest areas. Thanks to good all-round performance, excellent photo printing, superb scans and reasonable running costs, the PX730WD is a Best Buy printer.

Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution5,760×1,440dpi
Max optical resolution2,400×4,800dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A440ppm
Quoted speed, colour A440ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.03m 58s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.07m 54s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Noise (in normal use)35dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
Standard paper inputs2
Standard paper input capacity140
Maximum paper inputs2
Maximum paper input capacity140
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes


Printer technologypiezo inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Other inkjet features6.3cm colour screen
Other inkjet optionsWarranty extension to three years

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices£11
Price per colour A4 page6.3p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge330 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)855 cyan, 435 magenta, 620 yellow, 330 light cyan, 620 light magenta pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours6
Number of ink cartridges6
Maximum number of ink colours6
Maximum number of cartridges6
Quoted photo durability98 years
Quoted photo durability sourceWilhelm Imaging Research

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview11s
A4 document at 150dpi11s
A4 document at 300dpi15s
6x4in photo at 600dpi15s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi57s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.016s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.017s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge supportYes
Borderless printingA4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsSD, CF, MemoryStick/Pro, xD, MMC
CD printingYes

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99

Fax Features

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