The Epson PX650 is a stylish, impressive multi-function printer
Printers rarely get away with just being printers these days; there’s a wealth of features that need to be absorbed into the remit, such as scanning and memory card reading. For a relatively low price the Epson PX650 manages to include each of the important features, giving the average home user a one-stop imaging resource.
From a specs point of view the printer offers just about everything a high-volume home user or small business could ask for. The six individual print cartridges contain Claria ink, which should maintain colour quality for up to 200 years in a photo album. The 12-second 10x15cm print speed quoted on the Epson website sounds impressive, but an A4 print in the WDC office took around six minutes. The scanner resolution isn’t massively impressive at 1200 x 2400 dpi, as the likes of the Canon MP560 offers 2400 x 4800 dpi for a similar street price. Annoyingly there’s no Wi-fi built in, relying instead on an optional Bluetooth adaptor for wireless printing. The glossy black frame makes the PX650 something of a looker from a purely aesthetic point of view, so it would easily sit among a number of home cinema products without looking out of place.
Part of the appeal of the PX650 is the standalone controls, which sit alongside an array of memory card ports covering all the major types from CompactFlash through to MS (and all its variations), xD and SD/SDHCHC. Also present is a USB PictBridge socket, which was refreshingly unfussy after a USB stick was inserted. Images could be scrolled through with the minimum of effort, with only the largest of Raw files causing any sort of pause. Even the zoom and crop feature was rapid enough for the changes to be made within seconds. The LCD screen could be larger and of a higher resolution, as any advanced cropping is difficult and being able to differentiate two similar shots is nigh on impossible.
Thankfully the print quality is of a high enough level to render any minor qualms mute. The colour depth is superb, showing up an excellent range across reds and greens. Image noise is kept to a minimum, and the detail in even the shallowest of images exceptional. There is the odd tendency to over-saturate on factory settings, but the levels are so simple to manipulate that it takes little effort to make the necessary changes.
A superbly useful all-in-one printer