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|Product:||Epson Stylus Photo PX700W|
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W - Epson continue their High Definition range of printers adding the PX700W that doesn't need leads. Matt Grayson hopes that soon he won't even have to get off the sofa to print stuff.
The PX700W expands your options of changing light to pigment by adding a WiFi and Ethernet option.
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Specification
- Printing method: 6-colour, Epson Micro Piezo print head
- Nozzle: 180 nozzles each (black, cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan, light magenta)
- Droplet size: 1.5pl minimum using variable sized technology
- Inks: Epson Claria photographic ink
- Print resolution: up to 5760 x1440 optimised dpi
- Print speeds A4: Black text up to 40ppm, colour text up to 40ppm
- Copy speeds: 6msec per line at 1200dpi (black), 12msec per line at 1200dpi (colour)
- Scan resolution: 2400x4800dpi
- Paper trays: 2
- CD printing: Yes
- Roll media: No
- Double-sided printing: Yes, with optional duplexer
- Monitor: 2.5in colour TFT
- Card reader: Compactflash types, Secure Digital types, Memory Stick types, xD Picture card types (adapters may be necessary)
- Interface: USB 2.0, WiFi, Memory card, Pictbridge
- Dimensions: 519x214x496mm
- Weight: 11.1kg including ink and power cable.
- Noise level: 35dB
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Installation
From pressing the "Next" button on the opening window to the software being installed took less than ten minutes including registering the product and the two minute wait while it recognises being attached to the computer.
There are seven steps in total which looks like it may take ages to do but the first four take 15 seconds. Everything is straightforward and easily explained so there's no risk of getting muddled up or ruining it.
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Features
This is definitely the most stylish of all the Epson printers I've reviewed. With a design crossing between the Canon Pixma range and HP Photosmarts, the PX700W looks like a simple box from the outside. That's before you notice the loads of buttons plastered all over the face which is the main control panel.
These buttons are mainly used for stand alone printing, scanning and copying which needs more instruction. A large rubbery power button sits in the top left corner with a CD tray activation button below. To the right is a large square pad with "Home" written above it. This button takes you to the first screen of the menu system and you can choose between copy, photo, scan and set up menus by pressing the relevant corner of the square. I had a feeling that having one button that multi tasks is asking for problems and my fears were confirmed as I tried to access the scan feture and it went to import from a camera.
A 2.5in LCD screen has two buttons flanking its left side which are for changing the view or cropping images and viewing the image in PhotoEnhance.
The unlock button on the top of the panel allows it to become articulated by 90 degrees which saves on stooping if it's on a low table.
Down in the bottom right are the memory card slots for all types of current memory card format. A Pictbridge connection is sat just to the right which expands your options of printing even further.
PhotoEnhance is normally a feature found in the print options menu when you're loading pictures through to the printer. However, the PX700W has PhotoEnhance built-in and not only as a predetermined auto adjustment that you have no control over either. It also allows for manipulation of basic settings such as brightness, sharpness, saturation and contrast. There's even a remove red-eye function which can be set to just the image you're looking at or to change all images that are viewed.
WiFi is becoming more accessible with home computers as the technology is more readily accessible and cheap. It means you can access the internet from anywhere within range which can even mean outside. All without the need for a cable.
With the PX700W having wireless capability, you can also print your pictures without the need to be tied to the printer. There are certain things you have to do first to connect them to each other but once you're set up, you're literally free to go where you want.
It's a great idea as long as you have the patience to link the laptop and printer to a router in order to connect them to each other.
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Build and handling
Epson have opted for a shiny, futuristic look to the new range of printers and the PX700W is trimmed with the glossy plastic that attracts a ridiculous amount of dust to it, while the scanner lid and bottom half is in the usual mottled type.
At 11kg, it's not the lightest printer but is lighter than the RX685 which is the last all-in-one I reviewed back in February.
The footprint is considerably smaller thanks to the front loading paper tray but the catcher trays are too bendy for my liking. I like the flip down door that covers the trays when they aren't in use, though.
The PX700W uses Claria inks which, Epson say gives "high quality at a low cost". They include a light magenta and a light cyan which are designed to improve gradation in areas such as skin tone and areas of high detail.
The ink sprays out of the Micro Piezo heads in 1.5pl (picolitre) size. According to Epson, the Micro Piezo system is more precise by firing electrical charges through the Piezo elements which cause physical distortions and helps to fire the ink. The other version of firing ink is the bubble system which bursts bubbles and uses the pressure caused to fire the droplets of ink onto the paper.
The variable Micro Piezo heads allow the droplet size to be increased or decreased depending on the area of the photograph. For large blocks of colour the head will be opened and for fine detail, it will close to a smaller droplet size. This means the image is printed in the fastest time possible and should also increase economy.
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Performance
The print menu screen has been revised and you no longer have to go through three pages before getting to the gritty stuff. Adjusting your colour management, profile and rendering intent are all done on the primary page. The page set up is still separate to the print set up pages that are now moulded onto one.
A small pane in the bottom right of the window has a brief explanation of what each part does which is handy if you've never printed before.
Printing a photo quality glossy A4 from cold takes around 2 minutes at highest quality with no PhotoEnhance. I left the rest of the settings to default with the printer handling the colour and the rendering intent set to relative colorimetric.
I changed the colour handling around and printed off a copy of our digital colour test chart. This is the same image file used in all printer tests and was taken on a Canon EOS 350D.
The colour chart doesn't show much change in the colours whether you have the printer, Photoshop or nothing handling them but when I printed out a portrait, having nothing handling the colours really showed.
Our Agfa test print resulted with good colours over the whole image. The block colours are bold and the mono tones look balanced. All but the smallest lettering on the font blocks are easily readable but the smallest ones can be made out with difficulty.
With installation, the import options will automatically be available in your editing suite including newer versions such as CS4.
Scanning is easy enough and, like the printing can be done direct from the printer. You get to choose whether you'd like to scan and email, send to a memory card, pc or save as a pdf.
I scanned the Agfa test file and it has a lot of white space which the auto scan feature took as being multiple images and split them up. The same problem could occur if you try to print an image that was taken through a window and the frame is still in shot.
I decided to take control and printed from the computer. It's a simple enough thing to do but you need to preview each image instead of it remembering your previous parameters.
Print quality of the agfa print is good. The original scan was split into pieces because of the white gaps.
"No colour handling" can't cope with skin tones at all. The banding issue on earlier all-in-one models has been addressed.
I scanned this image of my son straight after printing and I was mainly interested in the banding that had appeared in low-key areas during my review of the RX685. I'm pleased to say it's been addressed and no longer poses a problem.
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Verdict
The PX700W is probably the best looking unit Epson have released. It's glossy and slick with minimalist undertones and a futuristic menu system that glows on highlighted items.
The downside with the shiny plastic is the amount of dust attracted to it meaning it looks older, quicker and could get into the ink area. I also don't like the flimsiness of the collection tray.
I like the wireless application and I think this could take printing into a whole new era, opening it up to people who don't print at home because having to sit in one place. It sounds odd as a reason, but the thought of having to sit in a gloomy room and sort through images puts me off.
If you're in the market for an A4 printer that looks good and can get your old photographs or documents onto a computer as well as print to a nice result, then take a look at this one.
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Plus points
Takes all media
High quality printing
Easy to use as a standalone
Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Minus points
Glossy plastic is a dust magnet
Flimsy collection tray
Scans seems more muted than to the eye.
The Epson Stylus Photo PX700W costs £179.99 and is available from Warehouse Express here: