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Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW Inkjet Printer Review

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW Inkjet Printer Review - The Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW offers the whole package for the professional photographer who only needs A4. With a scanner, fax machine and wi-fi connectivity, does it justify the 295 price tag?

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Category : Inkjet Printers
Product : Epson Stylus photo PX810 FW
Price : £295
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It's a fast paced world we live in and as consumers we need to get everything done at once and have all our solutions in one place for complete convenience. Here we test the Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW, a sexy 4-in-1 printer that prints, scans, copies and faxes with a dynamic touchscreen console and wi-fi connectivity.

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW main image
Matt Grayson, ePHOTOzine tester, gets hold of the Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW with integrated wi-fi, fax and scanner.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Features
Recently, we tested the Epson Stylus Photo PX650, a printer with a built-in scanner that gives lab quality prints in a unit for £125. The £295 price tag is a huge difference, so is the fax option and alternative connectivity worth the extra cash?

It certainly looks attractive with its sleek black shiny exterior, touchscreen front panel and sweeping curve on the top for housing the fax machine. The touchscreen is sensitive and responsive and I really like the black and orange colouring.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW scanner table
The built-in scanner operates at 4800dpi.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW ink bay
There are 6 ink tanks but unfortunately no provision for larger capacity tanks.
Installation from the supplied CD takes no longer than 10 minutes. I decided not to download some of the programs that I won't use so the process will have been a bit faster than if you opt for the full installation. Once the installation has taken place and you've registered the product, you need to reboot the computer and it's ready to go.

There are six inks in the printer: black, cyan, yellow, magenta, light cyan and light magenta. They're available from many places, such as the Epson website priced at £10.68 each or £54.98 for all six. That will save you around £9 but Warehouse Express sell the individual cartridges for £9.99 each or £49.99 for all six.

The PX810 will print on both sides of the paper with the provided duplexer and it's an automatic process so you don't have to mess around reloading the paper and reprinting. It doesn't take roll paper and despite having Print CD software, there's no obvious place for CD printing. But that's the beauty of it. It's not obvious but it is there. Closing the output tray, raising the control panel as far as it will go and pressing the CD eject button will bring out the CD/DVD holder.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Handling
The footprint is pretty static as there's no large rear feeder tray to unfold and the front output tray is quite small. It's deceptively wide but is only a few millimetres bigger than some other models in the range such as the recently reviewed PX650.

Print quality is very good, it's fast at printing managing a print from warm in 2min 57sec. The paper loading tray can be removed from the printer to ease the loading, I guess, but it actually hindered me as I pushed the paper too far and it overlapped where it should be. I then had to wrestle to get the bottom sheet of paper back inline with the other which simply slid back. I ended up dragging it out and creasing it in the process.

The first two prints suffered no problems with ink leaking or head strikes and I was really happy with the outcome. Print after print came out perfectly and the more I use the printer, the more I begin to like it.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Performance
Photographs were printed in a variety of settings. The Agfa test print is a 17.3Mb file, the colour shelf Raw image was taken on a Sony Alpha A850 24.6Mp DSLR. The file can be downloaded here:

Printing
The prints that are produced out of the printer and placed onto the output tray are excellent quality. I've scoffed in the past at labelling photographic prints with the term HD. I don't see how a digital term can be applied to an analogue format but with the prints from this printer, I can understand it. Colours are lush and rich, detail is crisp and contrast is bang on. Skin tones are natural and offer lots of detail with close ups.
 
There are several settings to select on the print page. Choosing the output mode will allow you to select whether the printer or Photoshop handles the colour or whether there's no colour management at all. Allowing the printer to manage the colours appears to yield the best results with balanced colours and exposure. Asking Photoshop to handle the colour has resulted in an image with much deeper blacks that look a little over the top. With no colour management, primary colours come out very dark and the overall result of colours is not realistic.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW black & white Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW black & white original
The original image is strikingly similar in tone and contrast.

 When the printer handles the colours, you can also change the way that it perceives colour. There are a number of different options called Perceptual, Saturation, Relative colorimetric and Absolute colorimetric.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW relative colorimetric
Relative colorimetric.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW absolute colorimetric
Absolute colorimetric.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW perceptual
Perceptual.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW saturation Saturation.

Colour is managed very well in the default setting, I found that primary colours are produced realistically, but it's worth having a mess around with the settings because with some of them, if the colour falls outside the printer gamut, it will replace it with the nearest. With 180 nozzles on each colour employing 1.5pl variable size droplet technology, the PX810 FW should manage to get very fine detail well but it suffers on the smallest font sizes. It manages small point lines well though and the problem is really only the worst when the text is on a black background, so it looks like it suffers from mild bleeding.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW town hall
Sky blue is recorded well on the Epson and it also manages detail brilliantly in printing and scanning.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW town hall original image
The original image.

Scanning
The Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW has a built-in flatbed scanner with a dpi performance of 2400x4800 dpi, scans look good, a little pale but that's usually the case and choosing the professional mode in the Artisan section of the import screen will allow you to boost saturation if you want to.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW portrait original image
The original portrait image.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW portrait scanned at 300dpi
Portrait scanned at 300dpi.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW portrait scanned at 350dpi
Portrait scanned at 350dpi.

Working the preview takes a few seconds even with warming the scanner up. Scanning at 300dpi produces an image at 8.9Mp or 25.6Mb. This is more than ample in size for many uses but banding is present and the quality has to be raised to remove it. Upping the dpi to 350 does this and creates files at 34.8Mb with dimensions of 2975x4094 making 12Mp images.

Colour is recorded very well with all the prints I scanned looking very realistic on screen next to the original.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Verdict
The Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW is another sterling example of how printers can work and should work. Every time I review an Epson printer I get blown away by the print quality. The PX810 FW is no exception and for the money, it's worth it. Of course if you don't need the fax machine or wi-fi capability, you may as well save £175 and get the PX650 because the quality is just as good.

However, as good as the PX810 is, I'm unsure it's worth the price tag. Maybe drop it by £50 to £100 and it'll be more appealing and more competitive.

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Pros
Beautiful printing
Silent operation
Easy installation
Wi-fi connectivity

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Cons
Sometimes slow to get the printer started
Won't print if the monitor is at 90°

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE
OVERALL

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Specification
Printing  
Max document size A4
Ink system/type Epson Claria photographic ink
Quantity of inks 6
Monitor 2.7in colour LCD
Resolution 5760x1440 optimised dpi
Capacity 120 sheets A4
Pictbridge Yes
Roll media No
CD/DVD printing Yes
Connectivity USB 2.0, wi-fi, CF, MS, MS Pro, SD, SDHC, xD memory cards, optional bluetootth
Size 466x458x198mm
Weight 11.3kg
Scanning  
Black & white scan speed 300dpi 1.1msec/line, 600dpi 1.6msec/line
Colour scan speed 300dpi 2.5msec/line, 600dpi 4.7msec/line
Resolution 4800x4800dpi
Sensor type CIS

The Epsoin Stylus Photo PX810 FW costs around £295 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW

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