REVIEW / Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

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Nilofar Hadjanadjiboudine Published on July 15, 2009
Updated on July 15, 2009
Translated by
 
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SPECIFICATIONS

  • Resolution 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • Mono/colour speeds 40 ppm / 40 ppm
  • Ink droplet size 1.5 pl
  • Cartridges required 6
  • Number of base colours 4
  • Scanner yes
Handling

Epson's Stylus PX800FW is a clone of its PW700W, with the added bonus of a fax machine and a very large 8'' touchscreen. The new interface is very intuitive and is used to access all of the printer's functions. It's clear and very easy to use.



The resolution of the scanner has improved from 2400 dpi on the PX700W to 4800 dpi here. Otherwise, it has the same system of six cartridges and WiFi and Ethernet networking. Double-sided printing is an optional extra, but this is quite an unusual printer in that it combines photo printing with a fax machine.

Office Printing: Fast, but questionable results

Epson claims that this printer can reach speeds of 40 pages per minute in both colour and black and white. In reality, when we printed our test document in draft mode, we measured 28.2 ppm, which is still very impressive. Switching to normal mode halves the speed to 11.3 ppm for colour and 12.2 ppm for monochrome--two scores that are still way above average.

The PX800W is certainly fast, but unfortunately, not very well-suited to office printing. Draft mode is only really suitable for checking the layout of a document, and normal mode isn't very precise. It's difficult to read text printed on a coloured background, black areas tend to leak a little and the whole thing lacks contrast and detail. The only real positive is that blocks of colour are very even.

Enlargement 3x

Photo Printing: Speed and quality


Photo printing is supposed to be this printer's speciality, and, once again, it's very fast. In photo mode, 4'' x 6'' prints take around thirty seconds from the moment you press OK. That makes it one of the fastest around, but it can go even faster: leaving the printer in its default mode, text, produces photos in 22 seconds, without a very large drop in quality. In both cases, the resulting photos are better than would you might expect from the majority of developers, with no visible ink drops and very sharp images.

Black and white photos have good contrast, and the colours are neutral without being dull and have no particular shade dominates.

Left: a print in text mode.  Right: a print in photo mode.

Energy Use and Noise

The power consumption on the 800FW is as we would expect fairly average. While printing, it requires around 25 W, and while on standby, 5.5 W. It's not a particularly noisy printer, but some of its competitors are quieter.


Cost per page

Standard Cartridges

Cartridge RRP ISO Lifespan
Cost per page
T0801 (black) £9.10 355  2.69 p
T0802 (cyan) £9.10 890 1.02 p
T0803 (magenta) £9.10 435 2.09 p
T0804 (jaune) £9.10 660 1.38 p
T0805 (light cyan) £9.10 335 2.55 p
T0806 (light magenta) £9.10 660 1.38 p

Equipping the printer with all six cartridges produces a total cost per page of 11.11 p, which is pretty expensive for office printing. However, it's about the same price you'd pay for a multifunction that used four separate cartridges, and not far off what you get from the HP Photosmart C6380. For anybody who prints a lot, then higher capacity cartridges are certainly more economical.


XL Cartridges


Cartridge RRP ISO Lifespan
Cost per page
T0791 (black) £12.22 570  2.14 p
T0792 (cyan) £12.22 1475 0.82 p
T0793 (magenta) £12.22 720 1.70 p
T0794 (jaune) £12.22 1070 1.14 p
T0795 (light cyan) £12.22 540 2.26 p
T0796 (light magenta) £12.22 1020 1.20 p

Using these XL cartridges, the price of a page falls to 9.27 p. It's better, but still a lot more than you'd pay with Kodak, HP or Canon.
Copying and Scanning
It's no news to us that Epson produces good quality scanners, beating most of the competition and going all the way up to 4800 dpi. The PX800FW is no exception. There's plenty of detail--not as much as in the original, of course, but it's still pretty good. The only problem is the colour, which is sometimes a lit too warmer.

The speed is fast enough, with the first prescan taking around 11 seconds, and about the same time again to scan a 4'' x 6'' print at 300 dpi.

Copying documents is fast if you use black and white printing: it takes 11 seconds to produce a monochrome copy and 23 seconds to produce a colour copy.

PROS

  • Quality photo printing
  • Fast photo printing
  • Good scanner
  • Large, intuitive touchscreen interface

CONS

  • Poor quality office printing
  • Expensive to run, even with high capacity cartridges
  • Not many features: we would have liked to have seen more for the money
  • Double sided printing is a paid-for extra

CONCLUSION 4/5

The PX800FW is a very good photo printer that is less impressive for office printing. Epson hasn't managed to produce a product that can do both.
4 Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW DigitalVersus 2009-07-15 00:00:00
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