Review: Epson Stylus SX600FW

Our score: 4/5
Reviewed: April 28, 2009 11:00 PM
3 want this Me too!
 
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Published: April 28, 2009 11:00 PM
By Nilofar Hadjanadjiboudine
The Stylus SX600FW is a pro printer that prioritises speed, with built-in fax and document loader. All default modes are set to “Text” both for office documents and photos. Great if you just want to get on with your scanning or printing without wasting time – and very nice quality too.

The printer has an Ethernet port as well as Wi-Fi and uses four separate cartridges – which doesn’t work out to be as economic as all that when you calculate the cost of 1 page. There're a lot of buttons on the interface as well as a large 6.3 cm screen. Navigation is however very simple and you’re guided pretty well.

Office docs
: very good speeds as well as good quality;

In default mode (text), the prints are very fast and of nice quality: 17.3 pages per minute (ppm) for black and white prints and 11.8 ppm for colour (general consumer printers – ie not “pro” – hit a ceiling at 7 ppm on the same test). Draft mode is even faster: 24.7 ppm in black and white (only useful to check page layout however). Using the Text mode as default is a good move: it’s the best compromise between quality and speed on this printer. In text and graphic mode quality is a little (just a little) better but you lose out on speed.


default mode on the left and text and graphics mode on the right

Photos: nice quality, even in text mode

Once again, speeds were measured in default mode; ie text mode. A 10x15 print without borders takes 22 seconds after print validation as against 1 minute 20 in photo mode. An A4 print takes almost 55 seconds (in text mode).

What changes are there in terms of quality? To our great surprise, nothing much. So you may as well use the much faster text mode. Overall, photo quality is good and the colours faithful. At least, no dominant colour is visible.


Default mode on the left and photo mode on the right

Something that may be of interest: the machine is noisy during prints. There is however a quiet mode that improves things a lot.

Cartridges

Cartridge   Lifespan (ISO)  
T0711 (black)   230  
T1001 (black)   995  
T0712 (cyan)
  345  
T1002 (cyan)   815  
T0713 (magenta)   250  
T1003 (magenta)   815  
T0714 (yellow)   370  
T1004 (yellow)   815  

When you do the maths, you'll see that this printer is expensive for office documents – higher than average and much higher than HP  on the (OfficeJet 6500)! Go for black and white prints when you can.

The SX600FW does however have high capacity cartridges – something that is offered by more and more printer manufacturers. With these, cost per page is much more reasonable.
4/5 Epson Stylus SX600FW DigitalVersus 2009-04-29 00:00:00

Pros

  • Fast
  • Good quality for both photos and office docs
  • Wi-Fi and ethernet connection
  • Cost per page is good with high capacity cartridges

Cons

  • High cost of prints with standard cartridges
  • Noisy in default mode

Conclusion

Fast, nice quality prints… The Epson Stylus SX600 FW delivers. Nevertheless cost per page is a good deal higher than average with standard cartridges.

OUR SCORE 4/5
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