Epson Stylus SX445W
Epson Stylus SX445W ★★★★£50www.epson.co.ukFEATURES ★★★★ PERFORMANCE ★★★★★ EASE OF USE ★★★★ VALUE FOR MONEY ★★★★ Epson’s Styl
Epson Stylus SX445W ★★★★
FEATURES ★★★★ PERFORMANCE ★★★★★ EASE OF USE ★★★★ VALUE FOR MONEY ★★★★
Epson’s Stylus SX445W is an inexpensive all-in-one printer for typical home users who aren’t doing vast amounts of printing and scanning, but need the device ready and waiting for when they do. The printer has a colour LCD screen, which makes basic functions like copying relatively easy, and there’s a built-in card reader, so you can scan to and print directly from a memory card. Or you connect it to a PC by USB or Wi-Fi and control the printer from there.
Photo printing was slow, but the results are worth the wait, with smooth shading, realistic skin tones and fairly accurate reproductions of pale colours. We found a slight magenta tint, but because the effect is consistent across the board, you can compensate the driver’s colour balance in the advanced settings tab. The SX445W produces sharp, clear mono text, and our image-loaded colour documents had smooth, accurate colours. Small text is legible, even when printed in tiny fonts, although close examination reveals that it’s a little wobbly around the edges. As with the photo printing, however, it was slow when printing at best quality. It’s possible to speed things up with the draft mode, which is blisteringly fast, but the printing turns out pale and rough around the edges.
Running costs are about average, with mono prints costing 2.4p per page, though adding colour increases the costs. A page of mixed black and colour will cost 8.2p, while a 6x4in photo printed on Epson Premium Glossy paper costs 23p.
The 1,200dpi scanner does a brilliant job of capturing colour, shading and detail at high resolutions. Low-resolution text scans are also sharp and legible. Epson’s advanced scanner interface provides great control over sharpness, colour and image correction. Also included is ABBYY FineReader Sprint OCR software, which turns scanned documents into editable text or searchable PDFs.
In the balance between speed and quality, the Epson SX445W’s scales are definitely tipped in favour of quality. This is particularly true of its photo printing, which produced impressive pictures at a reasonable cost. But if you’ve got a lot of stuff to print, your patience will be tested. The scanner is also good, and the price is very affordable. We found the printer on Amazon for £50, which is excellent value. If quality is less important than speed or price for you, consider the Silver Award-winning HP Deskjet 3050A, which is cheaper and prints faster.