2006-01-22

Product Review: Epson Stylus CX7800, Printer, Scanner, Copier


At about $180 retail, the Epson Stylus CX7800 is a good low-end choice for those needing a high quality, high speed scanning solution with printing and other features.

When compared to similar products from HP or Canon, or higher end Epson offerings, the Epson Stylus CX7800 offers the following benefits and drawbacks (+/-):
+ very fast scanning with no "lamp warmup" time even from power standby mode
- scanning size is limited to just over 8.5 by 11 inches, other scanners offer legal size scanning capability
+ ink is in separate replaceable cartridges independent of the print head (like HP), this makes it possible to monitor and replace separate colors
+ the ink is DuraBrite Ultra technology that resists smearing when wet
- this model has only three colors rather than four that might give more realistic skin tones
- printing speed in high quality mode is a little slower than higher end models and certainly not as quick as laser or solid ink printers
+ desktop space requirements are relatively small at about 19 inches by 17 inches
- Canon and Epson printers seem to require more print head cleaning than HP since on the HP printers the heads are replaced when a new ink cartridge is installed
+ scanner can accommodate slides and negatives at a higher scanning resolution than normal scanning
+ envelope printing seems to be quite reliable, some HP inkjet printers are easily jammed when envelopes are fed through
+ the scanner is Windows and Apple compatible, and the EPSON Scan software that comes with the scanner is quite good, even when running on Apple OS 10.4.4 Tiger
+ the scanner includes a memory card reader for various card types
+ includes a view window where you can see photos so the printer does not need to be connected to a computer for printing from a memory stick
- pages feed from the back and must stack upright, this may lead to curling of the top of the pages unlike printers that have a paper tray
+ because the paper and media are direct feed, it is less likely that jamming will be an issue
+ prints full bleed (edge to edge) photos
+ the software has a "Descreening Filter" feature that corrects for newspaper and other print images that are created with many dots on the page rather than solid smooth ink

This link may work to display the multifunction printers available on the Epson website:
http://tinyurl.com/34owu