For sheer value for money, Epson's general inkjet range is hard to beat. The Stylus D78, however, isn't one of the best models we've seen come out of the firm's stable: the D78 looks every bit as cheap as its price tag would seem to suggest.

And while we're not too worried about the general build quality, we were put off by the noise. Epson printers have rarely been notable for discreet operation, but the D78 pushes it too far – in draft mode, the Stylus sounds like it's firing paper from a cannon.

In a bid to keep the price down, Epson has deprived the D78 of all but the most basic features, so you don't get memory card slots or PictBridge ports. On paper, though, it's competitive with most of its rivals. The resolution of 5,760x1,440 is as high as these figures tend to get, while the quoted print speeds are very satisfactory.

But while the Stylus is able to keep up with its rivals at the most basic setting, that setting produces print that's so faint as to be almost useless. Bump it up a setting and the speed drops dramatically. It's a similar story with graphics. Decent graphics quality is possible – at one page per minute.

Epson Stylus D78: Specs

  • Max resolution 5,760x1,440dpi
  • quoted print speed B=22ppm C=12ppm
  • actual print speed B=10.7ppm C=3.7ppm
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • ink costs B=£7 C=£7 x 3
  • print life (pages) B=n/a C=n/a
  • 1-year warranty
  • 435x219x165mm
  • 2.8kg
  • Max resolution 5,760x1,440dpi
  • quoted print speed B=22ppm C=12ppm
  • actual print speed B=10.7ppm C=3.7ppm
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • ink costs B=£7 C=£7 x 3
  • print life (pages) B=n/a C=n/a
  • 1-year warranty
  • 435x219x165mm
  • 2.8kg

OUR VERDICT

Given the choice between buying the Epson or paying an extra £10 to £15 for the vastly superior HP Deskjet 5940, we know what our choice would be. Let's hope there’s better to come from Epson.

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