The Epson Stylus SX415 is expensive for a multifunction printer, but it is a worthy product for your consideration.

There's no automatic duplexing with the Epson Stylus SX415. Neither does it have an automatic document feeder, and, in keeping with the SX415's focus on the home as well as the office, there are no fax facilities.

However, the Epson Stylus SX415 isn't poorly equipped by any means.

The memory card support is wide-ranging (covering pretty much the full range, from Memory Stick to SD to xD-Picture), and the 2.5in LCD is slick and in keeping with the Epson Stylus SX415's tidy and modern looks. The separate colour tanks make for increased flexibility and potentially less ink waste, and the capable software bundle includes the OCR package ABBYY FineReader 6.0.

So what of the performance? Well, as with all Epson printers, the Epson Stylus SX415's fastest speed is something of a red herring. Despite being around a third of the quoted figure, the top speed of 13.6ppm (pages per minute) sounds rather impressive. But, in typical Epson style, this bitingly fast figure is notched up only through the text being so faint you can barely see it.

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Although we can see some making use of this for test runs and notes, the reality is you'll spend far more time at the next quality mode.

Fortunately, this happens to be very good and, for an inkjet multifunction printer, reasonably fast. 4.1ppm will get you dark and reasonably well defined text - you'll see the fuzziness if you look very closely, but for an inkjet, this is very presentable.

And even the photo mode (which is slightly cleaner again) is available at the very usable speed of 1.8ppm. You're not going to get the clarity and sharp definition of a decent laser printer, but compared to most inkjets, the Epson Stylus SX415's text output is professional and reasonably fast.

It works beautifully on colour images too. Again, the faint output available at the fastest mode is useless for all but the most basic purposes. But the 3.2ppm performance for a middle mode with the quality of the Epson Stylus SX415 is good - images are suffused with colour and the consistent reproduction doesn't bear even a trace of banding.

And the glossier coverage of the Photo mode is available at a still decent rate of 1.5ppm. These are figures you can really fit into an everyday schedule without having to sit around waiting for the Epson Stylus SX415 to churn through its latest workload.

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When it comes to price, extra cartridges cost £9.79 each for black or three colour, with print costs working out at 4p for black and 13p for colour.

The Epson Stylus SX415 works smoothly as a scanner too, quickly turning out colourful and realistic scans. It may not be quite as fully-featured a scanner as on some MFDs, but the basic scan quality is good, and that's the most important aspect.

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Epson Stylus SX415: Specs

  • Colour inkjet printer, scanner, copier
  • print resolution: 5,760x1,440
  • optical scan resolution: 1,200x2,400
  • Quoted print speed B=34ppm C=34ppm
  • Actual print speed B=13.6ppm C=11.1ppm
  • Supported interface types USB 2.0
  • 2.5in LCD
  • 450x342x182mm
  • 5.8kg
  • Colour inkjet printer, scanner, copier
  • print resolution: 5,760x1,440
  • optical scan resolution: 1,200x2,400
  • Quoted print speed B=34ppm C=34ppm
  • Actual print speed B=13.6ppm C=11.1ppm
  • Supported interface types USB 2.0
  • 2.5in LCD
  • 450x342x182mm
  • 5.8kg

OUR VERDICT

The Epson Stylus SX415 isn’t the cheapest multifunction printer available, although shopping around should bag you this model for a good £15 less than its £120 RRP. At anywhere around £100, the Epson will be excellent value for money. The print speeds don’t look stunning on paper, but given the quality available in each mode, the SX415 offers strong overall performance. Should you want a little extra quality, the Epson Stylus SX415 will be a worthy upgrade from the 200 series.

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