So competitive is the multifunction devices (MFD) market, that a model with a £100 price tag has to be that little bit special to justify the cost. The Epson Stylus DX8400 doesn’t fall into that category. What it does do is to offer a solid and reliable set of specifications. Whether this is enough to put it on your buy list depends on how much of an Epson enthusiast you are.
While companies such as Lexmark are starting to put advanced features such as Wi-Fi into their MFDs, the Epson Stylus DX8400 entertains no such notion.
Otherwise, though, the Epson Stylus DX8400 is fairly well set up for photo enthusiasts. The 2.5in LCD isn’t something you’ll find on every printer. The memory card drive is reasonably versatile, although some of the formats (MS Duo, MiniSD/SDHC, MicroSD/SDHC) will require an adaptor. Used in conjunction with the LCD, it’s extremely easy to preview and select shots on your camera.
The Epson Stylus DX8400's installation is fairly simple, if long-winded. We experienced a few problems under Vista with the program struggling to uninstall previous Epson apps, however. Part of the Epson Stylus DX8400’s cost is justified by its robust build quality, and we had no problems with paper feeding. The 120-sheet capacity is decent.
The Epson Stylus DX8400’s scan facilities are quite acceptable, if nothing out of the ordinary. It does, however, have some eye-catching print speeds. But, as often seems to be the case, the fastest draft mode is almost unusable, with faint and dotty results generated with text and pictures. On text, you’ll need to bump it up a grade or two, at which point the speed drops to just 4 pages per minute (ppm).
The results here are palatable, but the Epson Stylus DX8400 is more of a graphics printer. Again, forget the top speed – 3.2ppm is more realistic. The Epson Stylus DX8400’s graphics are attractive, but we found the colours to be on the dark side.