Traditionally, inkjets have been slow, not good at text, and with poor running costs. Even a highly priced model such as the Epson Stylus Office BX925FWD – which at £260 is competing with very well-specified colour lasers – suffers some of these problems. But there are advantages.
The Epson Stylus Office BX925FWD comes with Wi-Fi as standard so can drop into a wireless environment. It’s more user friendly than most lasers. Its front panel is consumed by a large panel with 3.5in touch-sensitive display. Attractive and colourful, it doesn’t match the graphical chutzpah of the Lexmark S605, but still makes a pleasing impression. and You don’t need to delve too deep unless you actually want to. Navigation is simple, Epson prividing the example of how to implement touch-control.
It has two paper trays holding 250 sheets, so can hold its own against lasers when it comes to paper handling, although the design doesn’t allow for such an effective output tray. The Epson Stylus Office BX925FWD is trying to do too much – it offers scanning, copying and faxing besides the core printing. Indeed, the design appears as though divided into a series of floors, each one with beautifully curved corners, adding a Bauhausian element.
The Epson Stylus Office BX925FWD still trails any half-decent laser when it comes to text printing, even if speed is adequate. Leaving aside the 17.6ppm of the too-light and poorly-defined draft mode, middle-mode produces a still very workable 14.6ppm. However, characters won’t be clean enough for many.
Output is crisp at highest mode, but here you’re struggling to get more than 1.2ppm. Auto duplex is included with the Epson Stylus Office BX925FWD, although in middle-mode output dropped from 14.6ppm to just 7.8ppm.
Inkjets fare well on colour printing, and the Epson Stylus Office BX925FWD produces vibrant and highly detailed output. Results are faint in the fastest 14.2ppm mode, but eye-catching even in middle-mode, where speed slides to just 4.8ppm.
Spectacular photos can be made, the highest quality mode requiring just over a minute for strong A4 output. The scanning component is also effective, rendering many of our test images accurately and efficiently.
Inkjets don’t always have the best running costs. The Epson Stylus Office BX925FWD is reasonable, at 2.3p and 5.4p, for mono and colour respectively. It’s just ahead of the cheaper Epson PX720WD.