From Epson’s Stylus Office range of inkjets comes the BX625FWD, benefitting from a significant cut in price (to £130) that puts it within reach of the best business-aimed multifunctionals.
Offering fax as well as scan, copy and, of course, print facilities, the Epson has plenty going on underneath its lid. And it shows.
While many a modern inkjet is sleek and streamlined, with only a few buttons to mar the clean landscape, the Epson Stylus Office BX625FWD is a relatively large model with a panoply of switchery poking from almost every inch of its front panel.
The size isn’t perhaps surprising. Some of it is due to the heavyweight scanning component – no flimsy lid here – while the 2400 x 2400dpi optical scan resolution allows the Epson Office BX625FWD to produce some impressive results, with plenty of colour and detail.
A 30-sheet Automatic Document Feeder is built in, so you can go away and leave it working on a stack of pages. A further explanation for the Epson Stylus Office BX625FWD’s size comes when you glance at the base of the printer – a meaty 250-sheet tray sits at the bottom. This isn’t the easiest of trays to adjust for size, but it feeds effectively and gives good capacity.
So, for a heavyweight printer, much of this bulk is required – to a point. We’re not quite so convinced by the need for the huge number of buttons.
Many models try to make a few buttons perform a large number of functions. This isn’t always successful, although the increasing use of elegant touchscreens allows the possibility of user-friendly yet attractive interfaces.
The Epson, though, insists on giving you sets of dedicated buttons for every function. In practice, this works better than it looks, since each function has its own dedicated section. If you want to do some photocopying, for instance, there are specific buttons for altering the quality or the copy size.
The fax component gives you quick one-button access to the speed dial settings, while the printer lets you delve into various options for viewing photos from a memory card.
You still get a general menu, letting you tap into other less frequently used facilities. Overall, this made the Epson Stylus Office BX625FWD quite straightforward to operate, although a few of the more advanced options do take some finding, and it does feel a little dated and dull; or this reviewer’s eye, fairly hideous.
The Epson Stylus Office BX625FWD has a decent range of connection options, placing the easy to setup Wi-Fi (with 802.11b/g/n facilities) alongside the more traditional USB 2.0. A PictBridge port is offered for printing directly from cameras etc, and the obligatory memory card drive is also present.
The Epson Stylus Office BX625FWD works well at printing text. The draft mode output may not be up to much – although its speed of 17.6ppm is impressive. But even in the middle quality mode, the pages per minute remain at a pleasingly high 14.3, while the output is relatively crisp.
Those who like the total precision of laser text will quibble, but the characters are dark and easy to read, and this is definitely one of the best inkjets we’ve seen for text.
The best mode is only slightly better, despite falling to a speed of just 0.8ppm.
Colour isn’t quite as spectacular, and while the draft mode is blisteringly fast – 14.3ppm – the faintness of its output makes it relatively useless. You take a significant hit to speed in the middle mode, where 4.3ppm isn’t particularly fast. Nonetheless, the output is dark and the colour palette relatively intense. There is a little banding and the prints aren’t entirely clear of artefacts, but the quality is still very reasonable. Photo printing on dedicated paper produces vibrant results.
The Epson Stylus Office BX625FWD employs the usual four-tank system, although the running costs can be relatively low – 1.9p for a page of black text, and 4.7p for colour are very much in keeping with the Epson’s rivals.