Epson – Stylus Color 440 review

budget inkjet printer
Photo of Epson – Stylus Color 440
£135 + VAT

As part of a major re-vamp of virtually all its product lines, Epson’s inkjet printer range now benefits from the addition of this, the Stylus Color 440. Aimed at those users who haven’t yet discovered the benefits of colour printing in the home, the Stylus Color 440 is an A4 colour inkjet printer at an incredibly low price. Designed primarily for use under Windows, but also supporting Epson’s ESC/P2 printer control language, this printer looks similar to other products in the range. It has the usual breadbin shape, with paper entering the print mechanism from a 100-sheet feeder at the back of the unit and exiting face-up into an extendible tray at the front, giving the printer quite a large operating footprint.

This is one of the slowest printers in the Epson range, but even so it’s no slouch. Rated print speed is 4PPM for mono text and 2.5PPM for colour, but these are best-case numbers. In our tests, a fairly complex page combining text and graphics took just a couple of minutes to print, so for the home market there should be no concerns about speed. Quality, too, is good. Not as good as models offering higher resolution – you can still see the dots on the photo output from this printer – but good enough to impress. The output is inevitably better on special paper, but looks pretty crisp and sharp on plain paper, too.

Epson is another printer manufacturer that can’t spell ‘colour’. This printer is a four-colour machine, with a separate black ink cartridge and a combined cyan, magenta and yellow cartridge. The maximum resolution available is 720 x 720 dpi, and that can be achieved on plain paper as well as on the bewildering range of special coated papers available from Epson. You can buy glossy paper, inkjet paper, panoramic photo paper, iron-on T-shirt media, ink jet card, transparencies, photo stickers, self-adhesive sheets and more.

These options are great for the home market, and the driver software has also been optimised and simplified to appeal to new users. There are automatic colour-matching and colour-enhancement algorithms to ensure that you get the best possible output from your images, and plenty of online help available should anything go wrong. Also included in the box are copies of Professor Franklin’s Instant Photo Effects and Corel Print House Magic, plus a selection of coated paper products.

Company: Epson

Contact: 01442 261144


Verdict
Colour printing doesn't come much cheaper than this. The Stylus Color 440 is quiet, reasonably fast and produces good quality output on plain paper and especially on the wide range of coated paper types available. Its operating footprint is quite large, but for the home user looking to experiment with colour printing for the first time, this is possibly the best bargain available.