The Epson Stylus Office BX625FWD is an interesting MFD (Multi Function Device) with a decent set of features as well as some neat touches that suggest the Epson development engineers have been hard at work.
In the first place your eye will be drawn to the control panel which hinges upwards and locks in place. The 2.5-inch / 6.3cm LCD screen is a decent size but despite that it is swamped by buttons for the controls and the fax dialler. Epson could have dispensed with some of these buttons if it had used touchscreen controls however the screen is just a display and as a result we have buttons galore.
The other reason the control panel is likely to grab your attention is that the styling of the BX625FWD is rather understated. At first glance, for instance, the top of the printer looks like nothing more than a smooth surface that is an ideal place to lay some documents. Flip over the centre section of the cover and the document feeder for the fax and copier appears, as if by magic. It’s a similar story on the back of the Epson as the network and USB cables plug into recessed ports on the side of the printer with the phone and fax ports on the rear.
There are two card reader slots on the front of the printer that handle xD, CF, MS, SD and MMC memory cards and in addition to the Fast Ethernet connection there is 802.11b/g/n wireless.
The dimensions of the BX625FWD are very conventional at 446 x 360 x 221mm, however the effective footprint is smaller than you might expect as the mains power cord has a right angled socket on the printer end and this allows you to push the Epson right back against a wall.
While the design and styling of the Epson are neat, there are signs that costs have been kept to a minimum. Those rubber control buttons, for instance, feel cheap and nasty and the paper output tray is a curious item that is fixed to the printer. When you remove the 250-sheet paper cassette to reload the paper the output tray is left sticking out in an ominous fashion. During our testing we didn’t manage to cause any injuries while removing and installing the paper cassette but it always felt like a possibility.
Getting the Epson up and running was a simple matter of lifting the scanner bed, turning on the power and then snapping the four cartridges into the carriage.
A set of regular cartridges will cost £45 and lasts for 470 pages, which works out to 9.6p per page, however a set of long life cartridges costs £61 and lasts for 755 pages which only reduces the cost to 8.1p per page. While the purchase price of the Epson looks reasonable at £180, the cost per page might get uncomfortably high if you plan on printing reams of pages. This emphasis on the cost of consumables is reinforced by the progress bar that pops up on screen while you are printing, as it is clearly designed to sell you Epson ink.
On the plus side, the BX625FWD prints pages at an impressive pace and only took 53.3 seconds to produce ten pages of text. Copying a page of A4 text took a mere 8.3 seconds. Print quality in both cases was absolutely superb.
Epson includes a decent package of software to cover the essentials which consists of Easy Photo Print, EpsonNet Print and Presto! PageManager 9.
Printing photos took longer than we expected with a 6 x 4-inch borderless photo taking just over one minute and a borderless A4 photo taking three minutes. Thankfully the results were worth the wait as the quality was very good indeed and we were impressed by the flexibility of the Epson as it delivers decent all-round performance.