The circa £200 level of the market for home office-friendly, do-it-all printers is competitive indeed, but this oversized option from Epson covers more bases than most – and proves an efficient performer in key areas.
An inkjet, rather than the more fashionable laser, printer, the BX935FWD can indulge not just in printing, but also in copying, scanning, and even faxing. That latter feature is becoming rare on printers, but lends this effort a comprehensive feel.
Not that there’s anything old-fashioned about the BX935FWD’s Epson Connect (www.epsonconnect.com) feature, whose Email Print feature allows remote printing from anywhere with a web connection. After finding and registering the printer using the Epson Connect software, we were instantly sent an individual email address for the printer itself – it’s a bit of a mouthful, but this allowed us to print documents instantly from a laptop while working remotely. We’re not convinced this feature is an absolute must-have, but even the most paperless office needs to print out the occasional e-ticket, and the hassle-free ability to forward an e-mail and have the BX935FWD instantly print its attachments is one we love.
Epson Connect is a bit more than just out of office printing, however; it also allows cloud (Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print) and mobile printing from smart phones and tablets – and can even scan to a smartphone. After downloading the Epson iPrint app on a smartphone, the same remote printing applies, though an excellent treatment of photos is a tad wasted on the resolutely text and graphic-based BX935FWD.
Upon first power up, the BX935FWD automatically found and downloaded the latest software for an iMac, with no need for the included CD. There are several safeguards; Epson also supplies a Download Navigator app, which monitors a system to make sure it’s got the latest firmware updates.
Equipped with Wi-Fi, Ethernet and USB, the BX935FWD’s set-up options will suit all environments, and it proves easy to set up. That’s thanks in part to its touchscreen controls, which are at once comprehensive and intuitive. Maintenance is reduced by not only the provision of two 250 sheet paper trays on top of one another in the printer’s hull, but also by a flatbed scanner on flexible hinges (and so allowing easy book scanning) that provides an automatic document feeder that lends two-sided faxing and copying, as well as a duplex printing feature.
Armed with a print resolution of this 2400x2400dpi, the 446x368x300mm BX935FWD’s touchscreen can navigate the contents of both USB thumbdrives and memory cards (the latter through its side-mounted card reader that deals in SD, xD, CF and MS Pro formats.
Print speed & quality
As befits a printer aimed at the home office market, the BX935FWD is fast and has plenty of printing options. From standby, a single page of mono text with colour graphics takes 13 seconds to print, though only after a 19 second weight while the printer warms up. From warm, expect to wait around nie seconds for a print job to begin. A simple four-page Microsoft Word document containing only text took a mere 11 seconds to complete on Fast Economy mode, though the results are draft in the extreme – the text is barely readable. Ramping up to Normal quality, and the same four-page document took 18 seconds to print (that’s 4.5 seconds per page), and this time the product is clear and concise. That makes the (highest) Quality mode rather redundant, though no less impressive; the four-page document this time took 03:35 to complete (a massive 43 seconds per page), with the results impressive, but overkill for text.
Graphics, on the other hand, come out looking detailed and rich enough – and quick, too; our four-page, full-colour PowerPoint presentation took just under a minute to print in the middle ranking Normal quality.
Copying is equally as speedy; it took 30 seconds to make a colour photocopy, including scanning time (new seconds), and just 12 seconds to make a mono copy, though results are very average.
The BX935FWD is not a dedicated photo printer, but we nevertheless investigated its results from a couple of JPEGs; a full-sized A4 colour printout took just 12 seconds in Normal mode, but looked draft indeed (banding dominates, as well as softness and a noticeably warm palette), while even a jump to Fine, at over a minute, produced very average, flat-looking images on glossy paper.
Contact: 0871 4237766
- 500 sheet capacity, speed, versatility, easy set-up, WiFi, remote printing
- smartphone integration, touchscreen operation
- Average results, photo quality
Fairly cheap to run and with more features than many competitors, the only worry we have with Epson’s rotund BX935FWD is thoroughly average results. If a quick and cheap-to-run printer is required, with faxing, scanning and photocopying more important than ultimate print quality, the BX935FWD fulfils its brief at a canter; it’s a good value workhorse for small offices.