The Stylus SX600FW is one of Epson’s new range of inkjets, intended for use in small and home offices. It’s a full all-in-one, with fax and photo printing as well as its core print, scan and copy functions. Decked out in matte and gloss black, the top of the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) has been styled into a sweeping curve, which is completed when you fold the page feed tray shut.
The control panel includes a good size, 63mm, colour LCD display, which can show photo images from a memory card or menu and status messages. The buttons are logically laid out, with a square of nine for menu navigation next to a number pad for fax and quick-dial entry. Big Start and Stop buttons at the extreme right-hand end are echoed by four mode buttons on the left to select between the printer’s main functions.
At the extreme left-hand end of the front panel is a set of memory card slots, incorporating all the major types, and a PictBridge socket which doubles up as a USB drive connector. You can print JPG and TIF graphics files from one of these drives and scan from the ADF or scanner glass onto one.
At the back are connectors for USB and Ethernet, but the Stylus SX600FW comes with wireless connectivity too. Whichever method you choose, installation and setup is easy and Epson provides a good software bundle, including Abbyy Finereader for OCR.
As well as the standard print and copy functions, Epson has added in stationery printing so you can add watermarks to pages from a memory drive or print lined or squared paper from scratch.
Epson claims print speeds of 27ppm and 19ppm for black and colour print, though we saw only around 13.5ppm and 5.5ppm respectively, printing in normal mode. Even so, the speeds are reasonable for an inkjet printer and you shouldn’t be left hanging around too long. The paper tray can only take 80 sheets at a time, though, so you may be attending to its needs quite regularly.
The quality of printed output isn’t wonderful on plain paper, with spiky and jagged characters, though graphics output is better and photo output, always one of Epson’s strengths, is sharp and offers good colour.
The new, high-capacity cartridges Epson provides with this printer should give just under 1,000 and around 800 pages of black and colour print, which is rather at odds with the low capacity of the paper feed tray. With the best prices we could find for the cartridges, the page costs for this machine are 2.3p (mono) and 5.6p (colour), both of which are very respectable.
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