Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD – £260
The Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD is a compact all-in-one printer which features automatic Wi-Fi set-up, the printer finds a relevant connection and configures itself. There is also Ethernet and USB connections if you prefer a wired connection. The printer has a bright 6.3cm LCD screen, although this is not a touchscreen the navigation panel is very easy to use. The printer has dual front loading printing trays for 120 sheets of A4 standard paper, or 20 sheets of photo media (up to 255gsm), and a smaller tray for 6×4 photo media. The media has to go through a U bend before being printed, this may restrict the use of heavier weight media, unfortunately there is no rear feed facility. The printer also has a CD/DVD printing tray for printing labels directly onto inkjet printable discs, this is a motorised tray which pops out when the CD label printing option is activated via the Epson Print CD application. The CD tray is not conveniently located as the swivel control panel partially obscures the tray making it difficult to place a disc. The printer features built in duplex printing (handy for printing newsletters or large text documents, but of little use for photographs). For photo printing the printer has a built in memory card reader which supports all the popular card types plus PictBridge for use with PictBridge compatible cameras. Photographs stored on memory cards can be marked for printing via the LCD screen.
Other features include Epson Connect which gives you the facility to print wirelessly from Smartphones and tablets from within your home, or print by emailing documents directly to the printer’s unique email address. A remote printer driver offers the flexibility to print from your PC to an Epson Connect printer anywhere in the world, plus direct printing from iDevices through Epson’s iPrint app.
The printer uses Epson’s six Claria Photo inks, which are available in two capacities, standard (7.4ml) and large capacity cartridges (11ml). The Epson Photo printer is the only printer in this test that uses six inks; Cyan, Magenta, Black, Yellow, Light Magenta and Light Cyan.
The colour quality of our test print is excellent, but then we would expect that from a six colour printer. The cotton reels display good detail in both the white and black reels, the dark blue reel is accurate to the original. The portrait has a slight magenta tint but otherwise detail is good. The colour gradients are the smoothest in this test, mainly due to the 1.5pl droplet size and light inks. The B/W image is totally cast free, even under artificial lighting. The text and line illustrations have clean lines with no bleeding, even with the white letters on black.
The built in flatbed scanner has a resolution of 2400 x 4800 dpi which is perhaps an overkill for document and photo scanning, I would expect to find this resolution on a film scanner, it’s a pity there isn’t a film scanning facility on this unit. The scanner lid is hinged and flush to the top surface, which can make it difficult to scan thicker books, I would have expected some ability to raise the lid height. This unit uses the same scanning software that is found on Epson’s dedicated flatbed scanners, the modes include; Full Auto Mode, Home Mode, Office Mode and Professional Mode. These mode cater for every level of user and the Professional Mode gives you the greatest control on scan settings for your photos. The quality of our scanned test photo is first class, there is good tonal rendition throughout the scan and plenty of detail.
- Print quality
- Six inks for true photo quality
- LCD screen
- Ease of use
- Scanning options limited
- CD/DVD loading can be difficult