Epson Stylus CX1500
- Impressive print and scan quality
- Noisy, slow, must print through the PC, no 4' x 6' paper support
One of the slowest printers we've reviewed, it took over half an hour to print a photo-quality shot. Great image quality doesn't make up for its design flaws.
Price$ 138.00 (AUD)
The inexpensive CX1500 is noisy and slow at photo printing. It doesn't support PictBridge nor does it have a memory card reader, so all photo prints must be made through the PC. Nevertheless, its print and scan quality was impressive.
We had to wait a long while (31minutes 55 seconds) for the CX1500 to print our photo quality A4 image on glossy paper, but the wait was definitely worth it. The photo was reproduced with excellent colour balance and was very sharp. There was only a slight hint of colour banding in some grey areas, but for the most part the image was perfect.
Text output also proved to be very good in normal mode, and fine mode produces even better quality. The quality can also be toned down to draft mode, which prints a full page of text in only 13 seconds, but with low resolution, grey characters. In our tests, it took 39 seconds to print a full text page in normal mode and 1 minute 11 seconds to print in fine mode.
Unfortunately, the printer does not support 4" x 6" photo paper, so photos of this size would need to be printed on an A4 sheet and then cut down to size.
The driver program that shipped in the box is also limited, as it does not allow for printing long documents in reverse order.
Like its printing capabilities, the CX1500's scanning was also excellent and captured the colour and detail of our test image correctly. The TWAIN driver has a well-laid-out interface and it can actually identify different images on the same page and automatically scan them into separate files--which can save a lot of selecting and cropping. The scanner was very slow during our tests, however. This model does not ship with any OCR software.
Copying a photo using the highest quality copy mode produced an image in only 2 minutes 21 seconds, which is a far cry from the half hour it took this unit to print a photo quality image from the PC. While the speed was good, the quality was not, and the copied image suffered from poor resolution and colour matching. A photocopy of a text document in the default mode was accomplished in 1 minute 23 seconds, and was light in tone and low in resolution.
We didn't experience any difficulties when using this machine, but waiting over half an hour for an A4 photo printout certainly did test our patience.
This unit would suit a buyer who is on a tight budget and wants an everyday printer for documents and the odd photo printout. Its scanner provides excellent PC scanning capabilities, but prospective buyers shouldn't expect much in the way of quality from its photocopy function.
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