Epson Stylus Photo R290
Inexpensive, efficient printing
- Cheap running costs, CD/DVD printing
- Poor build quality, some quality problems
The R290 is an inexpensive and efficient low-end addition to Epson’s Stylus Photo range. Although quality isn’t always up to scratch, the printer will suit basic photo printing needs.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
Epson's Stylus Photo R290 is designed to fulfil basic photo printing needs for families and home users. In this respect, it manages to do a competent job. However, users should be wary of some print quality issues and problems with the printer's overall build quality.
A continually annoying aspect of Epson's products is their relatively poor build quality. This was particularly the case with the Epson Stylus CX5500 and it seems the R290 suffers similar problems to a degree. The printer feels very plastic and somewhat fragile, leading to some maintenance issues. Solving a paper jam issue we encountered during testing meant physically moving the printhead with some force, and then having to rip the paper out. Experiences like this lead us to feel that there could be issues with this printer's longevity.
The R290's direct CD/DVD print feature is a welcome inclusion, thought we weren't impressed with its implementation. Unlike the Epson Stylus Photo RX690, which has an automatically adjustable CD tray, the R290 requires the user to remove the paper tray and fit it in a different position in order to feed the CD into the printer. This was difficult the first time because of our fear of breaking the tray hinges, and remained an annoyance on subsequent uses. Nevertheless, the resulting image is of an acceptable quality.
Print speeds were fairly impressive. Printing full text documents at a draft quality setting, the R290 managed speeds of up to 23 pages per minute, slowing to 5.4ppm at normal quality. Text documents with graphical elements were printed at the same speeds, while 4x6in photos printed in less than 30sec at normal quality (this slowed to 1min 44sec at best quality). As opposed to some HP models, there is a highly noticeable difference in ink usage and quality amongst various quality settings. Generally we found the most useful settings to be normal quality for text documents and best quality for photos.
With this in mind, we found printing quality to be mostly adequate. Documents had readable text, though for the most part it was messy. The cheaper Epson Stylus CX5500 multifunction had better text results, something which may be due to the R290's use of six rather than four inks. Colour accuracy was adequate for the most part, though the R290 had some problems with dark-to-light gradients in our test photo, leading to discolouration and banding in some areas. This was mostly noticeable in A4 photos, so the printer should suffice for those who are simply seeking to print 4x6in media.
A running cost of 20c per printed page means that the R290 is efficient and inexpensive in the long term. While quality may be an issue for some, the R290 is a capable and inexpensive option for basic photo printing needs.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- When life gives you a 3D printer, make a house
- Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners
- Why won’t my printer connect to my wireless router?
- 3D printer owners rate the best 14 machines
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTSCCM AdministratorACT
- FTDatabase DeveloperSA
- TPProject SchedulerVIC
- CCService Desk AnalystNSW
- FTAgile TesterNSW
- CCSalesforce Functional AnalystNSW
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- TPEngineer Desktop DevelopmentVIC
- CCDevOps Developer - TelcoVIC
- TPSenior Node.JS DeveloperNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperNSW
- CCDevelopment Lead - Java - TelcoVIC
- FTOracle eBusiness Functional Consultant. (Procurement)NSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTKey Account ManagerVIC
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTSnr Salesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- FTTest AdvertSA
- CCExecutive SupportWA
- FTApplication Support LeadQLD
- FTMicrosoft Designer / ArchitectVIC
- FTLinux Systems AdministratorNZ
- FTETL Informatica DeveloperNSW