Epson Stylus CX5500
A budget multi-function with some flaws
- Poor build quality, unimpressive printing quality
- Cost efficient, decent scan quality
Epson’s Stylus CX5500 carries a number of flaws which will deter some buyers. However, given its low price point and cost efficiency, this multi-function will suit those in need of a budget unit with cheap running costs.
Price$ 89.00 (AUD)
The Stylus CX5500 is Epson's entry-level multi-function printer, offering basic functionality in an inexpensive package. Although its relatively low price point will inevitably entice buyers, potential users should be aware of its poor build quality and unimpressive performance.
Although the build quality of most Epson printers and multi-function units is questionable, this is particularly the case for the CX5500. The unit is constructed almost entirely of plastic and is bulky compared to competing units. Its sole paper feeder is found at the rear, making it difficult to adjust; the flimsy back support for media does little to change our opinion regarding build quality. Most moving parts feel as if they are on the verge of breaking, and everyday use of the machine around the home could easily lead to broken hinges. Although this can be attributed to the CX5500's price tag, there is a better-built alternative available: the Canon PIXMA MP210.
During testing, we found the CX5500's printing speeds to be largely unimpressive. Although draft quality text documents printed at 14 pages per minute, normal quality slowed output down to 2.8ppm. Text documents with graphical elements had significantly slower printing speeds, with the multi-function managing 6.7ppm at draft quality and 1.12ppm at normal quality. Speeds for 4x6in photos weren't fast either, with normal quality photos printing in 4min 27sec. Although we don't expect the CX5500 to meet the standards set by more expensive models, the stark difference in speed and quality between draft and normal settings is a big problem for this multi-function.
Print quality was adequate for a family-oriented printer. Although printed text documents were at points a little ragged, the text remained clear at all levels of quality. Draft quality documents are much lighter than documents printed at higher quality settings. Documents with graphical elements generally had clear text across all quality settings. However, colour reproduction was quite inaccurate, with best quality tests revealing washed-out colours that lacked intensity.
The same was true of photo printing tests. A red overtone is immediately noticeable in 4x6in and A4 photos. This lends well to flesh tones, but impacts harshly on blues and blacks. As a result, blacks and greys are poorly defined, and outdoor shots involving skies will inevitably carry a reddish hue. There is also some evidence of banding. This is particularly noticeable in A4 photos, but shouldn't be an issue for those who only want 4x6in photos.
Although the CX5500's 1200dpi scanning resolution is low in comparison to the 4800dpi typical of more expensive models, the lower resolution should be sufficient for everyday use. Scanning quality was adequate. As with many Epson multi-functions, the CX5500 exhibited a darker image in comparison to Canon products, which allows for a more realistic image. It can also result in a slight loss of detail in darker images, although the compromise is generally acceptable.
The CX5500's cost per page of 17c is excellent. In combination with its low initial price, this will easily convince some buyers. However, if you're looking for a long-term, budget multi-function there are better quality options than the CX5500.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 2 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Epson launches new Expression Premium Photo Range
- Epson Australia Unveils New Expression Home Range of Printers
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Is My Smart Speaker Always Listening?
- Sony a7R Mk III review: Full, in-depth review
- Monster Hunter World review
- 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
- FTTechnical Support / Service Desk - Mount DruittOther
- FTGraduate Project CoordinatorACT
- FTBusiness Analyst - CMS / DMSOther
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- TPJunior Business AnalystWA
- FTSenior Checkpoint Security EngineerOther
- FTNetwork Support Engineer - Level 2/3NSW
- CCChange Manager l Port Macquarie NSWQLD
- FTSenior Data AnalystQLD
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- FTSecurity Consultant / Snr Security Consultant - Permanent - Nth SydNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer l MPLS, switching, BGP, OSPF, MPBGPNSW
- FTBig Data EngineerOther
- FTProject Manager - Business EfficienciesOther
- FTArchitect - Governance and Practice DevelopmentOther
- FTSAP HR / ABAP ConsultantWA
- FTSQL Database AdministratorWA
- CCIncident ManagerNSW
- FTScrum MasterOther
- CCReporting AnalystNSW
- FTMarketing ExecutiveOther
- CCSAP Fiori + UI5 ArchitectSA
- CCSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTSales Support and Administration OfficerOther
- FTSAP HCM Lead - ECS.111, SAP HR PA/OMOther