Epson Stylus CX5500

A budget multi-function with some flaws

Epson Stylus CX5500
  • Epson Stylus CX5500
  • Epson Stylus CX5500
  • Epson Stylus CX5500
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Poor build quality, unimpressive printing quality

Cons

  • Cost efficient, decent scan quality

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

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.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

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.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

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.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?