Epson Stylus Office TX300F
Slow printing but decent value for the home office.
- Inexpensive, automatic document feeder
- Poor build quality, no front paper output cassette, very slow printing speeds
The Stylus Office TX300F is slow and poorly built, but for its price it’s certainly appealing. The unit provides a slight compromise between dirt cheap and acceptable quality, and the automatic document feeder is a welcome feature.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
Targeted at the home office, Epson’s Stylus Office TX300F is a very affordable multifunction inkjet printer. At this price, don’t expect high quality or great performance, but it should meet the minimum requirements of the business-minded.
The TX300F provides fairly standard printing, copying and scanning capabilities, along with fax functions. The attached automatic document feeder makes it stand out for its price point, though this comes at the cost of the colour LCD and memory card reader found on the similarly priced TX400.
Although Epson’s naming conventions have changed, the hallmarks of the typical Epson printer clearly haven’t. The Stylus Office TX300F still bears the familiar control panel, the same ink cartridges, and, unfortunately, the same poor build quality. Take some care and the TX300F shouldn’t provide too many problems, but given that the multifunction is clearly destined for the home we would have preferred some measure of childproofing.
Though not as slow as the budget Stylus CX5500, its printing speed is still poor. While printing a standard text document at draft quality the TX300F managed 13.3 pages per minute, with the first page out in 9.2sec. When quality was bumped to normal, this speed dropped dramatically to 3.5ppm, though quality was much improved. Text documents with graphical elements printed at 7.4ppm in draft quality, with normal quality documents taking an average of 42sec to print. Photo printing is worse still, with normal quality 4x6in photos taking 4min 44secs to print, and A4 photos causing us to wait 11min 48sec. Though we don’t expect the photo printing capabilities of the TX300F to be particularly impressive, its document printing speeds are worryingly slow.
Unfortunately, slow performance doesn’t equal good quality results. As with most other Epson inkjet printers, draft quality delivers extremely faint and generally unreadable results. Under normal and best quality settings the output is largely comparable to the TX300F’s predecessor, the Stylus CX7300, with no visible aberrations in text documents. Text is surprisingly accurate for a printer at this price point, and colours are also of an acceptable quality for use in documents. This quality doesn’t translate to good photo printing though; photos suffer from poor colour accuracy and severe banding.
Scan quality is adequate, with results largely staying true to the source image. Results were slightly under-saturated in some of our tests, though there was no sacrifice in detail. Disappointingly, scanning must be initiated from a computer rather than from the TX300F itself, a feature we were expecting on a business-focussed multifunction.
The TX300F’s low initial outlay is accompanied by a relatively low consumable cost of 19c per page. Though the TX300F is slow and fairly mediocre in some respects, its price is a definite advantage for those who need a cheap home office multifunction.
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