Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD review

It won’t win any prizes for elegant design, but there’s no doubt that Epson’s Stylus Photo PX720WD is an impressive and versatile multifunction printer – especially following the recent price cut that brought it down to just £129.99.

The PX720WD is one of the biggest and bulkiest printers in this group, and lacks features such as the touch-screen controls found in most of its current rivals. But while there’s nothing fancy about the PX720WD we can’t fault its performance. You can connect the printer to your Mac via USB, or to a network using either WiFi or Ethernet, and it also includes a built-in scanner with 2,400 x 4,800dpi resolution for scanning and copying, and an option for printing onto CDs or DVDs.

The printer’s control panel may be a bit low-tech, but it’s full of useful options. As well as selecting the basic printing, scanning and copying options, the PX720WD includes some nice touches, such as the ability to print lined paper and graph paper for school projects. Those features might not sound as interesting as the apps and web printing options provided by some of its rivals, but they’ll come in handy for people with kids at school.

Printing performance is also impressive. The 40 pages per minute quoted by Epson is way off the mark, but its 7ppm for text output still put it ahead of most of its rivals, and it also managed a respectable 3ppm when printing out A4 photo files.

Epson’s six-colour printing produces excellent photo quality, though this does push up the cost of colour printing

Photo printing is where the PX720WD really excels. The use of six coloured inks – with light cyan and light magenta in addition to the standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black – produces excellent results, and really pulled out the different shades of colour in our test images. It’s unmatched by the printers that just use four colours for photo-printing, and rivalled only by the five-colour printing of the more expensive Canon Pixma.

OUR VERDICT

The only disadvantage is that using six inks increases the printing cost. Epson wouldn’t provide us with official costs, but we estimate that photo prints will come in at around 11p per page, although ordinary black-and-white printing should be a more affordable 3p per page.

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