Epson Stylus SX445W review

The Stylus SX445W is one of Epson’s new ‘small-in-one’ range, which focuses on reducing the size of these multifunction devices. It includes a printer, scanner and copier, but measures a mere 145 x 390 x 300mm, making it a fraction of the size of rivals such as the Kodak Office Hero 6.1 and Lexmark Pro715.

The price tag is pretty small too, coming in at just £69.99. For that price, it provides good-quality printing, wireless networking, and AirPrint support for iOS devices, so it’s certainly a good choice for home users on a budget. That low price inevitably involves some compromises, though. The SX445W is made out of relatively lightweight plastic, and doesn’t feel as sturdy as some of the more expensive printers in this group test.

It’s not particularly fast either. Epson’s quoted speeds of 33ppm for black text and 15ppm for colour are hopelessly optimistic. We only got about 5ppm when printing text documents and 3ppm for colour text and graphics. Printing an A4 photo on plain paper wasn’t too bad, coming in at about 50 seconds, but a high-quality 4 x 6in postcard took a full 110 seconds.

To be fair, those print speeds are still quite respectable for such an inexpensive printer and the quality it produced was also pretty good. Text appeared smooth and sharp, and photo output was bright and colourful. There was some slight banding on large photos printed on plain paper, but those we printed on good-quality photo paper were very good – and made all the more impressive given that the SX445W uses four coloured inks rather than the six inks used by Epson’s top-of-the-range Stylus Photo printers.

Epson’s ‘small in one’ SX445W is extremely compact and light on the pocket, but still packs in plenty of features

OUR VERDICT

Using just four inks also means that the SX445W is cheaper to run than the other Stylus Photo models. If you buy Epson’s high-yield multipack that contains all four inks, then it should cost a little over 2p per page for black printing and just under 5.5p for colour. It may be a little slow, but the competitive price and running costs of the Stylus SX445W make it an excellent choice if you just need an affordable printer for occasional use at home.