Epson Stylus DX4800
The Stylus DX4800 is a value-for-money multifunction device aimed at home and small business users. At under £100 it won’t dent the budget and yet offers a combination of photo printer, scanner and colour copier.
At first glance it seems quite advanced for an entry-level device, and comes equipped with memory card slots and a PictBridge port. Yet for a device with these features it only has four colour inks, unlike the six, or even eight, colours found on most photo printers.
The DX4800 is well built for a low-cost device. It has a very simple control panel that allows you to operate the standalone copy functions, as well as control printing from memory cards.
The unit we were supplied with didn’t come with any Mac drivers, although the printer is designed to work with both Macs and PCs. This is a minor grumble, however, as the drivers can be downloaded easily from Epson’s website, at a total size of about 10MB for both the printer and scanner driver.
The low cost of this device is betrayed by an incredibly slow print speed. A single page of text takes 49 seconds to print and it achieved a page per minute (ppm) rate of just 1.7. Print quality is acceptable for the odd letter or the kids’ homework, but it’s not good enough for business use as the ink has a tendency to spider slightly on plain paper.
Print speed can be pushed up to 2.8ppm by using the advanced print settings mode to change the output quality to Normal, but this is to the detriment of output quality and such fiddling shouldn’t be necessary for basic printing anyway.
Photo printing is no faster with a 6 x 4-inch image, taking 3 minutes 37 seconds to output. The print quality is very poor, colours are washed out and the ink droplets are clearly visible on the page.
Scan performance is less disappointing than printing. A full A4 page scanned at 300dpi takes 39 seconds, while a 6 x 4-inch photo takes 17 seconds. Scan quality is more than adequate for home use with good colour accuracy, although the image was a little noisy.
The DX4800 is a disappointing all-in-one. Its specification suggests a lot of potential, but it doesn’t live up to this. It’s just too slow and produces poor quality images.