Stylus Photo RX685 Review

Epson’s Stylus Photo RX685 is a six-colour multifunction inkjet printer. It’s fast, easy to use, and includes some nice touches that are often found only in more expensive models.

The six ink cartridges fit easily into place, and the USB cable (not included) snakes around snugly inside the printer. A duplexing unit can be slid into the back.The printer has two paper trays. When printing from your Mac or using the RX685’s standalone copying features, you can quickly select the required tray. An input tray is also included for printing on inkjet-compatible CDs and DVDs; it produces great images.

Using the memory card reader, cards mount on your Mac’s desktop, or you can print copies of photos directly from the card or a camera. You can also scan photos and documents – in JPEG or TIFF format – directly to a memory card or USB drive connected to the printer.

The RX685 excels as a photo printer, producing superb, vibrant prints on both glossy and matte papers. The print quality for standard text and graphic documents is also good: text is crisp and readable at small type sizes, and graphics reproduce well, with excellent colour fidelity. It’s not laser-quality, but it will do for most home or small office jobs.

Overall print speed is fairly zippy. A 10-page Word document took a little over two minutes to print at the default quality setting (which produces very readable text). A 4 x 6in photo took less than 30 seconds to print at standard quality and slightly under a minute at the highest quality setting.

At 1,200dpi, the RX685’s optical scanning resolution is a bit lower than those of comparable devices from Canon and HP, but we didn’t notice any appreciable difference in quality when comparing scans or copies. Epson’s scanning software is basic and easy to use, but also includes a professional mode that lets you adjust colours, levels, and other image parameters.

Colour reproduction in most scans was very good, and the RX685 did a good job of preserving detail when scanning or copying photographs.

As a copier, the RX685 offers plenty of controls for copying documents and photos. You can make quick colour or black-and-white copies, or perform more complex editing and copying tasks using the 2.5in screen.

OUR VERDICT

With great print quality for both photos and text, and features like a duplexer, dual paper trays, a memory card reader, and standalone photo restoration, the Stylus Photo RX685 is a very good multifunction printer. While its bundled software could be better, there’s little reason not to recommend it, especially if you’re a photo-centric user who wants the flexibility to print other document types quickly and easily.

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