Advantages Cheap machine, cheap ink, easy to use even if you're a moron
Disadvantages Paper jams, noise, slow printing
|Ease of use|
|Range of extra features / functions|
Anyroad, back to the intriguing story…I trotted off home and left the printer in my hallway for approximately 4 weeks because I couldn’t face setting it up – eventually I forced myself to do it:
I can’t imagine many people will be interested in this review but times are tight so I’m writing about my printer. Yawn.
I used to have (well I still do until I can be arsed to put it on ebay) a Lexmark all-in-one thing – it was fine for the job but was never wireless and the cartridges were £20 ish so when I went into my lovely local printer shop and they didn’t have any because they don’t agree with Lexmark, I did start to wonder whether it had been the cheap purchase I originally thought. Basically, after some salesman persuading, I purchased the Epson SX130 for £40 including ink. Bargain, or so I thought until I started writing this and found them on Amazon for £25 including postage. Dammit.
Open box and drag printer from those annoyingly tight polystyrene things that require you to place your foot on the box and heave.
Plug printer in.
Insert disc into laptop.
Search the box for the printer to laptop USB cable thing.
Swear profusely thinking the lovely salesman has ripped me off.
Read box and realise the cable is sold separately.
Swear profusely at the ineptitude of Epson.
Go upstairs and retrieve cable from old printer.
Exhale when the old cable fits new different brand printer.
Follow the installation CD (basically click yes to everything).
With the printer now installed and resting precariously on the arm of my sofa as this was the only spare plug I obviously had to test its capabilities. Then I noticed the ink cartridges lying on the floor where I’d thrown them during my paddy. You’ve probably realised that I don’t read things after the cable incident and nor did I learn my lesson where it came to installing the cartridges but I still managed it – yay, go me:Unwrap each one and remove the taggy thing.
I suppose this makes little sense until you understand that there are four cartridges – magenta, cyan, yellow and black so that makes it a little easier on the pocket when the colours run out individually – particularly good for me as my business logo is red and black thus I haven’t had to replace yellow or blue yet. Even better is the cost of these cartridges – you can either pay about £8 for the official version or £3.99 for a cheap compatible one (exactly the same ink just not branded). Or even better get the multipack of all the inks for £15.99 (much better than Lexmark’s £40).Obviously the price of the cartridges is irrelevant if the Lexmark’s last twice as long but they don’t – at first I wasn’t that impressed since it wasn’t long before I was going back to the shop for replacements, however the salesman informed me that the included inks are rarely full and it would appear he was right since the new ones have lasted a lot longer. I print a lot of labels with block sections of red and black on so I really go through the magenta but not as quickly as when I used Lexmark. So if you’re using it for general document/essay printing that’s mostly black characters I imagine it would be much more economical. You’re alerted to the fact that one particular cartridge is running low by a flashing light on the printer and by your computer asking you to check the ink levels so you know exactly which one is low.
The copier part is an absolute piece of cake to use – place document in the x-ray section and press the copier symbol. I have to confess I’ve never used the scanner but it says it only requires one button press and I believe it. I have one major gripe with this machine and it doesn’t matter how many pieces I put in the bloody thing – it always says paper fault and requires the feeding of one piece through before anything can carry on. Maybe that’s just my machine but it annoys the pants off me. It supposedly holds 100 sheets at a time but mostly I use expensive label sheets and at the risk of poor feeding resulting in wasted ink and labels, I’ve not tried cramming 20 of them in.It’s a pretty attractive piece of kit – when you’re not using it the paper feeder and paper tray fold back in on themselves leaving a neat shiny black box and measuring in at only 436 (W) x 304 (H) x 150 (D) it is a neat little machine. It is a fairly noisy bugger when it gets going and each time it faffs around the dogs are awoken from their slumber. It takes bloody ages to get going when you initially turn it on and I’ve no idea where Epson have got their figures for printing speed from but they lie – it usually takes about a minute to print one of my contracts which is essentially a massive empty table so shouldn’t take that long but Epson reckons that it will print colour pages at around 15 pages a minute. It does confess that colour photos will take around 93secs to print and for the one photo I’ve printed it was more like 3 mins.
Which brings me to quality…now the Lexmark wasn’t particularly impressive but photos passed inspection when printed on quality paper. The Epson would fail my mother’s high standards but luckily I’m not so picky – the colours are less vibrant than the other’s I’ve printed off but hey, what do you expect for £25. For average everyday printing this printer is great – a must for students on a budget or for home business use. It doesn’t have wireless but since the Lexmark never worked I don’t miss what I’ve never had. It’s compatible with most operating systems so grab yourself a bargain (well, a better bargain than I did) but don’t expect too much: it’s good for the money.
Should you need any help with setting up, troubleshooting etc try www.epson.co.uk - it probably won't help but you do get 1 years warranty so it's worth a try before you take it back to the shop.
Caroline, Pig & Puddle
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