Versatile home printer-scanner that’s not too bulky
Multifunction (or all-in-one) printer-scanners can be useful at home and in the office, but they can be bulky.
Epson's Stylus SX445W is marketed as a ‘small in one' device that tackles the size problem. It measures 39x15cm across the front and is 30cm (one foot) deep, so it's easy to fit onto a desk or even a shelf.
Print quality was very good, although the inkjet printer wasn't particularly fast. Epson claims speeds of 33 pages per minute (ppm) for black text and 15ppm for colour, but those figures are based on its low-quality Fast mode.
Using the printer's standard quality settings we got more moderate speeds of 5ppm for black text and 3ppm for colour text and graphics. Printing an A4 photo on plain paper only took 50 seconds, which was quite reasonable, although there was slight banding (visible stripes) on large areas of solid colour. Using higher-quality photo paper eliminated that problem and the printer's high resolution meant it produced finely detailed prints with bright but well-balanced colours.
Of course, the cost of replacement ink often stings but the SX445W isn't too bad there. Epson doesn't quote cost per-page figures for its printers, but its high-yield black ink cartridges cost about £10 online and are good for approximately 415 pages, which works out to about 2.5p per page. The high-yield cartridges for the cyan, magenta and yellow inks cost some £9 each and will print about 495 pages, which gives a cost for colour printing of about 5.5p per page.
The scanner unit worked well too, and took just 30 seconds to scan the cover of the latest issue of Computeractive in high quality. Other features include wireless networking so that the device may be shared among computers on a home or office network, a memory card reader and support for Apple's Airprint technology for wireless printing from iPhone or iPad.
It is not the fastest printer around but the SX445W provides an impressive combination of print quality, features, and affordable running costs, and will be a good choice for people who need a versatile printer for light use at home.
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A compact, affordable and versatile home printer, but mainly suitable for light use
Competitive price and running costs; good quality; compact design
Only moderate print speeds; good photo prints require high-quality paper
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