* Prices may differ from that shown
When we purchased our last desktop computer an Evesham model in the late 1990s, my father had been using a rather old Canon printer, which he passed to me when it was clear that we required more than just a printer. At the time of purchase in 2005 what coincided at that moment was that my father's Evesham computer eventually developed too many faults to be constantly repaired and by then, the computer didn't have USB 2.0 points but rather the lower 1.0 rating, making the usage of this far more modern printer difficult to access all of its features. Here is where PC World's exclusively built Advent laptop came into its own, featuring no less than six 2.0 USB points and a built in CD/DVD burner driver just like all of the laptops of the period, which was handy as the Epson RX620 came with quite a few CD-ROM hardware disks to get the best out of the system.
Briefly in my experience and knowledge, the Epson Stylus RX620 is the darling of many a small office. I have seen this printer being used in so many schools, offices and homes, that it seems to be a very effective all in one scanner, printer and photocopier, even though it isn't essentially a commercial unit, it is fairly modern looking, quite robust and very easy to use. Although my late mother absolutely refused to learn how to use a computer, she soon developed a love for this printer as it seemed easy enough for her to use when it came to photocopying her knitting patterns! She also used it fairly heavily for business as well as the fact that it could be completely used without powering up a PC.
When purchased, our new RX620 cost approximately £195 purchased from Viking Direct which was a bit cheaper than the asking prices on the high street. It soon became apparent that I would be using this printer more than my parents, rather a lot not just at the school I was working in at the time, but also during term time when I was home. Roll on a few years later when I permanently moved home and the Epson RX620 becomes the sole machine to use over and above two simpler, more modern and more compact Canon products that feature a scanner - but very little else - and the reason to why I prefer the Epson will become very clear!
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Brand and Model: EPSON STYLUS PHOTO RX620 Series.
* All in 1 product: Printer, Scanner, Photocopier & Memory Card Reader.
* Optional point for uploading camera photos & floppy disk drive.
* 10kg weight, size 45cm x 43 cm x 25 cm height.
* Resolution: Up to 5760 x 1440 dpi mono and colour.
* Ability to print on acetate, envelopes, plain paper, cards, labels, photo paper and other textures, 120 paper capacity tray.
* USB DirectLink & PictBridge compatibility.
* Hi-Speed 2.0 USB connection with PC connection & pig tail electrical cord.
* Suitable for Windows 98, ME, XP, Vista, 7 & 8, Mac OS X 10.6.8*
* 2.4" colour display with manual control panel or PC connectivity.
* Print speed Up to 17 pages-per-minute mono & up to 16 p.p.m colour.
* Copy speed Up to 10 p.p.m mono & up to 8 p.p.m colour.
* Digital copy type printer with ink-jet heads and 6 separate colour/black tanks.
* Original price in 2005 £195 from Viking Direct with 2-year additional guarantee.
* Prices in 2013: £60 to £120 second hand or £140 refurbished.
General Impressions & Design
When connected to more current PC computers and older Mac computers, the Epson RX620 is a complete transition of smoothness and excellent ability. You get three CD-ROMs with this printer in general, one that acts as the scanner software, one that acts as a general printer "hub" software and another that acts for the optional features located further on the printer itself such as the rather excellently devised camera photo uploader and the built in SD and Zip driver that allows standard size SD cards to save external-PC projects onto the hard disk. Of course, this is where you may need to buy yourself an SD card, but on the basis that most compact digital cameras come with a small memory capacity one anyway that most buyers end up putting away, this is where this kind of memory file can be used! The Epson Stylus RX620 printer presents much more than just a memory saver in its own right. though.
To my eye, this printer isn't that old fashioned in looks. It has a curvy, elevated style that only appears to be a bit higher in height than current "small office" printers and takes up as much room as a medium 16" television, rather the older type with the tubes and blocks built in than thin LCD types for extra room! Thus, you do require placement of a largish nature to house this printer in. It also requires a bit more thought, as the scanner lid is quite large when lifted, with a two part angled tray that reveals the printer cartridges underneath the scanner tray on top.
The finish is a mix of dark metallic grey and light silver with grey buttons to indicate the "black and white," or "greyscale" option as opposed to a burgundy orange button to indicate colour choice when usage is called upon. In the centre of the angled fascia "sweeping downwards," a small 2.4" colour LCD screen has been included that gives up the option of displaying functions as well as nozzle check and cleaning menus and a rather handy ink cartridge tank check menu where each tank is shown on its level and percentage. Smaller buttons are also included in a mix of grey and beige but they are all well marked and all soft touch rubberised on the angled fascia and doesn't need constant reference to the rather large thick user manual to work out what they mean. A child could easily use this printer due to the generic "popular" markings if they are used to a photocopier in any newsagents, for example.
A black and grey contrast lid to the scanner is also included with a half semi-circle making the top of the printer look at least, fashionable and stylish. Inside the lid, there is a removable scanner lid that can be reversed to accommodate "camera negative" film strips, rather like the kind of templates that you would find in pharmacies that allow printing of photos from a camera. The scanner itself is a flat bed design and offers many measurements that are easy to spot due to the clear markings.
General Performance & Downsides
Let me dispel a few myths about this printer firstly to give you a quick-skip idea of what this fantastic printer offers, as there are a few con-current downsides over and above the fact that this 3 in 1 printer rarely pops up on auction sites because lots of owners are still very happy with this printer all in one.
One of the reasons to why I have chosen to review this printer product now is that the Epson RX620 has only just started to show a few conflicts with my Macbook. Before I upgraded my five-year-old Macbook (2008 purchase) that originally ran on the Tiger operating system, I had no problems connecting my parents' Epson EX620 all in one printer. However, upon upgrading to the Snow Leopard operating system after Tiger started to go down early, my Macbook with its 10.6.7 system couldn't take to the previous RX620 software and has now become a worldwide issue with current Macbook owners using Snow Leopard! Epson can offer very little support now, as the printer is so old, having been brought to the UK market in 2005 and disappeared off the shelves three years later.
The next issue more worryingly was a conflict that has slowly developed over a period of time with the use of the Epson RX620 in that the scanner function software just won't mount properly on the Macbook unless I consider opening up the application driver for the scanner alone each time I want to scan a document into my Macbook. Thereafter the scanner, when activated would be able to scan documents and display on my Macbook but when opened up a second time to capture a continuous book or many paper scans in one job, the Macbook and Epson would not link up again. I couldn't be done with that frankly as the time it took to scan a single A4 page of info in just takes far to long for the printer to send the message to my computer of choice. So, the RX620 is currently sitting on its own next to my own more modern 3 in 1 scanner and printer made by another company that CAN be used with a Macbook and the Snow Leopard operating system. The Epson RX620 isn't ready for retiring yet, though as it has many features that can be accessed as well as connected to my PC laptop.
The second myth of usage with the RX620 is that it does possess 6 separate colours adding up to 5 colours and the 1 black tank on board. Now, if you run out of colour ink and only have black ink, you would assume that you could use this printer in lieu of by setting the printer to print out in greyscale only. Not quite! It can't be done unless you leave the older emptied tanks inside the printer as each ink tank carries a microchip, which basically tells the RX620 that the ink has finished off. Removing those empty tanks will also alert the RX620 that no tanks have been added, even if a full black ink tank has still been left in and the printer will refuse to print.
Those myths aside, the reason to why I keep the Epson RX620 isn't just because I have another PC laptop that can access all of its features. The fact that my late mother could use this machine without the use of powering up a PC stands to the testament of ease of use and versatility. If you need a quick photocopy of a page or a book, the Epson RX620 can do it. It may not take the job as quickly as a commercial photocopier, but it will do the job outwith the use of a computer, able to print off 17 pages per minute in black/greyscale and 16 pages per minute in colour.
Similarly if you want to scan a document, the RX620 gives you three options; scan to email, scan to PC or scan to memory disk - another cue to its on-board hard drive unit located dead centre just above the main entrance with it own flip up grey frosted protective acrylic window and printed documents emerge, below it. In reality, yes not many owners these days have a box of hard Zip disks, let alone a floppy hard disk lying around that they can save and view those scanned documents for later usage - but the RX620 has another convenient trick up its sleeve in being able to offer a standard size SD memory card reader on board and where the cards can be accessed directly through the main screen, again without the need for a computer. The RX620 also has USB DirectLink & PictBridge compatibility, pretty much offering just a few more features than a generic 3 in 1 printer.
Similarly, when it does come to usage with older Mac computers and current PC systems, the Epson RX 620 is beautifully versatile and very easy to control! Helped along of course by the CD-Rom software that has now become available to download in "soft" file form from Epson's global website, this printer bristles with ease of use from the moment any one of its features are accessed on your PC. A couple of pop up windows appear including the generic pop up of the main printer "hub" window that acts as a "connect-all" feature window. However, sometimes the additional software will not be able to be linked up with the main "printer hub window," if you haven't installed the separate CD-Rom product and carried out upgrades.
This all comes down to the fact that the RX620 is rather aged in this instance. When all softwares have been uploaded and installed, a quick update to Epson.com adds patches and upgrades, virus free. Compatible with PC computers from Windows 98 to current Windows 7 and 8, the Epson RX620 is ready and fit for purpose, and as a co-owner, it has made me realise that above and beyond so many other brands such as HP, Canon, Brother or Samsung, Epson offers the best compromise in printing, scanning and photocopying with only a few differences in quality that you don't always have to pay through the nose for.
When it comes to actual print quality for example, I've often been at two minds where the Epson RX620 is concerned as I find it can print out reasonably well in colour but a lot of ink seems to be wasted on higher 70GSM or above graded paper, feeling a bit too soggy and not dried quickly enough when the desired page and the content you want gets printed off. The noise of the printer is reasonably quiet but due to the large size of that print roll and print tank guns, the printer can jut about easily despite its 9.2kg weight with the force of the printing job you've given the printer to do. Add in the total amount of A4 paper and the printer weight gets heavier to nearly 10kg!
The noise of the scanner is louder than the printing process though but in general use, although colour printing is okay, black or greyscale printing seems to appear to do a better job when scanning to printing is actioned as opposed to printing from a computer through an office program. All the while every couple of weeks, throughout its life, both my parents and I ensure that the cleaning head and alignment print heads were properly maintained by accessing the built in menu through the colourful LCD screen on board the printer.
But, when it comes to printing and scanning photographs, the Epson RX620 is a totally different ball game! No wonder it has the name "photo" in its product title name! This printer seems to be quite eager to give a very clear clarity where printing off photographs or scanning photographs are concerned, better infact than its actual document printing, but I find that it can take much longer to action the printing than basic printing documents.
Years ago when asked to do a presentation for a parents evening, I had previously taken a photo on my Canon Powershot camera to capture an art project that had been down as a whole school event, which each department dependent on subject would contribute. In the arts department we contributed a lot of colourful displays as well as created music projects and evidence of which was captured on camera. When it came to printing out the projects as way of evidence that parents or visitors coming to the school could take away for them to keep (and thus be cheaper than printing out on actual photo paper from a pharmacy, such as Boots) I was particularly impressed when some of the parents kept prodding some of the photos, thinking that some were actual paintings rather than printed out photos. Who needs a testament more than this to prove Epson's professional quality of printing out photos??
Consumables & Maintenance
As such, all the while consumables such as print ink tanks and Epson photo paper used to be quite expensive, but not now in 2013. As this machine does have a rather helpful self help guide built in as well as its cleaning system, the cost of ink tanks and other consumables are one of the major factors to why the Epson RX620 is so popular in schools and homes - now in 2013, some seven years after the RX620 appeared on the market - official separate ink tanks from Epson cost £2-99 a piece. On the basis that one "complete" set can produce up to 430 printing jobs per tank the Epson RX620 doesn't require replacement of a complete tank all of the time. If you think I've always bought the official colour or black tanks all the time, think again! Epson do produce an all in one replacement set of all tanks (known as Epson T0487 Multi Pack) and at cost, now in 2013, you can pick up these tanks for a charge of £50 to £61 online, though do yourself a massive favour and avoid Tesco as they are charging £72-00 for the same product...
Now I know what you might be thinking, as and if compatible inks, as a complete set can be used in lieu of going down the genuine route. Although found online, especially at Amazon UK for £6-79, it pays to go with compatible tanks sometimes instead of the genuine article dependent on the amount of printing you're likely to go through and sadly for Epson and in the seven years of experience of its RX620, I haven't found much of a difference of longevity between genuine and compatible tanks.
However, the Epson RX620 appears to have a rather sensitive electronic board that doesn't always recognise a full tank from compatibles. I often buy either single compatibles or Epson's single colour tanks whenever I need them (the genuine Epson single black tanks can cost from £1-40 to £2 as opposed to the extra £1 tagged on separate colour tanks) and at times the compatible ink tanks just need a little shake to get the print microchip working and to recognise the tank. Other times I insert a little cotton bud into the tank carrier and moisten up any left over ink that sits in the cradle within the printer.
So when it comes to general maintenance as well as a general tour around this whole machine, it really couldn't be simpler with the Epson RX620. All parts that require to be opened are well accessed and thought out on this machine from soft touch ribbed sides to buttons and recesses - even a flush fitting hatch that acts as the paper tray at the front closes over with ease of use.
By accessing the 2.4" LCD colour screen and print tank change over, all I do is select the menu, press ok and the print cartridge holder automatically moves from its locked position to the middle where I can unlock the cage and get access to the tanks. Each tank has a snap down mechanism that is easy to change without mess and the whole event takes seconds to do with the main lid to this area simply unlocking the moment you grab both sides of the lid (thus also incorporating the top scanner tray) and pull upwards.
The menu also gives options to change/check print head alignment, run a test of it, run a test of the nozzle check head, run a test for the ink tanks, check for any other maintenance upon the printer and language options as well as other minimal requirement tasks. Generally you can't get lost using this machine.
Other Sorts & Final Thoughts
Although the Epson RX620 has since been replaced by the "Workforce WF-3540, Wireless All in One Inkjet Printer," second hand prices of the RX620 retain their value quite well between £60 and £120 and it isn't difficult to see why. Largely if you are not so gadget orientated and prefer an older, more durable all in one inkjet printer that also provides low cost on print tank usage with an easy to use control panel and without taking up too much space, the Epson Stylus Photo RX620 is fit for purpose.
Compromises have to be made on the fact that it doesn't come with a wireless patch as standard, even though you can buy a Bluetooth system for this older printer, thus breezing into the next time period where linking up to wireless devices are concerned. Also the promise of 38 pages per minute you'd get with the latest Epson model is almost 3 times less to what the old RX420 can achieve, thus positioning this older printer into a home that doesn't lead a rushed life. A slower pace of life is really what the Epson RX620 craves as opposed to a fast-led life and in schools, it is often a back up printer in offices that can provide photocopying quickly enough to satisfy most users or customers.
Generally quiet in use unless you take advantage of the scanner all the time, there are only a few downsides to this machine other than the fact that it is no longer on sale, brand new on the high street. Though undoubtedly replaced by more modern alternatives, the winning card of the Epson RX620 is that it has so many features and controls on board that it doesn't always require the usage of a computer to get the best out of it. The added floppy disk drive ensures a degree of memory and saving of documents outwith the usage of a computer whilst the SD card memory reader is a superb bonus. The prices of separate tanks ensure a top value economical all in one printer for general usage whilst the printing, though slower by todays standards is still effective and still worthy.
No wonder I am hanging onto it - when you consider that whilst some of its features may be old fashioned -- it is a far better compromise when twinned with cheaper tank costs and longer running - than a lot of more modern all in one printers that may promise economical savings until the ink cartridges have to be found for it. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2013.
Support & FAQ's:
We bought this printer due to its capability of producing high quality prints of photos and graphics up to A4. It is also capable of making colour copies and scanning photos.
The print quality is very good, and you can print out photos that are very crisp and almost lab quality. However, it is a very slow printer and is not exactly quiet either. The same can be said about the scanning and copying, especially on high quality settings. However, if you don't mind a bit of noise when you're printing, and speed is not a major concern e.g you're on a tight schedule and need to print several hundred copies of something, this printer will do the job of producing high quality prints.
Also note that the printer takes 6 individual ink cartridges, and so ink is therefore much cheaper than if you have to change the whole colour cartridge just because one colour has run out. You can get good quality, very cheap ink from inkredible (www.inkredible.co.uk). Don't be put off by epson, who tell you to only use their ink, and then charge you huge prices to buy it. There is no noticeable difference in print quality.
well i purchased this printer approxamitely 2 years ago, i was looking for a good all round printer with everything included. i believed at the time that this printer was the perfect choice and i still believe that i made the right decision 2 years on.
so the epson all in one package includes:
1. a flatbed scanner - perfect for scanning documents, pictures etc straight onto your pc.
2. a photocopier - ideal for making colour/black and white copies of documents and pictures
3. a very high quality printer which prints in both black and white and colour, including photos, documents etc
4. a memory card reader - reads a wide variety including xd and sd (i find this extremely useful for popping my pictures of my digital camera straight onto my pc in an instant)
5. colour screen - u can use all the printers functions because of this screen without even switching your pc on, very, very useful.
one quite big downfall with this printer is the fact that it runs off 6 separate cartridges, which yes you guessed it are very expensive to buy the sets, but my personal opinion is that through now saving money from developing my own photographs without losing quality its worth it.
personally i would definetly recommend this printer to anyone looking for an all in one, one of the best purchases i have made and has never let me down.