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The Epson Stylus Photo RX685 has been my main colour printer for nearly four years, Mr H and I brought it from Currys for less than £100 with a free set of replacement cartridges, unfortunately this particular model seems to be unavailable currently although you may still be able to pick one up cheaply on eBay, and the cartridges for this printer are still widely available.
In the box we are provided with an installation disk, a power cable, a quick set up sheet, a manual and a cd/dvd printing draw. The printer was packaged securely and the box was very sturdy, it now houses our Christmas decorations in the attic.
Once out of the box we are presented with quite a hefty piece of kit, luckily for me this is a photo printer, disk printer, scanner and photo copier all in one, and it takes up a mighty big portion of the computer area stood on its own little table brought especially for it.
Set up was relatively simple; it was just a case of plugging the power lead in and the USB lead, if you have difficulty with this there is a handy quick set up sheet to follow. The supplied test cartridges then need fitting, which is also quite simple. You lift the top of the printer up to reveal the printing mechanism and the place where the cartridges live, it is then a case of following the instructions given in the manual and on the cartridges to install and activate the cartridges. I do remember at first I was quite apprehensive swapping cartridges but now it is a very simple process.
The printer automatically installs the necessary drivers or they can be installed from the supplied disk or downloaded from online, so plenty of options available. I have the printer running from my windows xp pc, and it is also networked to various computers and laptops running windows 7, allowing printing from virtually anywhere in the house as long as the main pc is turned on.
The printer has two paper feeds, one from a tray located underneath and the other at the back, the location the paper is sourced from can be set up using printing preferences on your computer. I have printed on the bog standard cheap paper and on the heavy weight gloss and matt papers all with great success. The standard printing size is A4 and downwards, and you can also set it to print envelopes and labels.
Black and white document printing is quite fast churning out a page every five seconds or so, colour document printing is slightly slower. When it comes to printing A4 pictures be prepared for it to take a while as it takes around a minute to print. Smaller pictures on 6x4 photo paper take around 20 seconds each, so as long as you are not in a mad rush to show off your pictures or unlike me you don't leave things to the last minute you'll be ok.
Scanning documents and pictures onto the pc is relatively pain free, you just pop the picture on to the bed of the scanner and double click the Epson scan software that was loaded onto the pc at installation and follow the instructions. Scanning can take a while depending on what you are scanning and the quality at which you want the document or picture to be scanned. This has been a great function for me as I have scanned a lot of old and yellowing photo's onto the computer and my husband has used photo software programmes to repair the pictures. I have also scanned copies of documents that I have needed to send off.
The photo copier function is very simple, just pop what you want a copy of into the bed of the scanner and press copy, the small screen on the printer then brings up options for you to choose from, like colour copy, amount of copies etc. I find the copier very easy to use although it has not been used very often as I usually scan things into the computer and then print out at a later date.
Another feature of this printer is disk printing; this is great for making your own picture cd's and personalising home made cd's of music or pictures. All you need are some printable disks and to follow the instructions in the manual. Disk printing software is installed during the initial installation and is very easy to follow and the results are usually very good. You do have to remember to allow time for the inks to dry on the disk otherwise they smudge and ruin all your hard work.
The printer has a tilt up colour screen set into the front panel, this displays the information as to what the printer is currently doing and when the cartridges need changing. The colour display also allows you to scroll through photos on memory cards, USB sticks and CF cards to select them for printing. The printer has ports for you to plug SD cards, CF cards and USB sticks directly into it.
It is very easy to maintain the printer using tools installed during the initial installation. I very rarely have to run any maintenance on the printer but when I do it is easy thanks to the user friendly software.
The main cost of running the printer is in the cartridges, to be honest the original Epson cartridges give the best printing results but I long ago switched to generic cartridges to cut down on ink costs and I also run a Brother laser printer along side this for document printing. The good thing about the Epson RX685 is that the colour cartridges are all separate; there are six cartridges so if cyan runs out before all the rest you only need to replace cyan.
The photo quality is very good; I would not say it is as good as having your photos printed professionally, but for the convenience and low cost it is more than acceptable. The cartridges last a good amount of time, when I first got the printer I changed all the cartridges every couple of weeks, now the novelty has worn off it is probably twice a year. Despite not using the printer very much now, when I come to print, it prints first time every time.
I have never had any trouble with paper jams, it does occasionally take two or three sheets of paper through at once, I am not sure why though.
All things considered I have found this to be a fantastic printer, copier and scanner; it has been used regularly for nearly four years with little to no problems. If you can get hold of one second hand that is still in good working order then I recommend it.
Thank you for reading.
Epson Stylus Photo RX685
It was only by chance that I happened to get my hands on one of these fantastic printers, a friend was having a big clear out and sold me the printer and around 30 cartridges for just £10 and if it wasn't for all the ink included I probably would of not bought it anyway as I have another 5 printers cluttering up the spare bedroom as it is..
At a first glance the printer is rather bulky and heavy for what you would expect from your average printer, but on the other hand it has a very nice, sleek black and silver finish. The device is a Printer, Copier & Scanner all in one, It has a clear colour LCD display on the front which can be used to control all major functions without the use of a PC or Laptop, when inserting a memory card you can browse through your images, print directly, enlarge and print, you can also check cartridge levels, clean heads, perform head alignments and replace cartridges all from the unit alone.
The printer is very easy to set-up simply connect a mains and usb lead between the printer and the computer or insert a memory card and away you go. Drivers are generally included or can be downloaded via the Epson website.
I have used the printer constantly for the last few days printing several large photos on to glossy paper and the results have been outstanding, having used several Lexmark and Canon printers over the years the results have never come close to the quality of print delivered by this Epson..
The speed of print is also very good taking around 30 seconds to print a full a4 photo in average quality or a small 6x10 in photo quality in around the same time. The specifications state that it can deliver 40 pages per minute in either black or colour in standard quality.
The scanner works just as you would expect, delivering high quality crisp images at 1200dpi.
You can download the image directly to your computer or print duplicates or enlargements.
The unit also features Bluetooth with an optional adapter.
There is a bit of a downside with the fact that the unit requires 6 ink cartridges and as soon as one runs out you can not print until you replace the individual cartridge, and then of course you have the cost element where it will cost you around £50 for a full replacement set of 6 original cartridges or you could purchase compatible inks which cost around £3-£5 each.
So for anyone in need of a printer or perhaps just an upgrade to achieve better results, choose Epson!
We have owned this printer for many years now and it really has had to earn its keep.
Although quite a large machine it sits well in our lounge and works quietly away when asked. 3 users send work wirelessly, which works a treat, although the main PC has to be on otherwise it won't print from the wireless users. We have used it for printing assignments and photographs for school work to copying documents and scanning photographs. Other printing options are available such as disc labels but we have not used that option.
It has a front loading USB port for printing pictures from memory sticks and x2 card reader slots which again are easily accessible.The Epson hummingbird range of cartridges are easy to buy and although a little expensive last well and help to produce quality work. The cartridges can be loaded and removed easily and paper can be loaded at the rear or in a front tray.
The front navigation panel is easy to use and control and guides you through head cleaning and other cleaning options.
My only issue with this printer is that once a colour runs out then the printer is deemed unusable until that particular cartridge is changed so if you are printing text only and the yellow runs out you cannot continue printing.
I've had this printer for about nearly 2 years now and i must admit, i haven't had many problems with this at all. It's very quick and easy to print and you're able to select the quality you want to print in (e.g if you have a document with just text and images, you can select the text and image tab or if you have photographs, select the photo quality tab, etc). As a college student, i've had to print a lot of images and text meaning a lot of ink usage. However i find that although the ink can be expensive (between £40-£50 for a full set of colour + black ink) you'll find it lasts for quite a while, sometimes lasting up to a year of printing. When printing a handy pop up screen will display on your computer showing you your ink levels, so it gives you an idea of when you need to start thinking about purchasing some new ink, which i find particularly useful. Other than printing it has some handy features including copying and scanning. The scanning is simple enough to use and produces great 300dpi scans. Another feature which i've been recently using is the SD card slot at the front of the printer, allowing me to quickly upload images straight from my camera onto the computer, or if i wish, i can view the images on the small screen at the front of the printer and directly print from the memory card. Overall i think this is a very handy and well established printer.
I have always been a HP fan, and my friend had just brought a new Epson printer, and I loved the way it printed out photos, so I went and researched a few different Epson printers until I narrowed it down.
My current HP printer is an all in one and I did want another all in one and the Epson Stylus Photo RX685 is an all in one, multi-functioner printer.
Reading reviews and doing thorough research I decided this was the right printer, and I got it at a fab price of £99.99 instead of £199.99.
When I received the printer I was a little shocked by the size of it as my friends printer is a lot smaller, but hers isn't an all in one. So the first thing I had to do is find some extra space, but I didn't let that affect the overall performance of the printer.
It was very easy to set up, I think it didn't take me more than 20 minutes to set the whole thing up.
As with most printers you don't get the usb lead for the printer to computer, luckily I have my other printer usb lead. What I liked about the printer is the lead fits nicely around the outer part of the printer so most of the lead is hidden.
There are 6 inks to install and the printer comes with all 6 inks, and they were the full size that you can buy (worth approx £45), the inks were also straight forward to install.
I then carried out a couple of test prints, normal documents, and more importantly and the reason why I brought the printer was to print out photographs and photo related items. I have to admit I was so chuffed when I got the first print off, the quality is fantastic, the speed at which it prints is also good, it took me under 30 seconds to print out a 6x4 phot, that's good going I would say.
There is actually two trays for printing, a rear tray and a tray at the front, for printing photographs I used the rear tray. There is also an input tray which can be used to print onto cd's and dvd's - something I have not tried yet, but I have seen the quality of other Epson printers and its fab.
There is a memory card slot and a usb port so the printer doesn't need to be hooked up to a computer to use it which is important to me at times.
Apparantly the optical scanning resolution is a bit less on the competing HP scanners, but I didn't notice a problem, and would say it is probably better, from experience. I have scanned in new and old photographs and the quality of scan is fantastic.
The software that comes with the Epson for scanning is also a fab and easy to use, allowing you to change things like the colour mode etc should you need to do so. I can also use the scanner through photoshop which is also important for me.
There is also a specialty print mode for things like old photographs.
Inks, these are quite expensive, approx £6 per one and there are 6 of the, but I look around for the multipack and get them usually at £32 when I look around for them, so it works out cheaper. Also Jet Tec inks are compatible inks and are a fab substitute.
On the genuine inks I managed to print off 70 6x4 photocards I designed, and only one of the inks had to be replaced as there was more of the pink in this particular design, so they are pretty good inks.
The only downside to this printer, when you turn it on it uses a little ink cleaning the print head, which is a little disappointing because of how expensive the inks are. So you can either leave the printer on to avoid this, but then rack up a large electricity bill
I like Epson products, not just for their quality, but because most of them are pretty darn cheap to run. I was dubious about the RX685 because it had just been reduced to under £100, so please read on to see what I thought about this print/scanner.
Well, first up, the set-up is really a breeze. I was unboxed, plugged in and drivers installed on my Mac in under 15 minutes, with not a single problem. The ink cartridges were easy to snap into place and my first task was to print a white-top DVD. A carrier is supplied, but for OS X Leopard no printing application. So a quick search and I was using Disc Cover 2. The resulting print onto the DVD was superb, lined up nicely and very punchy. The slot for putting the disk in disappears back into the body of the printer when not in use, so avery neat way of doing things.
Printing onto paper is also just as impressive. There is a lower tray and back tray for loading paper, so this is nice too. It allows you to have two different types of paper loaded at the same time. Nice punchy and colour accurate prints again, so I was happy.
The scanner. Wow, for under £100 you also get a scanner. Again the scanning interface is really good and you can use EpsonScan directly or you can acquire it as a Twain device in any compatible application (eg. Photoshop). The scans were pretty good, a little soft, but just as good as a £100 standalone scanner would deliver.
Those refills are cheap too. Genuine Epson inks for £6 each (this uses 6 separate ones) or third party ones for as little as £1.50... very cheap to run. A good printer with a scanner thrown in for free.