Product Type: Epson All in one Printer
Newest Review: ... 1,200 x 2,400 dpi Ink Cartridge Multipack Code: T0715 (magenta, cyan, yellow and black [Cheetah pack from Epson]) In The Box: Epson Sty... more
Meet Harold, the heavy metal printer.
Epson Stylus SX200
Member Name: StampedingTurtes
Epson Stylus SX200
Advantages: Great quality, cheap ink, easy to use.
Disadvantages: Very noisy! Is generic ink intolerant!
I was wandering through Tesco not looking for a printer when I noticed this one. It was £35 at the time which was a special offer. It came with one load of ink and performed all of the functions I needed so I bought it.
~~~ The Epson SX200 ~~~
The printer is classed as an all in one printer because it also functions as a scanner and a photocopier. It can be used without a computer and has a place for a memory card or USB to be inserted. It supports a wide range of memory cards and sticks although admittedly I have never used it this way and always connect it to the computer before printing photos etc as I want to be able to see them first. Unlike some newer printers, this one does not have a view screen to see your photos before you print, hence why linking it to computer is better.
The printer shell is made from shiny black plastic, it is rather bulky, but it is a convenient cuboid shape so does fit easily under the desk or somewhere near the computer. It connects to the computer via a long USB cable which plugs in to the back of the printer.
The printer comes with various software CDs such as driver software and scanner software as well as a photo suite tool. It is very simple to install - you basically just hit next until it is all done!
~~~ Technical Specifications ~~~
For full tech specs go here: http://www.epson.co.uk/Printers-and-All-In-Ones/In kjet/Epson-Stylus- SX200/Tech-Specs;jsessionid=20D55606F5939F1558B029 35E012D8B7.acc7-new
I will simply provide an overview mixed with my own thoughts and experiences.
The dimensions of the printer are 34 x 45 x 18 cm and the Epson website says that it weighs 5.8kg... not that I imagine you would be carrying it around anywhere.
The printer uses micro nozzles in the print head. Each colour (Black, Magenta, Yellow and Cyan) has 90 nozzles. It uses Epson Durabright ink - apparently Epson ink lasts 90 times longer on printed photos than other inks. It is also recommended that you use ONLY Epson ink as the print head is calibrated for this and no other inks.
The maximum resolution of the printer is 5760 x 1440 which is fairly good as far as these printers go. The scanning resolution is 1200 x 2400 dpi. It works with Mac OS10.3 or later and Windows 2000 or later so most home systems will certainly be covered.
The Epson website claims that the printer can do 34 pages per minute of black or coloured text, however, this must be on the very fastest and lowest quality setting as I have found it to be about half this speed.
Maximum paper capacity is 120 sheets. I have to say here, it seems like less although I have never actually counted. However, when you are printing off drafts of a dissertation, you feel like you are constantly reloading the paper. The paper load tray makes a horrific noise when the paper runs out. It clicks and bangs like some kind of kicking beast! It actually sounds like the printer is in distress. This makes paper loading quite irritating!
The full, basic tech specs are available at the link above.
~~~ Quality, speed, sound and ink ~~~
I mentioned the "numbers" for quality above, so now let me consider the quality by looking at it. There are several print quality options ranging from draft right up to excellent photo. For uni work and notes I always leave the printer on "text and picture". This is a setting which prints good quality text and decent quality images and is fine for printing off lecture notes and non-photo images.
When printing photos you have two choices. One is a good enough quality image, but the second on - best photo - is a pristine photograph quality image. It eats your ink like a fat kid eats cake but it is so worth it for printing off great photos. It is always best to use Epson or another high quality paper with your photos so that the ink sinks in properly, I have found that using cheap photo paper makes the photos less crisp.
I used this printer to print my dissertation. I used the high quality option and my dissertation looked pristine... it looked much better than the ones which were printed professionally, which just goes to show that home printing can be more effective.
As I said above, the speed varies depending upon what you print and the quality. Text is quicker than photo, but high quality texts will still take quite some time. Printing off 3 copies of my dissertation to be handed in took me an hour, but then it was a big piece of work which contained charts and images and was printing on high quality. I worked out that it printed about 270 pages in 55 minutes which works out at almost 5 pages a minute. This seems slow, but when it is an important piece of work, you are more than happy to wait!
The Epson website states that the noise level is "5.3 B, 40 dB(A)" which I can only assume mean "damn loud". It's the noisiest printer I have come across. My other Epson printer is a newer model of this and they seem to have cut the noise down on newer models, but the SX200 is the heavy metal music of the printer world. It's loud and it makes so strange noises. It clatters and thumps from time to time and it genuinely makes me think of a living being with all of the noise it makes...I should name it... Harold the printer.
The printer is a 4 colour inkjet. This means that the ink comes in 4 cartridges - magenta, yellow, cyan and black. This is great because it means that you can change each cartridge as you need it. There is a slight drawback though. When one colour runs out, the printer will not let you print at all until you have replaced the empty cartridge. This even seems to apply when you select black ink only from the menu. This is a bit of a pain, but it is easy enough to maintain a backup stock of cartridges just in-case.
The ink lasts a long time. I can't quantify this as the printer is used for such a range of projects. I seem to run out of black and cyan ink the most so I always keep spares in the desk drawer. Yellow seems to last the longest, it must not be used as much.
The ink for this printer is fairly cheap. You can buy a set of all four inks in Tesco for under £20 although this price sometimes increases and decreases. You certainly receive the best value by buying the ink in the multipack; however, I would recommend buying an extra multipack to have spare so than when a colour runs out you can replace it immediately otherwise you can't use the printer at all.
~~~ Conclusion ~~~
This printer has served me well. It has printed out photos, wall displays, essays and a dissertation. I have photocopied and scanned to my heart's content. I am very pleased with this printer and feel that the print quality is higher than my needs, which is a plus! I can rely on this printer for all print jobs.
I would warn you that Epson are not lying when they tell you to use only Epson ink. I used a Tesco ink once and it clogged the nozzles for the yellow. We thought the printer was broke as we tried to clean the ink heads etc with no luck. We were advised to continue to run the cleaning process and eventually the clog was flushed out. Apparently this is a very common problem with Epson printers. It is not possible to fix it in any other way but to continue to flush it with ink. If this does not work you have to buy a new printer as there is no way to fix it apparently.
Luckily for us, it eventually cleared. I am sure this may put some people off buying this printer, but I have to reiterate, if you buy Epson ink this does not happen as this ink is made especially for the printer and the molecules are the correct size and consistency so that they do not block the nozzles.
I have been pleased with the service I have had from this printer and I will continue to use it for all of my printing for my classroom. It is a very affordable and easy to use all in one printer and I recommend it for students, for home use and general use.
The printer comes with a 1 year standard warranty which you can upgrade to 3 years.
Summary: Cheap printer which does the job well
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