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Epson Stylus Color 440

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7 Reviews
  • Reliability
  • Not brilliant on plain paper
  • slow
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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    7 Reviews
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      31.01.2010 17:24
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      A bargain-basement choice

      I used to use one of these printers myself many moons ago, and unexpectedly came into contact with one again much more recently. I was surprised with how good it still was; I wouldn't go out and buy one now if I had a free choice (I'd probably choose something from HP, since I've had good experiences with that brand) but if I happened to be given a 440, or needed something very cheap fast and found one second-hand, then I wouldn't be screaming in horror.

      For such a cheap (and old) printer, you can still get reasonably good results, even with the sort of bulk-standard plain paper you can buy for a pittance in Staples. Admittedly when I first used this printer I was coming from a truly horrible Olivetti printer that could only produce black (of a sort) by mixing the other three colours together! Clearly you're not going to get laser quality, nor even really good modern inkjet quality, but for light and casual use I think it's acceptable.

      By far the most annoying feature of the 440 is the truly interminable wait for the thing to start up in the first place. It makes all the usual whirring and humming noises as it gets going, cleans the nozzles and so on, but you could almost go away and have a three-course meal before it actually started printing. Still, you can use the time thanking your lucky stars that your computer still has a parallel port, since this printer is too old to support USB. (You can apparently buy USB-parallel adapters, but I have no experience of them myself.)

      Anyway, if you've got through all that palaver and are still awake, you will probably find that the 440 is quite a pleasant little machine. It does its job quite efficiently and (except for that startup time) without any fuss, and it very rarely gets stuck or causes a paper jam unless you've tried to do something really silly. On "Speed" setting black printing is adequate, if not wonderful; to be honest the "Quality" setting doesn't always show much of an improvement, so it may well not be worth expending the extra ink.

      Setting up the printer was pretty easy in Windows, although I should caution that this was an old PC running Windows 98SE; I don't actually know how good support is in XP and newer iterations of the operating system, nor how well it works on non-Windows machines. One thing I would say is that if for some odd reason you want to get it working in DOS, it *can* be done, but you should be prepared for an almighty struggle with the drivers. I did it once, years ago, and still bear the scars to this day!

      Although it's nothing special now, one thing I liked about the 440 when I first used it was the fact that it has separate ink tanks for colours and for black, so that you only need to replace one at a time. Unfortunately, the printer refuses to work without both tanks filled, so you can't simply leave the colours and get by with black for a few letters in an emergency. On the plus side, the ink level sensors seem fairly reliable, and ink life isn't too appalling: claimed life is 500 pages, so expect a bit less than that.

      One place where this printer does score is in the price of replacement cartridges. Epson carts are consistently amongst the cheapest, whether officially branded or one of the large range of third-party products, and 440-compatible carts are still widely available. Take all that together, and the Stylus Color 440 holds up quite well for its age. You'd never mistake it for a 2010-era printer, but it's competent and inexpensive to run, and there are worse bits of kit in this sector.

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        19.07.2008 15:35
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        good cheap and most of all economical

        If you want a reliable home printer that is extremely cheap to run then this printer is the printer for you. Not only are the cartridges extremely cheap but there is no serious maintenance issues with these printers. These printers also have no chips involved in the cartridges either. You can go on ebay and buy the origional cartridges for under £1 each and have them posted direct to your front door. The casing is reinforced plastic and is an off white colour, which after time turns greyish. The rinter runs off LPT1 so it is not advisable to buy one of these if you dont have the parallel port to do this. The paper feeder says it takes 50 pieces but I have shoved in 75 at times and hae never had any problems with the paper feed. Te only down side is sometimes the printer requirs several nosel cleans/checks via the maintenance screen in the printer properties. Works well with 98,Me, Xp, Nt and VISTA and also these windows automatically have the drivers in the database

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          10.06.2006 00:02
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          Affordable, reliable and lasts for ages

          In an age when electronic consumables are designed to fail as soon as the warranty/guarantee runs out, the Epson Stylus 440 is built to last. In short, these little beauties are tanks!

          Yes, the quality isn't as good as modern printers, they are slow and noisy. But for value for money, even when bought second-hand, this model is great. Especially if you're looking for a printer that just gets the job done or a printer for a first-time user.

          I was given mine by a friend due to him upgrading, as well as him telling me it needed to be fixed. I hadn't used it due to me moving house, and when I eventually got round to using it, the paper wouldn't feed properly. It turned out there were a couple of one-pence pieces stuck inside! Once these were removed, I fed paper through to unclog it. The first couple of times the paper got stuck and chewed up. But now, it's working perfectly.

          As stated earlier, this model is built like a tank. Sure, it maybe be noisy and slow but the only two major drawbacks with it are 1 - because of the models' age, getting it professionally fixed should it need it is very difficult, and 2 - changing the ink and cleaning the inkjets are done by pressing the same button. You have to press the button for three seconds for the ink hoppers to come out so you can change the ink cartridges, but press the button for a fraction of a second longer and it goes into it's jet cleaning cycle...most frustrating!

          I said that printing speed is slow. I personally did a dual test for a document concerning speed of printing (Pages Per Minute, or PPM for short) and quality of different fonts. I tried the fonts Times New Roman, Nosfer and A Charming Font. The quality of the fonts was perfect but the time taken is the same. For simple black and white document printing, I timed my 440 at 1 page every 45 seconds, or 1.25 PPM. It may not be good if you're in a hurry, but slow and steady this printer works well.

          Another slight problem (depending on your idea of slight!) is that when the ink hopper moves left to right rapidly it can make whatever desk you have it resting on wobble a bit. It's a bit heavy-handed and not gentle or quiet.

          Although the picture quality may not compare with newer models, the images you get with this printer are still good and clear, albeit with a "liney" effect" to the picture. Not good if you are looking for photo-quality pictures, especially if you have splashed out on expensive photo paper to print on.

          Ink cartridges are still available for the 440 (at time of writing). However, whether you buy generic or official it's advisable that you make sure the ink is not spirit-based, as this can ruin the inkjets, degrading print quality and thus kill your printer.

          I didn't have the disk with the driver for this printer, but Windows XP has basic drivers built in, so even if you pick up a second-hand 440, you may not have to worry if you don't have the software to go with it. And if you are online, you will be able to find the latest driver updates for it.

          So, whether you need a printer for written work like school homework and book manuscripts or you want to print of homemade invites/flyers/etc., but are not bothered about photo-quality images, the Epson Stylus 440 will serve you long and well.

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            12.01.2002 00:08
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            • slow

            These days, the most popular types of printers on the market are Inkjet printers. They offer good color output, near-laser quality text, and an affordable price. One such printer that I have found is the Epson Stylus 440. This is the lowest in the series of highly acclaimed Epson Stylus series. However, don't underestimate it's compact size, because this printer can pack a punch. I bought it because my little brother needed a new printer after our old Panasonic Dot-Matrix printer became obsolete. He also needed something affordable. At £120 (even less now), the Stylus 440 is a great deal for those of us who are budget-minded. It also handles a variety of media and is compact and will save space. It also one of the lowest priced models that can handle two (black and color) ink cartridges at once and avoids the troublesome task of replacing cartridges often. The installation was very easy and the Epson software included allows you to monitor the level of ink and even the individual levels of each of the color inks! The quality of photos are okay, but the quality of color output such as graphics and clipart are good enough for the average user. The resolution can go as high as 720 dpi on special photo glossy paper. If you're looking for a higher resolution printer, I recommend checking out my opinion on my Lexmark Z51 Inkjet or you might consider investing more money into a color laser. If you are going to be printing text and don't care about color, then a laser printer would be the most affordable and would be least costly to maintain. The operating costs of the Espon 440 are very low because I buy generic ink cartridges that are made by independant suppliers. For color cartridges, I usually buy Epson because I trust their color more. The authentic Epson cartridges are usually around 3 times as much at most stores and online. So, if you're in need of a cheap printer that will do the job well and without much trouble, then I wou
            ld recommend the Epson Stylus 440. The price is right, the color is good, and the text is just fine. Yes, there are more up to date printers, quicker printers out there, higher quality printers and quieter printers. But for me, this is the best combination of value for money and features.

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              14.10.2001 01:27
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              My trustworthy Epson 440 inkjet printer has always served me well, however now that even the newest printers of superior quality from Epson are under £100 I will soon sucomb to them and say goodbye to my loyal friend. Oh you try so hard to impress me but sorry your top dots per inch of 770 just doesn't cut it anymore, I need a printer with 2880 dots per inch to really show the flashiness of my graphics and documents. Epson have always produced top quality printers and scanners as well as other computer perperials. I purchased this printer about 2 or 3 years ago when it was still relatively new. If my memory serves me correct then it was approximately £80 back then, hood value I thought and when I tested it I knew I had made the right choice. Setting it up was very easy, just a case of plugging the printer cable (sold separately) into the back of both the pc and printer, and then plugging in the power cable into the mains. Then switch on your computer and install the provided software, don't worry if your worried about not being able to do this as there are on screen step by step instructions guiding you through the whole process. Installing the printer software will allow the pc to commincate with the printer, enabling you to print out your documents. The software also allows you to use a few functions as well such as seeing how much ink is left in the ink cartridges. When ink is running low then the corresponding light (either colour or black) will flash to warn you to buy a cartridge so that you can install it as soon as it runs out. When the cartridge has totally ran out then the light just stays on without flashing. Other features are the ability to clean the print heads to fix any printing problems, beware though as this seriously decreases your ink rapidly. The bad thing is that althought the cartridges last quite long they are very expensive to replace. Genuine Epson cartridges are about £25 for the colour and £
              20 for the black. Non Epson compatibles are much cheaper but are not recommended by Epson, I see no difference in print quality though. After years of printing my Epson 440 still churns out documents without fail although I'm concerned with the feint horizontal lines that sometimes runs through my work. The printer is a bit slow when printing with the best quality turned on but granted you do get the best quality this way. The Epson 440 is a good budget starter printer, however there are many better and updated printers on the market for a similar price.

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                16.09.2001 06:45
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                • "Not brilliant on plain paper"

                Let me point out that my Epson printer is NOT really a 440, a friend had a 440 and my case looked tatty, but HIS 440 packed in last year so I ripped the case off and swapped it for my old one. It's terrible when your loved ones die on their birthdays, isn't it? Well my beloved Epson Stylus Color 400 (to give it its Sunday name) did more or less that. I adopted (after paying the adoption fee of £149) in September 1996 and cared for it constantly for the last five years. It has repaid me with kindness...and loads of printouts. Its memory will be with me for a long time to come - we have several photo quality glossy prints of relatives hung on our walls. About two years ago it fell ill, ink dehydration - its blackhead had clogged up (unfortunately Oxy is not suitable for this type of plastic) and I thought then that it might be on its last legs. But I tried some CPR (Clean Print Head) techniques on it: I spread a clean dry cloth on the bottom and run the printhead across several times and hey presto! However over the last six months things have started to look bad - particular photos! Then about two weeks ago, the inevitable happened...it lost its will to print black - basic motor skills gone. What was I to do? I tried CPR again, but after half an hour I realised it was too late. Now when you lose a pet, you get another one. I think the same will apply to my old friend Epson 400. I am going to buy a replacement when I get paid (or maybe someone will take pity on me and buy one for my birthday at the end of this month). Most likely a 790 (if I can find one) or 880. I will keep the 400's printer cable as a fond memory though. Sob, sob, sob...

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                13.07.2001 03:17
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                I'm unimpressed with this printer, purely because the one I had died within 18 months(and not much printing)... The printer itself is quite nice looking, and I was really relieved when I realised that it holds both colour and black cartridges, so there's no nasty cartridge-swapping to be done, which is nice. Print quality isn't that bad, with A4 it's certainly acceptable, if a little slow (as per usual) with colour. I found that envelopes and the like tended to like getting stuck and hence chewed up in the process of being printed. Cartridges are fairly cheap to get hold of, and easy to install. I tended to use WHSmiths version of Epson's cartridges, only because they were on 3for2 at the time, and they were absolutely fine. Because the cartridges don't last as long on the Epson, they are a lot cheaper (like about 12 quid compared to the 28 quid I'm in for on my new Lexmark...). Regarding the pc, the printer was really easy to set up, with the CD it practically does it for you. Sometims I found that after I'd asked it to print, it just "forgot" what it was meant to be doing, which wasn't so bad, but after a year of having it, it just stopped printing and the computer denied any existence of a printer. My pc manufacturers helpline confirmed that it had indeed died, and I got a new one. It's a great shame that this printer died on me, it really was absolutely fine for my "normal" home use. It's probably not good enough for a serious user, but for University, it's great. Sadly, I have to give it a low rating because it died so quickly! ....and yeah, I agree with the comment that Lexmark cartridges are more expensive because of the fact that the print head is within Lexmark cartridges, rather than the printer itself, which isn't the case in Epson printers. As such, this is why my printer had no life left when it died, and explains why Lexmark cartridges a
                re much much more expensive. But...they are more easily refillable as there's no worry about mucking up the print cartridge in the printer, as if you do....you just shrug your shoulders, throw it away, and but a new cartridge...

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              • Product Details

                Epson has made an ink jet printer that's simple to use, lots of fun and very low cost. It brings 720 x 720 dots per inch of Photo Quality color and laser sharp black text right into your very own home.

                The Epson Stylus Color 440 includes Epson's PerfectPicture Imaging System, featuring Micro Piezo ink jet technology, smooth AcuPhoto Halftoning and convenient, quick drying inks. It's also a printer that encourages you to get creative. Quickly and beautifully it prints your photos, letters, greeting cards, calendars and, well, whatever fun ideas you've got!