I’ve never been a big fan of multifunction devices for the PC; they include a scanner, photocopier and a printer all in built into one unit but I’ve found that they tend to sacrifice quality on all three components. The modern devices that have begun appearing on the market tend to be of good quality at a very low price and so it seemed appropriate that now I should do a review covering one such device, the Epson CX3200.

For just shy of £120 all inclusive from an online retailer such as Dabs.com you get a 5760dpi printer, a 600 x 1200 scanner and a fully featured photocopier which would of course cost you a lot more if you were to buy each unit separately. The unit connects to the computer via a standard USB port which means you simply plug it in, install the supplied software and you are ready to start printing or scanning within minutes.

We’ll start by covering the printing abilities of the unit; it uses the same cartridges as the extremely popular Epson C62 which we can supply you replacements for at approximately a tenner for a pair, all inclusive. Notable features is the edge to edge printing function which means that if you are trying to print a photo or document then you don’t end up with a half inch border around the side of the page; it’ll print right to the edge of the paper. The quality of the prints are in true colour and the printer is capable of laying down 5,760 dots per inch whilst still being able to throw out 14 pages per minute in black or 10 pages per minute in colour when printing a standard industry test page.

The scanner does lag slightly behind a standalone device which you may buy separately and is only able to scan at a resolution of 600 x 1200 at a colour depth of 48-bit although this should be acceptable for most home and office work. When it comes to photocopying you no longer have to scan the image to the PC then print it out; simply put the document onto the flat bed scanner, push a single button and the printer will do a photocopy straight to the inbuilt printer without any user input required.

The average user working from home will be limited to the amount of space that can be taken up by a printer and separate scanner. If you were to buy a dedicated photocopier into the equation also then you would be looking at taking up half the home office or study just in peripherals not to mention the large initial outlay you’d have to put down for all the equipment.

If you have a cheapo Lexmark printer that came with your computer for which the cartridges are costing you best part of £50 for the pair from Staples then why not check out this printer or one like it. The amount you’d spend on two pairs of cartridges could practically buy you the machine (which comes with a pair of cartridges included) then you’d only have to pay just over £10 for a pair of compatibles when the ones that came with the printer ran out. Remember to buy either an Epson or Canon branded product however as they can take compatible cartridges because by falling into the trap of buying a HP or Lexmark will mean that even with a shiny new multifunction device you will still be paying considerably more for your replacement cartridges.

Sponsered by Refresh Cartridges

Back to Main Page