Epson Stylus RX600

I recently procured a new printer for a client of mine and simply couldn’t resist having a little play around once I’d installed and set it up for him.It is very rare that I review a specific product but this printer really did knock my socks off so I thought I’d feature it in this weeks Click article.

The Epson Stylus Photo RX600 is referred to by Epson as a ‘home photo centre’ which in English means that it is a very sophisticated Multifunction (scan/copy/print) device.In addition to the standard functions you would expect from such a machine, it can also scan from slides and negatives, print directly from a digital camera or from a digital memory card and includes a built in colour LCD screen so these features can be utilised without even having to turn on your computer.To take this one stage further, once you have finished manipulating your images they can be transferred back onto your PC or stored on a CD-R/Zip/Hard disk all of which can be connected via a USB socket located on the front of the printer.

Whilst it is fairly obvious that the best use can be made from the machine when it is connected to a PC, it is also remarkably efficient as a standalone unit.Below is a quick summary of some of the features that you may find useful.

-If you have a digital camera then chances are that it has a removable memory card.If you simply insert this into the front of the printer it will recognise this and display your images on the colour LCD display so that you can choose those that you wish to.Alternatively if there are a number of photos that you would like to select then you can print out thumbnails of all the pictures onto a sheet of paper which you then mark with a pen and put onto the scanner bed.The printer then recognises these pen marks and prints out only the photos that you require based on the ones that were marked; a very nifty feature indeed.

-The scanning part of the printer can be used to either make straight photocopies or to scan documents directly to a computer at a resolution of 2400dpi.Negatives and slides can also be scanned by using a supplied adaptor as well as text documents which can be transported directly into your word processor via the bundled OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software.

-Faxes can be sent when the unit is connected to a PC however I dislike the fact that Epson multifunction devices don’t appear to include modems within the machine which removes the option of it being used as a standalone fax machine.

-When printing straight from a computer the printer will output at a maximum resolution of 5760dpi whilst remaining both speedy and quiet.A total of 6 different coloured printer cartridges are used simultaneously, all of which contain pigmented ink so that your photos are light and water resistant.There is an obvious advantage of having these separate cartridges as when a particular colour runs out it means that only one cartridge needs to be replaced rather than disposing of a cartridge that may contain several colours.

The bad news is that the printer does cost around the £250 mark but when you consider the amount of kit that you are getting for this money it really isn’t that expensive and we do supply compatible cartridges for this product if you do decide to make a purchase but want to keep the running costs down.

All in all I am amazed by how much printing technology has come along in recent years; I remember several years ago printing my stripy low resolution pictures at a speed of around a page a minute on my Epson 440 but now we have access to machines that will plug straight into a digital camera to print out photo quality printers that look as though they’d come straight from Kodak.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.