Epson's Stylus Photo TX710W inkjet multifunction boasts an automatic duplexer, CD/DVD printing and comprehensive wired and wireless connectivity. Document print quality could be better, but if you're looking for a photo printer with extra features, the Epson Stylus Photo TX710W should please.
Like its predecessor, the Stylus Photo TX700W, Epson's Stylus Photo TX710W sports a black-coated enclosure. The centrepiece, a tilting control panel, is simple and functional, though the 2.5in colour LCD screen is a little small for viewing and editing photos.
The printer can be connected via USB, Ethernet or 802.11g Wi-Fi; Bluetooth is available as an optional $79 dongle. You'll also find a media card reader on the front, supporting Memory Card, SD, xD and CompactFlash memory cards. The PictBridge USB port beside it can communicate with compatible mobile phones and digital cameras, and even lets you plug in compatible external CD burners for backing up memory cards. The multifunction will recognise USB flash drives, but can only print picture files.
The Epson Stylus Photo TX710W uses a front paper cassette instead of a rear paper tray, so the multifunction can be slotted into small nooks and crannies. There's even a separate photo paper tray, though you'll have to pull the paper cassette almost completely out to access it. Epson has thankfully integrated the CD/DVD tray directly into the printer, so you won't accidentally lose the pallet.
|Print Speed Results|
|A4 photo |
|Epson Stylus Photo TX710W
|Epson Stylus Photo TX650
|Canon PIXMA MP640
|HP Photosmart Premium C309g-m
|Epson Stylus Photo TX700W
|HP Photosmart C6380
The Epson Stylus Photo TX710W's capillary tube system doesn't make the printer any quieter
The Epson Stylus Photo TX710W inkjet multifunction uses a capillary tube system, which means that consumables are separated from the printhead. The cartridges remain in a stationary dock while printing, while ink is transported to the printhead through small tubes. In theory, capillary tube printers — like most Brother inkjets and some HP business printers — are quieter because the printhead is lighter. Unfortunately, the Stylus Photo TX710W is just as loud as any of the other desk-shaking printers we have reviewed from Epson. Enabling quiet mode in the print settings does eliminate some of the noise, though it reduces print speeds for normal quality mono and colour documents to 3.4 pages per minute and 3.5ppm, respectively.
The Epson Stylus Photo TX710W prints quickest in draft mode but produces faded documents. Interestingly, the use of a capillary tube system in the Stylus Photo TX710W inkjet multifunction makes negligible difference to print speeds when compared to the Stylus Photo TX700W.
Document print quality definitely leaves room for improvement, as characters are too thick and appear dark grey rather than black. Colours in graphical documents lack vibrancy, an effect we have seen before when using Epson printers with matte paper.
Thankfully, quality is much better on glossy media. Though we did notice some colour accuracy issues with red hues and flesh tones, both colour and black and white photos are vibrant and crisp. The Stylus Photo TX710W inkjet multifunction is superior to its main competitor — Canon's PIXMA MP640 — when printing black and white photos, though we'd opt for the Canon when printing colour.
The quality of printed CDs and DVDs is largely dependent on the optical discs themselves; while matte discs can appear oversaturated, glossy media can look good but smudges easily. Epson's CD printing software is easy to use and the process is simple enough, particularly thanks to the integrated CD/DVD tray.
Scans can be initiated directly from the Stylus Photo TX710W's control panel, with the ability to scan as PDFs and images, and send scans to e-mail clients or store them on a memory card. Unfortunately, while the multifunction can scan to a computer connected over Ethernet or Wi-Fi, this must be initiated from the computer itself — we were unable to set up the shortcut buttons on the control panel to work with networked computers. The 4800dpi maximum resolution means the Stylus Photo TX710Wis suitable for scanning both photos and documents.
The Epson Stylus Photo TX710W inkjet multifunction requires six ink cartridges in total, with a running cost of 19.1c per A4 page. Though the automatic duplexer suggests that this is a business machine, document print quality and the difficulty of setting up network scanning mean this inkjet multifunction is better suited as a hybrid home office machine and family photo printer.
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