Stylus CX5100 MFD

For the small or home office environment, a multifunction device makes good sense where space is at a premium, and printing, copying and scanning tasks are undertaken regularly. Fitting the bill is Epson’s Stylus CX5100, an inkjet-based MFD that can provide stellar photo-quality printouts and high-resolution scans (1200x2400dpi) and photocopies.

It features a straight paper path and a flatbed scanner (which doubles as the photocopier), and can be connected to a PC via a USB port. The printer utilises four independent ink cartridges — black, cyan, magenta and yellow — so all the colours do not have to go to waste when only one of them is completely exhausted. These cartridges will set you back around $60 for a black cartridge and $25 for each other colour.

The machine can output a full-colour photo-quality print in just over 7 minutes, while a full-colour A4 scan at 300dpi will take only half a minute. A 16-page Word document (a mixture of text, tables and graphics) will print in around 3.5 minutes, and a full-colour, A4, photo-quality printout (and photo-quality photocopy) will take around 7 minutes to complete. Text documents can be photocopied in around 46 seconds, and the machine simultaneously prints as it scans.

As you can infer, it is quite a zippy machine, and it is easy to use, too. The control panel is well labelled and the scrolling text on the small LCD screen informs you of the machine’s settings and provides alerts. The printer driver interface and the Twain driver are both well laid out and easy to use.

In brief: Epson Stylus CX5100
This particular model does not have a fax/modem, but if high-quality prints, scans and copies are needed, then it should not fail to please. It has a one-year warranty with a two-year option.
Price: $599
Vendor: Epson
Phone: 1300 361 054

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