Epson Stylus CX5500
A budget multi-function with some flaws
- Poor build quality, unimpressive printing quality
- Cost efficient, decent scan quality
Epson’s Stylus CX5500 carries a number of flaws which will deter some buyers. However, given its low price point and cost efficiency, this multi-function will suit those in need of a budget unit with cheap running costs.
Price$ 89.00 (AUD)
The Stylus CX5500 is Epson's entry-level multi-function printer, offering basic functionality in an inexpensive package. Although its relatively low price point will inevitably entice buyers, potential users should be aware of its poor build quality and unimpressive performance.
Although the build quality of most Epson printers and multi-function units is questionable, this is particularly the case for the CX5500. The unit is constructed almost entirely of plastic and is bulky compared to competing units. Its sole paper feeder is found at the rear, making it difficult to adjust; the flimsy back support for media does little to change our opinion regarding build quality. Most moving parts feel as if they are on the verge of breaking, and everyday use of the machine around the home could easily lead to broken hinges. Although this can be attributed to the CX5500's price tag, there is a better-built alternative available: the Canon PIXMA MP210.
During testing, we found the CX5500's printing speeds to be largely unimpressive. Although draft quality text documents printed at 14 pages per minute, normal quality slowed output down to 2.8ppm. Text documents with graphical elements had significantly slower printing speeds, with the multi-function managing 6.7ppm at draft quality and 1.12ppm at normal quality. Speeds for 4x6in photos weren't fast either, with normal quality photos printing in 4min 27sec. Although we don't expect the CX5500 to meet the standards set by more expensive models, the stark difference in speed and quality between draft and normal settings is a big problem for this multi-function.
Print quality was adequate for a family-oriented printer. Although printed text documents were at points a little ragged, the text remained clear at all levels of quality. Draft quality documents are much lighter than documents printed at higher quality settings. Documents with graphical elements generally had clear text across all quality settings. However, colour reproduction was quite inaccurate, with best quality tests revealing washed-out colours that lacked intensity.
The same was true of photo printing tests. A red overtone is immediately noticeable in 4x6in and A4 photos. This lends well to flesh tones, but impacts harshly on blues and blacks. As a result, blacks and greys are poorly defined, and outdoor shots involving skies will inevitably carry a reddish hue. There is also some evidence of banding. This is particularly noticeable in A4 photos, but shouldn't be an issue for those who only want 4x6in photos.
Although the CX5500's 1200dpi scanning resolution is low in comparison to the 4800dpi typical of more expensive models, the lower resolution should be sufficient for everyday use. Scanning quality was adequate. As with many Epson multi-functions, the CX5500 exhibited a darker image in comparison to Canon products, which allows for a more realistic image. It can also result in a slight loss of detail in darker images, although the compromise is generally acceptable.
The CX5500's cost per page of 17c is excellent. In combination with its low initial price, this will easily convince some buyers. However, if you're looking for a long-term, budget multi-function there are better quality options than the CX5500.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google WiFi review
- 2 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 3 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Sony Xperia XZ Premium phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Blackberry KEYone phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- When life gives you a 3D printer, make a house
- Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners
- HP shutting down default FTP, Telnet access to network printers
- Why won’t my printer connect to my wireless router?
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Linksys Velop mesh WiFi review
- D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- Google WiFi review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDigital Content Producer and CopywriterOther
- FTSenior Analyst Programmer - Equities or DerivativesOther
- FTSupport Officer - cost management & estimating co-ordinationOther
- FTSecurity Service Desk Operative - TelecommunicationsOther
- FTSenior C Developer - Hardcore Developer!Other
- FTBizTalk Technical Lead - BRISBANEACT
- CCSenior IT Project ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Delivery ManagerNSW
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- FTSoftware and Middleware DevelopersACT
- FTJava Team LeaderACT
- FTAnalyst Programmer (Classic ASP / VB)Other
- FTSenior Scrum MasterOther
- FTSenior Technical ConsultantACT
- CCUnderground Communication Systems SpecialistSA
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- CCPalo Alto Network Security ExpertQLD
- CCHadoop DevelopersACT
- TPBI DeveloperNSW
- FTIT ManagerNSW
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerQLD
- CCJunior - Mid-level Devops Consultant - BrisbaneNSW
- FTProduct/Project Coordinator-AGILE/SCRUMOther
- FTAEM Developer - Mid LevelOther
- FTIteration ManagerOther