capsule review

Epson Stylus Photo RX620

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Printer

    PCWorld Rating

    Prints photos and scans (including film) very well, but copies slowly. Prints on plain paper were very unattractive.

Epson Stylus Photo RX620
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The $300 Epson Stylus Photo RX620 works wonderfully for photographers, but it isn't well suited to an office environment. Though the unit scanned slides and negatives nicely, and produced beautiful prints on photo paper, the text and graphics output it printed on plain paper were among the worst we saw.

The RX620 uses a light in its lid to scan slides and negatives. Conveniently, the film adapter tucks away behind the reflective document mat in the lid when not in use. The lid comes off easily for scanning bulky media, such as large books.

The RX620 is the best-connected MFP of the nine we tested for the June 2005 chart. Its media-card slots accept all the major formats, and its direct-print port communicates with more than just PictBridge-compatible digital cameras: You can read and write images to such devices as Zip drives, CD/DVD burners, and USB flash drives. You can even plug a $69 Bluetooth adapter into the port and print from mobile devices such as camera phones and PDAs. The rear USB 2.0 port lets you speedily transfer images to your PC.

The angled control panel features a large (2.5-inch) color LCD surrounded by an intuitive set of buttons that have a pleasant rubbery feel. It's easy to preview images on the screen, perform simple editing tasks, and navigate the menus.

In our tests, the RX620 produced impressive scanning results, proving especially adept at picking out detail in color photographs. It previewed and scanned a 4-by-5-inch photo at 100 dpi in 18 seconds--4 seconds faster than the average for this group.

The six dye-based inks come in individual cartridges. Photos looked superb, with bright colors and good details in shadows, though many edges were slightly fuzzy compared to the output from other MFPs. Prints on plain paper, however, looked abysmal. The banding on our line art print reminded us of pajama stripes. Text looked fuzzy and even appeared to cast shadows in places; white dots were common in large, solid characters.

Even worse, the RX620 printed text at just 2.2 pages per minute, slower than any other MFP we tested, though color graphics printed at a relatively respectable 1.8 ppm. Copy speed lagged, too, at just 1.5 ppm; and the RX620's copies were the least-attractive ones produced the current batch of MFPs.

The Epson Stylus Photo RX620 is a good choice for photographers who don't print on plain paper.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Prints photos and scans (including film) very well, but copies slowly. Prints on plain paper were very unattractive.

    Pros

    • Prints detailed color photos
    • Can scan film

    Cons

    • Prints on plain paper looked abysmal
    • Text looked fuzzy
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