Epson’s DX range of all-in-one (AiO) devices are inexpensive multi-function machines that provide easy to use functionality in a space saving and attractive designed package. The 7000F updates the (also recently tested) DX 6000 with the addition of 33.6Kbps fax functionality that includes a switchable auto Answer Mode, 60-address speed dial and auto-redial control.
The top houses the simple to use push-button controls sat alongside an obviously “built-to a price” scanner cover, which feels rather flimsy, as does cover for the built-in multi-memory card reader that can take most major external camera storage including xD-Picture card, CF Type I/II, SD/’MMC and Sony Memory Sticks. Index sheet printing aids quickly identifying the images you want to print if you wish to use the 7000F as a standalone printer and its USB 2.0 connectivity means speedy control via your PC and you have a dedicated USB port for PictBridge and/or DPOF/USB DirectPrint compatible digital cameras.
The printer/copier side of things uses Epson’s DURABrite Ultra inks that offer superb 100-year fade resistance, as well as smudge and water resistance with a top print resolution of 5760 x 1440dpi and a smallest ink dot size of 3-picolitres, so small enough to render fine detail very well indeed. The A4 flatbed scanner provides good quality document scanning (though there’s no auto document feeder) with a top optical scan resolution of 1200 x 24000ppi.
Four separate ink tanks cost a penny shy of £7 to buy but as with the DX6000, which uses the same print engine as the 7000F, ink yield when printing high quality photos leaves something to be desired. However, the 7000F comes with a good suit of software that includes ABBYY FineReader OCR software so you can quickly convert scanned copy into editable text.
Other software includes Epson Creativity Suite, Easy Photo Print ideal for fast printing if you’re not sure about using the finer points of the machine’s print driver; it includes the ability to print four prints on a single sheet of A4. PhotoEnhance works with the PIF designer package and Epson Web-to-Page and Print Image Framer back the ensemble up well too, together giving you more than enough help and assistance, regardless of the job at hand.
An omission that is a tad surprising is the lack of a colour LCD screen; yes you get a data LCD to help guide you through, but given this is a higher spec’d version of the DX6000, it seems an odd oversight at this level of machine.
The addition of the fax features and this models excellent £119.99 price make this a good value proposition but the low ink yield at higher print quality settings and the missing colour screen tarnish an otherwise sparkling performer.