Epson Stylus S20 printer review

Epson’s Stylus S20 provides a budget entry point into Epson’s range of borderless printers. Utilising separate DURABrite pigment inks that cost around £5.99 each, the S20 is designed to be an all-purpose printer with photo capability and with affordability at the core.

Set up is simple enough if a little time consuming as the driver and other Epson software is placed on your shared drive. Epson’s Print Utility3 and Epson Creativity Suite are included so you get a few simple tools to play with in terms of creative picture layouts and print options.

The printer is not supplied with a USB cable, so first time buyers beware, but this slots into a port on the back along with the printer’s power cord. Two supports for paper feed and paper delivery need to be inserted into slots on the top and front respectively, they’re not articulated so if desk space is at a premium, this could be a problem as you cannot fold them away.

The black and grey bodywork is a flimsy plastic build but at this price, that’s par for the course (ditto the lack of that USB cable) and once you’ve installed the software (around 15 minutes by the time you’ve aligned the print heads and slotted the separate inks home into their respective colour-coded slots in the print head) and popped paper into the feeder you can get printing.

The DURABrite ink uses pigment encapsulated in special coating to help get better, long lasting print quality and the text print quality is excellent in "normal" document printing on plain paper. Economy print is very grey and is more a draft mode than an economy mode in my view and certainly not brilliant.

Print speeds are a little less inspiring than the claimed 26ppm for black and 14ppm for colour. These speeds are only achievable in the economy modes as I achieved one page of black text in 27 seconds and five pages in 2 minutes and 13 seconds. Five pages in economy mode took just 35 seconds but again, the print quality is not up to much.

For photos, print speeds are tardy to say the least with a Photo quality A4 borderless print taking 6 minutes and 6 seconds. In Best Photo mode, the same A4 borderless print took 13 minutes and 22 seconds, time enough for a brew no less.

Photo print quality is not bad but leaves something to be desired since there are faint but visible lines in the output no matter what I did to rectify the problem. Colour and detail are not bad though and you can be assured of your print’s longevity thanks to those archival inks.

Verdict

The Epson Stylus S20 provides a low cost entry into borderless printing from Epson but print quality is adequate rather than great but for general print tasks, it’s not bad value.