Epson Stylus SX415 printer review

The SX415 is an all-in-one printer, scanner and copier from Epson. For about £100 you get a printer with a print resolution of 5760 x 1440dpi, using Epson’s Resolution Performance Management and a 1200 x 2400dpi scanning unit. The SX415 uses four separate ink tanks with DURABrite ink meaning the results should last. The Epson has a digital memory card reader and an LCD screen as well as a PictBridge port so you can print from nearly every digital camera ever made with ease.

The low-slung profile of the SX415 means it takes up the minimum amount of space, but in use the paper trays have to fold out so when you’re using it it’ll be a bit larger. With a shiny black finish to the plastics we have to admit that the SX415 is a more attractive device than most all-in-ones that said it’s hardly a thing of beauty. The buttons are a touch plastic for our liking but they do the job.

We tested the Epson with a range of documents and in the main it performed well. Probably the best of the bunch was a mixed text and graphics document whose 8 pages were ready to go in just under 3 minutes. Colours were accurate and text sharp enough. We’d have liked to see a bit more punch to the brighter colours in the document, but overall the result was good.

A page of best text took a fairly pedestrian 1 minute and 15 seconds, however, it was worth the wait as the results were excellent. Sharp and deep black each character was excellently defined and pretty impressive for an inkjet like this. Draft text was a bit poor by today’s standards as it lacked any degree of sharpness and was very, very gray.

In its defence it only took 4 seconds to make it out, but we’ve seen better results from similarly priced and as speedy all-in-ones. Photos are very good for a device that only has four inks and the pictures we chose stood up well against dedicated photo printers with specialist photo inks. They’re not quite up to the highest photo standards, but you’ll not be disappointed by the results.

A colour copy at A4 took 30 seconds exactly and the results were poor with colour accuracy suffering. Bright colour was almost entirely washed out and overall the end result was only just acceptable. A scan of the same image took a couple of seconds more than the copy, however, colour accuracy was much better with a much more realistic capture. It wasn’t all good news though, as detail was lost and sharpness not up to our standards.

Verdict

On paper the Epson is a fairly good proposition, with its decent LCD screen, separate ink tanks, card reader and multi-function capabilities. However, its actual performance on paper is more middle of the road than super highway. Photo quality was good and best text stood out, but the rest of the output fairly ordinary.

You’re highly unlikely to be massively disappointed by the Epson, but then neither is it going to set your world alight. £100 isn’t a trifling amount of money to spend on a print scan combo and we’ve seen better devices for about the same price.