(Pocket-lint) - The Epson Stylus Photo R360 basks in the glow of a sub-£100 price and combines a nice 3.5-inch colour LCD with easy to use controls, stand-alone six-ink printing, and memory card slots for stand-alone printing.
For the latter you get compatibility with just about every memory card format on the market though some with an adaptor. The six Epson Claria inks include the usual colours along with light cyan and magenta for better reproduction of subtle tones and detail such as skin in portraits. The inks click easily into the printer’s permanent print head.
The supplied driver software installed without a hitch (unlike the R320 I tested a while back) that include useful tools such as web printing and the like. In terms of controls for direct use, you get a set of buttons that surround the screen for menus and settings and a five-button navigation controller.
Under the LCD, we find the memory card slots hidden under another cover along with a PictBridge port for connecting compatible cameras for printing directly from a camera. Further down the face is a flip-down front cover that doubles as the printed-paper feed tray. A lever lifts the tray to allow the optional CD/DVD print holder to be used.
Two sockets on the reverse of the printer are for power and a USB 2.0 port, the only available connection choice for the R360 to connect up to a PC for example. And when connected and the software is installed you can get printing.
Epson’s claimed print speeds of 30ppm for colour and black and white but that seems optimistic to say the least as the best I could achieve was 10 pages per minute in draft mode! Print a top quality photo, this printer’s main function, and things drop to around 3 minutes for a 6 x 4-inch borderless photo while mixed text and graphics print at around 3ppm.
In terms of print quality, the R360 produces excellent borderless photo output with well-detailed and clean prints and very smooth gradations between colours. Text is less good but serviceable although feathering and bleed is an issue if printing on “normal” A4 office paper rather than paper designed for that purpose.
The R360 produces great photo output and is very easy to use and set up. The stand-alone features make it nice to use and the large screen enhances this. However, it is a bit slow and much slower than Epson claim on its specification sheet.
Good print quality and low pricing combined with ease of use and direct printing is slightly marred by sluggish performance. The R360 may not be for anyone in a hurry then, but there’s no denying the photo output is very good.