Monday, 5 January 2009

Epson Stylus Office B40W

If you're running a reasonably small business or just want a convenient and efficient home-based printer, but are perhaps not ready to splash out on a high quality laser printer, then what you need is a business inkjet printer that won't cost the earth and can approach laser quality results. It's with this in mind that Epson now releases the Stylus Office B40W.

Designed in chic jet black, this compact rectangular printer measures a tidy 435 x 250 x 161mm and is an extremely lightweight 4.0kg. The work surface is deliberately uncluttered, with a fold-back 120-sheet capacity input tray at the rear and a drop-down extendable output tray at the front.

Controls are similarly simplified to include a power on/off button, ink notification and paper feed buttons and a useful Wi-Fi on/off button. It's unusual to have access to wireless network connections (Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11b/g) on a printer in this low price bracket. There's also an Ethernet connection for those who don't want or can't use Wi-Fi and the usual USB port to connect to a PC.

When it comes to speed of operation, this is where this machine ought to score its highest points, but as is so often the case with claimed speeds, the reality is quite different. Epson boasts a print speed of up to 38 pages per minute for both black and colour text in draft mode, yet we could only manage 20ppm. When it comes to colour prints, Epson claims 10 x 15cm photos can shoot out in 20 seconds on Epson Premium Glossy Photo paper in draft, borderless mode and in practice this was closer to the mark. Certainly A4 sized prints could emerge within a minute, which is as good as you could expect for this size and quality of printer.

Documents printed by the Epson Stylus Office B40W are durable, smudge-proof, water and highlighter resistant and the quick-drying DURABrite Ultra Ink does not bleed through the page because it uses an exclusive technology where each pigment particle is encapsulated in resin. As well as the three separate high-yield colour cartridges, there's an extra large, high capacity black ink cartridge that should be good for 995 pages (an oddly precise number). Although both text and photos showed generally strong, well delineated black reproduction, draft blacks were poor in our tests.

You can print on a variety of media, from envelopes and labels to recycled plain paper and glossy photo paper (Epson includes a pack of its own A4 glossy paper to get you going) and the B40W can produce up to 5760 x 1440 optimised dots per inch resolution on suitable media.

We found that the quality of colour reproduction was impressive when it came to capturing the authenticity of the originals, but A4 colour portraits showed a noticeable softness of the focus that wasn't there on the 10 x 15cm prints, and the same was true of large mono prints, even from suitably high resolution photo files.

Tech News

No comments:

Post a Comment