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Epson Stylus Photo RX580

Pros:

  • Easy Setup/PC Free Operation
  • All in one – Photo Printer, Copier, Scanner
  • Mini On Screen memory card viewer
  • Quiet and fast photo printing

 

Cons:

  • Horrible photo output with non-Epson photo paper
  • No sheet feeder for copy/scan
  • No USB cable included
  • No sample Epson paper included

 

Review:

My wife gave me a task last weekend – she wanted a new photo printer, one that wasn’t so darn hard to operate (she’s not a geek). We currently have Easy Share Series 3 printer dock which has been a pain in the neck to get working – about the only way I can consistently get it to print is via Bluetooth. So with that mission I went off in search of a new photo printer and came across several that caught my eye before I settled on the Epson RX580.

 

To start with, the price a little better compared to other printers with similar features. The RX580 is a combo device featuring a printer, copier and flatbed scanner all in one. See the little image below for a look at what it’s like.


One of the biggest selling points for me was that it allows for PC free operation…with the onboard 2.5in full color LCD screen and built-in memory card reader (SD, CF, XD) I can print directly from my memory cards without having to have it hooked up to my PC. Using the on-board screen I can select, crop, auto-correct, do red-eye removal and color restoration all via the printer itself. Additionally it has a built-in Infrared port so I can beam photos to it from my Pocket PC as well. Scanning works PC-free also with the ability to scan direct to a memory card which has already proved pretty handy.

 

Before I go too much further let me give a word of warning – although I’m pretty satisfied with this printer overall, my first impressions were not favorable. The printer itself doesn’t come with any sample photo paper (though it does come with a “printable CD” – more to come on that) so I started out using the photo paper I already had on hand for my Kodak printer. The output from the Epson using that Kodak paper sucked so bad I almost took the printer back…except that by the time I was home and setting everything up the store was long closed…so instead the next day I went to buy some Epson paper and the printer redeemed itself with some nice photos. So the lesson learned here – go ahead and buy the Epson paper…otherwise your photos will look grainy and downright horrible.

 

Naturally before I could hand the printer off to my wife for her to use I had to put it through a few tests. Using the copier function with plain paper to copy some printed text worked out nicely. The copy was pretty sharp and didn’t take too long at all. I have a business copier/printer in the upstairs office so the Epson won’t be doing that job too long, but it’s nice to know it works well as advertised.

 

Next I wanted to see how well it could copy a photograph. I grabbed the family photo book and found some old photos of me as a kid and scanned them in to reprint them on 4x6 photo stock with some really nice results. I stopped short of using the color-correction, cropping, etc. on that project since I’ve grown quite adept at doing that stuff in Photoshop and Photoshop does a much better job anyways. I also scanned in several of those older photos direct to my memory card and will probably make a project of doing just that with many of the older family photos that were taken long before digital cameras came to be.

 

Finally I needed to see how well it produced photos since that’s what this printer will be doing a lot of – and except for my previous mention with non-Epson paper, this printer has printed pictures quite well. About the only thing I’ve noticed is that perhaps the printer gets a little overzealous with some images that have more dark colors in them and tends to print those a little darker than normal…though I suppose I can fix that by manually overriding the contrast/brightness settings on the printer prior to printing the image. I’ve printed quite a few color and black-and-white photos with great results so far.

 

Overall I’m pretty happy with the printer. There are a couple of features I didn’t realize the printer had at first…one of them being that it can print directly to a CD/DVD if you buy those kind with the blank white label already on it. The printer actually comes with a sample blank white CD to test this feature out….why they included that and not a few sheets of Epson paper is beyond me. I’ll have to test that feature out and see how well it works. The other feature I discovered was the infrared printing. I was able to beam a couple pictures from my iPAQ to the printer and they printed out nicely as well. There is an optional Bluetooth adapter you can purchase for this printer and I may end up doing that so I can print from my laptops, desktops and pocket pc’s.

 

So Epson – if you’re listening – put some sample paper in the box so people can get hooked on the quality of your photo printer output from the beginning!

Posted on Thursday, March 1, 2007 9:08 PM Hardware Reviews | Back to top


Comments on this post: Hardware Review: Epson Stylus Photo RX580

# re: Hardware Review: Epson Stylus Photo RX580
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Great article
Left by Radu on Jun 20, 2011 12:28 PM

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