Epson Stylus DX7000F 

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This is a stylish looking multi function unit, however despite the neat outward appearance doing things other than copying without the PC is not that easy.
Epson Multi-function DX7000F printer

It is 45x34x16cm you need to double the last figure the height when paper is stored waiting to be used. The USB lead goes in back left and the power lead towards the right on the rear.

The controls are on the top all together in a line to the left of the flatbed scanner lid that opens landscape. A total of twenty four buttons and a one line LED display. This is fixed so you need to adjust yourself to be able to read it.

Below the controls on the front of the unit is a door that hides two card slots, the first for Smart Media, XD, SD/MMC and MS Pro. The second slot is for Compact Flash and Micro Drives. Having the variety in slot one means different ways and parts of that slot dependant on card type.

The installation for Windows XP or earlier is from a provided CD, For Vista you need to do several downloads but everything is easy to find on the Epson site and again installs without problem.

Copying - without the PC being on or even connected - is just a matter of switching the unit on putting the item to be copied face down on the flatbed and pressing either the black or colour button. Accepting the defaults produces a good colour copy in 160 seconds while a black copy takes 40seconds.

This is the first scanner I have used under Vista - as I gather from others that scanning is even more problematic than printing - however I found no problems. The images were fine and text was clear and readable. If you give it a good clean sheet to scan the output will be good as well.

Turning to printing firstly as a text printer. Doing the ubiquitous 200 word page this printed at 17PPM however the output was a light grey in colour and only useful for lacement purposes. Printing a more normal 1500 word document - spread over four pages - this printed at 12PPM but again using the draft mode this was only useful for placement.

The same pages printed in text mode (the next lowest) came in at 5PPM for the 200 word offering and 3PPM for the 1500word document. The other modes are text & image, photo and best photo.

Moving on to graphics printing anything from the card slots was next to impossible mainly because of not having a TFT. Printing a full A4 graphic on plain paper took around 50 seconds this has a normal border, the same on glossy photo paper takes 215 seconds and the same image using the excellent Epson Photo Print software borderless takes 230 seconds.

Personally I do not think a fax in any form will be a big seller today, this unit can receive and send faxes and it works as it should (even using Vista).

I liked the look of the unit however the lack of a TFT makes the card slots almost useless - you would be better with a card reader and transferring inside Windows - yes you can copy both black and colour pages without the PC. Unless you need a fax I would suggest this unit is only useful within Windows.

Printing - apart from draft mode - is slow and other printers can produce output as good but faster. Scanning is okay and if this is required then an MFU or All In One maybe the answer however this unit looks good but does not deliver.

Doing my Internet searches found the DX7000F for a best price of £96 from the first link below.

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