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Thursday, September 1, 2005

Epson Stylus Photo RX620

Gain space with a scanner-printer combo

One new challenge to the digital photographer is space around the computer. Scanners, printers, card readers, extra hard drives and big monitors all vie for real estate on your desktop. One way to create more room is to use an all-in-one printer and scanner. Up until recently, though, they didn't fare favorably to stand-alone units. The Epson Stylus Photo RX620 is designed for some serious photo usage, however, which you can tell right away from its Stylus Photo designation.

epsonThe specs are impressive: 2400 dpi scanning with 48-bit color for both 35mm slides and negatives, four memory card slots that allow direct printing as well as act as a memory card reader, a color LCD for previews and six-color inkjet printing.

I still have a lot of slides and negatives in my files from which I'd love to make a quick print as well as be able to keep a file of it, but the standard process of scan, file, print was a hassle unless the photo was really important. Now, I have no excuse, especially after I found how easily this unit works. The controls are straightforward, much easier to use than other all-in-one printers I've tried. A small feature, but one that really helps is that the 35mm adapter stores in the top lid of the unit when not in use—no more searching for such an accessory.

The printer is fast, making a borderless 8x10 in less than two minutes. It uses dye-based inks, so prints aren't as archival as those from Epson's pigment-based printers. Expect matte paper images to last well over 20 years without fading (longer if stored in an album or in the dark). The RX620 will print up to 5760 dpi, but that's a waste of time and ink. You'll see little, if any, difference when the unit is used at 1440 dpi. The results are superb. Another cool feature is Epson's Easy Photo Fix, an auto-retouching tool for old photos.

The preview monitor holds printing information as well as a preview image, and the image isn't a high-quality preview, so it can only be used to confirm an image. The RX620 measures 17.7x23.3x11.9 inches. Estimated Street Price: $299.

Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.

Printing Technology: 6-color MicroPiezo inkjet
Maximum Printing Resolution: 1440 x 5760 dpi
Droplet Size: 3 picoliters
Ink: Dye-based photo inks
Scanner Type: Color CCD line sensor
Optical Resolution: 2400 x 4800 dpi

Primary Features
1 Border-free printing at 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 inches

2 Six-color photo dye inks with a three-picoliter droplet size

3 2400 dpi scanning for negatives, slides and prints

4 Can print directly from memory cards or a PictBridge camera connection


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