Imagine this. You're pulling an all-nighter for your last university assignment. The clock hits an ungodly hour of the morning as you desperately try to put the finishing touches on your essay. Finally, you let out a sigh of relief as you type your final sentence and then hit print, but lo and behold, your printer doesn't respond. Nothing at all.
In a mad panic before the clock hits the deadline for submission, you're racing around trying to find a printer — nothing fancy — just something cheap with a few extra bells and whistles. Enter the Epson Stylus Photo T50, undoubtedly a printer that many people will buy on a whim because of its price (AU$179) and because of the recognised brand name.
Design and features
This little black box is an inkjet printer — no fancy multifunction device here — that can print on CDs, DVDs and produce standard photo prints. It's a relatively lightweight unit at just 5.5kg, a feather-like relief after an array of cumbersome multifunctions that have passed through the CNET offices of late. It's coated in piano black plastic with a silver trim and is quite spartan in terms of extras — there's no LCD screen here. Connectivity is taken care of by a single USB cable, and that's all.
Consumables are either loaded from the back (paper) or the top panel (ink) that lifts up from the printer body. The paper catching tray at the front extends down but doesn't quite sit flush with the surface it rests on, thanks to the oddly positioned front decal. There's hardly any exterior fanfare, with no PictBridge connections for memory cards, and just three solitary function buttons at the front.
With six individual ink tanks the T50 definitely sees itself as a photo printer, using either standard or high yield cartridges. In the box you're provided with the printer itself, a USB cable, six ink cartridges to get you started, a CD/DVD printing tray, plus a software CD and installation guide. The rest of the documentation is provided on the CD.
Software provided includes Epson's Print CD (no prizes for guessing what this one does), Web-To-Page, Easy Photo Print, and Print Image Framer that lets you decorate your photos with all manner of objects. At the time of writing, there were no drivers available form Epson's website for Windows 7 or Snow Leopard.