Although multifunction devices seem to be all the rage these days, especially in the small office/home office market, there's still room for low-cost single-function printers designed to do one thing well -- print.
Epson knows desktop printing as well as any company, and has produced many excellent personal printers, in particular, over the years. However, Epson is less prominent in the business space, which is dominated by the likes of HP and Lexmark. The company has just one business inkjet printer -- the Stylus D120, which costs around £50 and delivers high-quality output.
The Stylus D120 measures 435 by 240 by 161mm, weighs 3.9kg and is relatively unassuming in terms of design. Its black exterior lends a touch of sophistication. Free from LCDs, memory card slots and other multimedia paraphernalia, the Stylus D120 looks like it means business.
However, it's under the surface where this printer gets interesting. Twin high-capacity black ink cartridges deliver better-than-normal yields for printing high-volume black-and-white text documents, while individual cyan, magenta and yellow ink cartridges mean that only the colour that's exhausted needs to be replaced.
Featuring the latest generation of Epson's DURABrite Ultra ink, documents from the Stylus D120 are durable, smudge-proof, water and highlighter pen resistant. Double-sided prints are also of good quality, as the quick-drying DuraBrite Ultra ink typically doesn't bleed through the page.
The Stylus D120's fast print speeds are achieved as a result of the new Epson Micro Piezo print-head mechanism. The number of nozzles dedicated to black ink has been doubled to 360, with 177 reserved for colour (59 each for C, M and Y); when combined with an increase in the speed of ink ejection, this results in a maximum of 37 pages per minute for black-and-white and 20ppm for colour pages.
Other features of the Stylus D120 are straightforward. It connects to a PC or Mac using a single hi-speed USB interface -- cable not supplied in the box -- but there's no support for memory cards or computer-independent printing. Thankfully, for about £30 more, the Stylus D120 Network Edition is available for those who want the convenience of wired and wireless network printing.