The Epson SX535WD is great value for money and offers a range of features while being one of the fastest sub-£100 inkjet models around.
The Epson SX535WD is a budget three-in-one inkjet model that supports scanning and copying as well as printing.
For a low price, it even comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and Epson provides Android and iOS apps to let you wirelessly print directly from phones and tablets.
You can buy it online for around £65.
Like a lot of recent multi-function models that I've looked at, this one has quite a low profile, standing just 169mm tall. It's decked out completely in black, with a matte finish used on the front and sides and a gloss coating with a dimpled pattern applied to the scanner lid.
The control panel can be pulled upwards to sit at an angle that's comfortable for you to use, then pushed back down to sit flush against the chassis when not in use. It's a similar story with the telescopic paper-out tray. When the printer is not in use, this can be pushed back into the body of the machine to reduce overall footprint.
This model's control panel is quite large, spanning almost the entire width of the printer. Nestled in the middle is a 6.3cm colour screen. This isn't touch-enabled. Instead, you navigate around the fairly easy-to-understand menus using the chunky four-way cursor buttons mounted to the right of the screen.
The front of the printer is also home to a memory card reader that works with SD, xD-Picture Card and Memory Stick cards. There's no PictBridge USB port, so you can't produce hard copies of your snaps directly from your camera.
The SX535WD's paper tray slots in the bottom of the machine and can take up to 150 sheets of A4 paper at a time. Sadly, it doesn't have a separate photo compartment, so every time you want to print snaps you have to remove your A4 sheets and replace them with photo paper. That's par for the course on machines in this price range.
Set-up is hassle-free and the four ink cartridges are very easy to insert. All you have to do is lift up the scanner mechanism and slot each cartridge into place. When a cartridge is properly attached, you'll hear a slight click, so it's difficult not to insert them correctly.
Loading up the software and drivers is quick. During the install, you can choose whether to connect to the printer using USB, Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi or Ethernet is the recommended route. That way you'll be able to share the printer with other devices on your network. For example, Epson offers printing apps for both iOS and Android gadgets that make it easy to wirelessly print photos from phones and tablet computers.
There's no automatic document feeder (ADF) on this model, so the scanner can only be used to scan one sheet at a time. If you frequently need to fax or scan multi-page documents, you'd be better off spending more to get a model with an ADF.
The scanner has a resolution of 2,400x2,400dpi and produces good results for a model in this price range. Colours in scans tend to retain a lot of their vibrancy. While some detail is lost, on the whole, scans compare pretty favourably to their originals.
The scanner is reasonably fast and this dose of speed helps it to quickly produce photocopies. It replicated my A4 black and white test sheet in just 16 seconds. The quality of the copy wasn't the best I've seen, but it was far from the worst.
The SX535WD certainly doesn't hang around when it comes to print speeds. It pumped out my 10-page black and white text document in 51 seconds and delivered a doubled-sided version of the same document in 1 minute 25 seconds. Both of those speeds are very quick for a sub-£100 printer. It's fast too when it comes to colour graphics.
My business presentation took 2 minutes 28 seconds, while a 10-page graphics test took 2 minutes 40 seconds. Photo printing is a tad slower than normal -- it worked on my 4x6-inch print for 1 minute 14 seconds.
Text quality was fairly strong. There was some slight feathering around characters on the page, but text did look dense and inky. While banding did rear it's head on some larger blocks of colour, it dealt with finer detail well and colours looked strong and bold. This model only uses three ink colours, so colour in photo output wasn't as impressive as dedicated photo printers, but the results were perfectly useable.
Print costs aren't excessive, but they're not the cheapest around either. Using the high-capacity cartridges, a black and white print works out at 3.4p per page, while a colour sheet comes in at 6.2p, including 0.7p for paper costs.
There's a lot to like with the Epson SX535WD. It pumps out pages at a rapid speed, has good print quality and provides you with an impressive range of features for a modest outlay. As a result, I think it's one of the better models in Epson's range at the moment.