Epson Stylus CX9600F

For AU$299 the Epson CX6900F offers colour printing, scanning, copying and faxing in one attractively priced package.


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The CX6900F is Epson's latest entry into the multifunction inkjet printer party. Priced at AU$299, it sits in the middle of Epson's multifunction range. However, unlike some of its more expensive brethren it has, in addition to its scanner and copier functions, a built-in colour fax.

Design
Design-wise the CX6900F adheres to the Epson multifunction printer formula of silver plastic on grey. Paper is fed in via a top-loading feeder suitable for 100 sheets. In front of this is a number pad -- primarily used for faxing -- and a smattering of control buttons, plus a slightly larger than A4 scanner. The scanner can be flipped up, allowing you to access the ink cartridges below. Running costs are kept reasonable as there are four individually replaceable cartridges (black, cyan, magenta and yellow) priced from AU$14.50.

On the front, next to the paper exit tray, is a flap concealing slots to read xD, SD/MMC, Smart Media, Memory Stick and CompactFlash cards.

Features
The CX6900F functions as a PC-free fax, copier and photo printer. Using the 1200 x 2400dpi scanner as a copier we managed to copy a colour page in about 2 minutes 30 seconds and a black and white page in about 40 seconds. The CX6900F's 33.6kbps fax is capable of colour faxing, although this seems to be a bit of a gimmick given the glacial transfer rate and the scarcity of colour faxes in use. Also, the lack of a feeder for the scanner may be a hindrance for those who have to fax large documents.

Additionally, users can print straight from their camera (via PictBridge) or from their memory card -- using any of the five types listed above. Prior to printing photos the CX6900F can automatically perform the contrast and colour balance adjustments usually done by users in photo editing software, like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. In reality, though, printing straight from memory card to printer, using the built-in memory card reader, is an exercise in frustration because the Epson only has a single line display. Selecting a photo to print from a memory card requires printing out a thumbnail sheet containing pictographic instructions on what to do next.

Although the transfer speeds from card to PC are glacially slow -- try almost three minutes for 65MB -- it's still preferable to use the printer as a memory card reader for your PC, and print photos out using the supplied Epson Easy Photo Print software. Easy Photo Print allows users, who don't wish to master the intricacies of Adobe Photoshop, to print photos in various sizes and on a variety of paper formats, from plain to glossy photo paper.

Performance
On starting up the CX6900F, the printer does about 40 seconds worth of electrical and mechanical gymnastics before it is ready for printing, scanning or faxing. Once up and running, the printer is a snap to operate via its supplied drivers and software suite. As is the fashion, the driver provides a status update on the ink levels during each print job. We expended just over a quarter of the supplied black cartridge on one 28 page document in the highest quality setting for text. In this mode, we managed 2.3 pages per minute (ppm) -- with text quality good, although still quite obviously that of an inkjet printer -- while in draft mode the printer raced along at 15.3ppm -- still well short of its claimed 27ppm.

Using the glossy photo paper supplied to us by Epson, we turned out prints that when viewed at a distance of about 20cm could almost pass for professional grade. The prints showed good colour reproduction, being neither too saturated nor too dark. Only on closer inspection can one see the fine pixilation that is a tell-tale sign of inkjet printers. A4 photos took just a shade under nine minutes to spit out, while standard 6x4-inch photos take about three and a half minutes to print. Images printed out on normal paper were noticeably duller, with pixilation evident at normal reading distances -- between 20- and 50-centimetres away.

Note: the first CX6900F had to be returned to Epson because the carriage holding the cartridges refused to move itself after a few prints.

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Post comment as
 

Arbor Elf posted a comment   

The Good:Good for sending faxes and taking photocopies

The Bad:Windows XP wont recognise it so is useless as a printer or scanner or me

Have tried many times to have windows recognise this. Contacted Epson who advised that the problem lies with Microsoft.
Bought so I could scan, so have wasted my money. Any wonder it was reduced in price

Daniella
1
Rating
 

Daniella posted a review   

Do not buy this printer, Ink Consumption is a Joke. I did not use one drop of colour ink and today I got a message saying all three colours out , by some coincidence all at the same time.

Nukkels
1
Rating
 

Nukkels posted a review   

The Good:The scanner is all I use on it now. That's slightly better than average.

The Bad:Print quality has gone down the toilet. Always has lines through everything and that's AFTER you've wasted literally half an ink cartridge cleaning the heads. Fax seems to have some trouble as well.

I'd have to say this is the worst multifunction ever made. Buy it at your own peril.

Had it taken in for repairs due to the problems everyone complains about. Got it back and nothing has changed.

Justin
3
Rating
 

Justin posted a review   

The Good:Print quality is fine.

The Bad:Not reliable. Cannot print if 1 colour ink cartridge is empty, even if printing in b/w.

It has been breaking down often. Unusually high ink usuage. I truly regretted my purchase.

Nukkels
4
Rating
 

Nukkels posted a review   

The Good:Decent print quality, great scanner, software is easy to use / quite powerful and the separate ink tanks are good. Decent colour reproduction for printing.

The Bad:Takes ages to print the first page (subsequent pages are quite fast though - good for jobs of 5+ pages), uses tonnes of ink performing maintenance and the electrics are in the cartridges so you can't refill them. Also it seems to not print sometimes and requires rebooting.

Heads constantly need cleaning, the print head misaligns frequently and it WILL NOT PRINT unless there is ink in every cartridge, so if you run out of yellow ink you can't even print in black.

johndudley
3
Rating
 

johndudley posted a review   

The Good:cheap

The Bad:expensive to run, slow, cant get card reader to read xd card, photos only ok and very expensive with all that inkq

astonishing first ink cartridges last a week to print forty a4 colour flyers

cyclops
2
Rating
 

cyclops posted a review   

The Good:Good quality prints

The Bad:Uses a ludicrous amount of ink.

No option to print in black only (only photocopy).

Slow print speeds

Bought it about 6 months ago, print quality is very good but it uses so much ink that I'm thinking or replacing. Print speed is also very slow and it won't give you the option to print in black only.

wodger
3
Rating
 

wodger posted a review   

The Good:good print quality
indelible ink

The Bad:high ink consumption ->running costs
cynical marketing ploy to sell ink

I also recently brought the CX3900. It only accepts genuine cartridges and WILL NOT PRINT if any other supposedly compatible ones are installed. Although cheap with good quality printing, extremely high running costs and ultimately a waste of money. Don't buy it.

unhappy customer
2
Rating
 

unhappy customer posted a review   

The Good:Cheap and rubbish

The Bad:Only last 3 weeks.

The printer Epson Stylus CX3900 that I got from Harvey Norman was rediculous. I put in a new ink cartridge (black) and it was not recognized. It keeps asking for new cartridge.

Freddie
3
Rating
 

Freddie posted a review   

The Good:cheap

The Bad:ink consumption is very high.

For less than one month since I bought the printer, I run out of ink (both Black and all 3 colours) and my second set also not last long. I consider myself just an average user. Prior to switching to Epson, I only need to replenish my black ink every 3 months and colour ink every 6 month. I noticed there a lot of uncessary cleaning took place that drained most of the ink. I had the same bad experience with CX3900 aslo. I would not want to buy Epson printer anymore. I made this complaint to Epson but .....
A lot of necessary head cleaning and resulted




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User Reviews / Comments  Epson Stylus CX9600F

  • Arbor Elf

    Arbor Elf

    "Have tried many times to have windows recognise this. Contacted Epson who advised that the problem lies with Microsoft.
    Bought so I could scan, so have wasted my money. Any wonder it was red..."

  • Daniella

    Daniella

    Rating1

    "Do not buy this printer, Ink Consumption is a Joke. I did not use one drop of colour ink and today I got a message saying all three colours out , by some coincidence all at the same time. "

  • Nukkels

    Nukkels

    Rating1

    "Had it taken in for repairs due to the problems everyone complains about. Got it back and nothing has changed."

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