Epson Stylus Photo TX700W

Though the TX700 sports one of the most attractive cases we've seen in some time, the cost of consumables does unfortunately let this speedy performer down.

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Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.

It's a rarity to come across a printer that has such a strong design aesthetic as the TX700. Coming from the same design house that gave us Pinocchio washing lines and mouse-shaped objets d'art, the Castiglione Morelli drafted printer is definitely a little different from the rest of the pack.

Sporting a piano black finish on the upper half, and a matte black plastic base, the TX700 also houses a control panel at the front which pops out from the body and tilts up and down. Backlit buttons and the vivid 2.5-inch colour LCD screen are equally as sexy as their surrounds. A standard array of SD/Memory Stick/xD/Compact Flash slots sit at the bottom right, completing the rest of the specs.

Its rather cumbersome size is the one disadvantage to all the clean lines — the TX700 seems to spread out rather than up, making its footprint a rather large 44cm across by 38cm deep.

With support for CD and DVD printing, plus wireless and Ethernet connectivity, the TX700 is positioning itself as a do-it-all unit. Certainly, it's a multifunction in the sense that it can print, scan and copy, but the addition of these other extras have the potential to position it as a leading printer in its class.

The double paper trays (for smaller 10x15cm prints on top and A4/Legal on the bottom) are positioned at the front of the device, though they feel rather flimsy because of their thin construction. This is a bit of a letdown compared to the build quality of the rest of the printer. The optional duplexer, which can be attached to the back of the unit, is a separate purchase.

Using Epson's proprietary Claria ink tanks, the TX700 has six dedicated colours that need replacing. More on this later.

Epson claimed some incredibly fast print speeds for this machine — like 10 seconds for a 10x15cm photo print, so naturally we put our sceptic's hat on and put it to the test.

The set-up process was relatively straightforward, though the bundled software was a little confusing to use at first. Documentation for installation is kept to a minimum; however, there is a substantial brochure provided, which will step you through the process of using the printer as a stand-alone unit.

We particularly enjoyed how there were snap-to-print levers in the paper trays, with common paper sizes marked on them ready to line up your pages properly. Unfortunately, the novelty soon wore off when we observed the flimsiness of the paper trays themselves. We even found that our unit came with paper lodged at the back from the pages (and tray) being inserted incorrectly.

For our first test, we printed a number of 10x15cm photos directly from the printer onto Epson's Ultra Glossy Photo Paper, and were astounded by the speeds this printer could achieve. The longest we waited for a print was 29 seconds — incredibly impressive. Even so, the time did fall fairly shy from Epson's stated specifications for a 10-second printout.

In terms of photo quality, the TX700 was able to produce some very high quality printouts. Even the smallest details appeared crisp and tack sharp, colours were even and not oversaturated, and blacks were very deep. Compared to printouts from one of the other multifunctions we tested recently, the HP Photosmart C6380, the TX700 produced slightly flatter shots. The colours from the Epson were not as punchy, but there was a greater tonal range in our printouts due to the extra colour tanks (this unit has six and the HP only has four ink tanks).

For our next test, we performed a scan of a 10x15cm print that we had produced earlier. The TX700 produced an image in an astounding 11 seconds, but while it was incredibly quick, the resulting scan was only just passable, but not ideal — colours looked a little washed out and the image was certainly not of a high enough standard to make another print from.

Black and white text printouts were incredibly speedy once the data had been sent to the printer — from final click to first page dropping on the tray, the Epson managed a respectable 34 seconds. The rest of the pages almost flew out, averaging around five seconds each. Full A4 colour prints took a lot longer though — we timed our test shot at three minutes seven seconds for a borderless print on heavyweight paper.

Unfortunately, navigating through the photo prints from a memory card was a little cumbersome — there is no quick way to skip to the photo that you want, though there is the option to print a proof sheet or index sheet of images.

Cartridges and warranty
As the TX700 uses six separate colour cartridges, the cost to replace the entire lot in one go is quite expensive. At the time of writing, we found the prices for these cartridges to be around AU$22 each on average (though they retail around AU$25-$26), which makes the total cost of replacing all six an exorbitant AU$132. Considering the speed at which you're likely to use up the ink, this cost of ownership is the big deal breaker for the Epson. Add into this equation the additional cost of branded photo paper and running costs suddenly skyrocket.

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NadineG Facebook

"Looks great, quite quick and quality print on photos....when it's working..."

NadineG posted a review   

The Good:Great design, good quality photo prints

The Bad:Constant nozzle blockages, greedy ink consumption and expensive ink

Haviing owned Epson printers previously I expected the same reliability I had experienced with previous models when purchasing the TX700W. I've been sorely disappointed.

The printer started out well and I was really pleased with print quality and speed - however all too soon the nozzle blockages became a regular occurrence. This model takes six ink cartridges and the cleaning program chews through all your very expensive Epson ink at an alarming rate with each clean that is required.

The final impasse came when the nozzles blocked yet again and two full sets of ink were guzzled trying to resolve the problem before the printer finally gave up the ghost. Rather than take it to seek the professional help it suggested I figured at this stage I could just buy another printer and ink for less money and a whole lot less trouble.

The review is right - the design is great and it looks amazing sitting on your desk. Too bad that's what it ends up doing to the exclusion of all else when the print heads clog yet again. I rather thought I'd just bought the odd one out but on seeing the other reviews here I'm now of the opinion that this printer is a triumph of style over substance....


Jane posted a review   

The Good:functions available

The Bad:pretty much every thing else

Avoid this printer, its rubbish. The ink cartridges are wayyy over priced, and half the time the printer doesnt even recognise them!!!! The wireless function is utter rubbish too. Will not be buying a printer from epson ever again after this fiasco.


ayze posted a review   

The Good:good printing

The Bad:ink finishes to fast

the images are fine but the ink really anoying


zer05um posted a comment   

The Good:Print quality

The Bad:Ink cost and reliability. Wirelss a nightmare.

Surely the worst Epson to date. Expensive to run, slow to start-up and network function are a very poor joke.


Drew posted a review   

The Good:excellent scanner

The Bad:Paper feed is rubbish, cannot feed A4 photo paper. Avoid this absolute rubbish printer like the plague

Terrible. I have had it now for nearly 12 months, and had constant problems where it cannot pick up a4 photo paper from out of the tray. If you try and "help" it by pushing the paper forward in the tray with your fingers, you might find that it works 1/5 times. Do it for a few prints and you will take the skin off your knuckles doing this however.

On the rare occasions you can get it to print on this photo paper, it does a good job as far as print quality goes.

Probably the worst design mechanism I have seen from Epson in the 12 years I have bought their printers. They must be really going down as a company to contemplate releasing such a thing on the market with these problems, this would suggest that they are losing their grip on consumer expectations and market reality.

The only good thing about it is the scanner. This does excellent quality scanning. normal A4 letter printing is fine too.

A friend of mine also had the misfortune to buy one of these. Over the 1.5 years he had it the ink kept blocking, and a new cyan cartridge he bought for it had a faulty chip and wasn't recognized by the printer and the epson agent refused to replace it as it had been opened.

Unfortunately, after having one too many problems, the final one being right in the middle of an urgent job, and having all the remaining ink being drained to try and "clean" the thing (note, without ink cartridges being full, you cant even use it as a scanner) he finally lost it with the thing and smashed the unit into 1000 pieces earlier this week.

I doubt the thing had ever printed even 300 pages in the 18 months he suffered with it and constantly gave these problems. Warranty service and "online support" was a joke.


rosie posted a review   

The Good:prints well

The Bad:ridiculously expensive ink replacements.

I had to pay a technician to set up the wireless for me after wasting a day trying to do it myself.
The ink replacements are extremely over priced, it's cheaper to buy a new printer !. I wish I never wasted my money on it.

Elf Azzid

Elf Azzid posted a review   

The Good:picture quality

The Bad:price of ink, blockages

Started off great, but now is causing me grief!
I have just finished work on my latest Album (I am a band) and just before my first run of CD were due to be printed the black ink blocked up. SO I changed the colour scheme of the album cover. NOW the light cyan has blocked as well!
I have used an entire set of ink cartridges trying to unblock it, NOT A CHEAP THING TO DO!!!!!
This printer is stalling the release of my album!!!!
How do I flush the tubes without wasting another $130?!


bolqiaa posted a review   

The Good:photo

The Bad:ink finishes so fast

I bought the continuous ink for the printer and it works amazing and im so happy with it now
so i suggest if u ever think of buying it buy continuous ink


yessa posted a reply


gerald posted a reply   

where do i get this continuous ink?..and why did so many users not think of this before?...pls reply me to you very much

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User Reviews / Comments  Epson Stylus Photo TX700W

  • NadineG



    "Haviing owned Epson printers previously I expected the same reliability I had experienced with previous models when purchasing the TX700W. I've been sorely disappointed.

    The printer..."

  • Jane



    "Avoid this printer, its rubbish. The ink cartridges are wayyy over priced, and half the time the printer doesnt even recognise them!!!! The wireless function is utter rubbish too. Will not be buyin..."

  • ayze



    "the images are fine but the ink really anoying"

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