Epson Stylus Photo TX800FW

The Epson TX800FW produces impressive colour prints, photos and text documents, and it outpaces the competition in almost all of our speed tests. We're impressed by its performance, but hesitate to recommend this printer based on the poor build quality and error-prone software.


6.0
CNET Rating
4.5
User Rating

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The Epson TX800FW printer is a multifunctional printer that can also copy, scan and fax documents. The AU$399 device is faster than other inkjet printers, and we like the large LCD screen and the built-in CD drive, but it's severely marred by buggy software and flimsy components. We spent more time taking apart the paper trays, fixing paper jams, and reinstalling drivers than actually using the printer. If you can actually get the printer to work on a consistent basis, the TX800FW can produce fast, well-formed photo prints. For the sake of your sanity, we recommend investing in a more dependable multifunction printer, such as the Canon Pixma MX700 or the HP Photosmart C8180.

The Epson TX800FW is a printer, scanner, copier and fax machine. (Credit: CNET)

Design and features
The TX800FW is part of Epson's new line of all-in-one devices including the Stylus Photo TX700W and the design reflects a new, sleek style. The chassis has rounded edges and a glossy black finish. Also, it's fairly small for an all-in-one; with all the trays closed, the printer actually shares similar dimensions to the Canon Pixma MX700, coming in at 18.2cm high by 41.2cm wide by 35.6cm deep and weighing 10.8 kilograms.

The TX800FW has a 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD. (Credit: CNET)

A flatbed scanner hides underneath the TX800FW's top-loading, 30-page auto-document feeder for the copier and fax machine. The large 3.5-inch LCD sits prominently on the front of the printer with hinges on either side that control the angle of the screen. Only two buttons fill the rest of the space on the panel: "Power" and "CD eject". A CD/DVD tray, a unique printer feature, pops out from below the paper trays when you press the eject button and you can use it for copying images onto a blank CD or printing your own custom labels. The separate output and input trays rest below the display, and two memory card slots as well as a PictBridge port round out the front of the control centre.

The TX800FW's paper feed tray loses a step.
(Credit: CNET)

The trays that feed paper into the printer are the main source of our gripe with the TX800FW. First, the plastic that Epson uses for the folding output tray is so thin that they bounce around at the slightest touch. We get that Epson wants to make the accessories collapsible to save space, but cutting corners on flimsy materials certainly throws speed bumps in the user experience. We can't comment precisely on how the trays will hold up to months or years of constant use, but even they already feel like they're about to snap in half.

In addition, you have to push the output tray all the way back into the device to pull out the input tray below it. The main paper tray holds 120 sheets of paper, and a separate, smaller tray for photo paper slides loosely across the top. Both trays suffer from serious design flaws: instead of designating fixed slots for the standard paper sizes (A4, Letter and so on), the main tray has a series of confusing notch marks with several markings of the same size. Epson makes it harder by forcing you to line up the tab with the notch marks, which takes time and precision since the tabs can move freely anywhere along the slider. If you're even slightly off, the printer will pick up several sheets of paper at a time, jam and freeze your job. We much prefer the HP Photosmart C8180, another printer with dual-paper feed trays that makes refilling easy with several pre-assigned size slots.

We also encountered issues with the software drivers included in the box. After experiencing severe banding after printing just a few photos, we aligned the print head and things seemed to be working until an unexplained error popped up on the screen prompting us to power down the printer and restart. We followed Epson's instructions and even tried searching for an updated driver, but still experienced the same intermittent errors. We also reinstalled the driver several times, restarted and power cycled the printer and our desktop with no success. The random errors disrupted our work flow — we almost spent more time behind the printer freeing up jams than actually testing the device.

These design issues are especially unfortunate because the TX800FW actually has some impressive features. When it works properly, it can streamline your printing work by eliminating the need for a physical computer to act as the liaison. You can perform most functions directly through the printer. For example, you can plug your xD, Memory Stick, Compact Flash or Secure Digital card directly into the front media reader and edit your photos on the large 7.8-inch touchscreen. Granted, you can only crop, rotate and enlarge, but amateur photographers will be thankful for the automated fix options.

Creative types can also take advantage of the robust personalisation options, including custom colouring books, passport and ID photo sheets, photo index sheets, greeting cards, and still movie clips. All of these options are also easy to use with the ArcSoft Print Creations software included in the package. There's also a convenient option to print out blank college-ruled or wide-ruled lined paper.

Performance
In terms of output speed, the Epson TX800FW sits in direct competition with the Canon Pixma MX700. We also put it up against several other all-in-one printers in the same price range, but the TX800FW's scores blow theirs out of the water. For example, while the Kodak ESP 5 took its time printing a sheet of colour graphics at a blistering 2.21 pages per minute, the TX800FW flew across the finish line, finishing our test at almost three times the speed at 6.06 pages per minute. And even though the MX700 puts up a good fight in the text and colour scanning qualifiers, it's no match for Epson in the Photo speed test, which came in at more than double the pages per minute. The TX800FW is without question one of the speediest printers we've tested, when it's working. In our evaluation, the Epson ruined its early finish with a handful of mechanical failures that took more time to fix than the testing itself.

Performance test (in pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Colour scanning
Photo speed (one sheet)
Colour graphics speed
Presentation speed
Colour text speed
Kodak ESP 5
4.32
1.37
2.13
2.21
4.39
HP Officejet J6480
3.4
0.83
2.17
2.36
5.54
HP Photosmart C8180
3.73
0.66
2.12
2.47
4.37
Canon Pixma MX700
5.03
1.05
2.08
2.3
7.41
Epson TX800FW
4.82
2.82
6.06
6.6
6.43

The Epson TX800FW has a six-ink cartridge bay. (Credit: CNET)

We're also very impressed with the TX800FW's capability to produce solid images across a variety of media materials and sizes. We printed our stock image on 20-pound plain paper and Epson's own premium glossy photo paper at both 8.5x11 inches as well as 4x6 inches. Each time, the output quality displayed solid lines, clear pictures and bright colours. The printer uses six separate ink cartridges that you can purchase individually on Epson's website. The embedded printing options in the driver software are more extensive than the competition, showing job progress, pagination and preferences for fine and normal lines, customisable presettings, and a maximum resolution of 5,760x1,440dpi.

Service and support
Epson backs the Epson Stylus Photo TX800FW with a limited back-to-base warranty for one year after the date of purchase. Further support is available online through a model-specific troubleshooting guide, FAQs, email support, driver updates and document downloads.

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ggxie
4
Rating
 

"Wouldn't recommend to use this model."

ggxie posted a review   
Hong Kong

The Good:scan, fax, print all okay

The Bad:Wirelss doesn't work.

We had less problem with it except it never works for the purpose we bought it for: Wireless printing. No matter what I do, I just couldn't get it to work. It never had a paper jam. The ink cartridges are very small and we constantly out of ink.

KhalfanA Facebook
1
Rating
 

"DONT BUY IT"

KhalfanA posted a review   
United Arab Emirates

The Good:It look nice

The Bad:Everything

Trust me don't buy it

joeysworld
1
Rating
 

"stay away from epson"

joeysworld posted a review   
Australia

The Good:nothing

The Bad:will put you through hell

I have had 4 of these printers and over a dozen epson printers, after exactly 3 months the head will clog and becaue that part is not under waranty epson will charge you a fortune to fix it.

it is almost as though every single printer they have is designed to do the same thing.

i wish epson made the printer a little smaller becaue the take up too much room in the garbage bin.

no mater how much money anyone has, owning an epson printer will send them broke.

i dont know why i tried to stick to epson for so long when canon has better print quallity and lasts longer

who is it possible that epson is allowed to rip people off with a product that is designed to fail and still be in business.

I will never buy another epson product ever again, they are crooks.

Moggy
2
Rating
 

Moggy posted a review   

The Good:Looks Good

The Bad:Always has problems

Most unreliable printer I have ever owned. Ink runs out all the time even when I know the refill was only done less than 5 pages previously. Very fast when it starts printing, though at times it may take up to 5 mins of clunking about prior to producing any output. A rip off and a waste of time. I will never buy an Epson product ever again as a result of this printer. Repair costs don't warrant bothering. Time to get a new printer.

Djeem
2
Rating
 

Djeem posted a review   

The Good:Print quality and speed, when it's working!

The Bad:Almost everything else that's previously been mentioned!

My main gripe is that it won't fax directly from the computer screen (like my old LaserJet 3015).

If it allowed me to use it as a computer fax (send and receive from the computer screen), then it would have some use. However, it's a complete failure as a fax as all faxes need to be printed first and then placed, one page at a time, on the scan bed (as the ADF has NEVER worked) to send.

Then there's the ink usage. My last FULL set of cartridges only allowed me to print just five items, which turned out rubbish as the nozzles were blocked, and then they reported as being empty!! And the nozzles are still blocked!

Therefore, I only really have a $330 scanner! Nah, I think it's time to SMASH the printer and send photos to Epson.

Recommendation: DO NOT purchase this printer unless you own an Epson ink factory!

scooterdogs
4
Rating
 

scooterdogs posted a review   

The Good:Multifunction option

The Bad:quality, set up & customer service

We used this for a homebased business, liking the combined printer, copier & fax. This is our second epson - loved the cx6500 & only updated for the combined fax option. Loved the idea of Wi-Fi but have never been able to get it to work. Nor has any technicians I've employed. Very limited info on this option should you need to troubleshoot so that feature is useless now. Fax is great - easy to set up with a phone & answer machine on same line & recognizes incoming faxes automatically. Ink usage is a nightmare - I crossed over to generic & re set printing option to greyscale draft as standard with great success UNTIL an auto update by Epson rendered the whole printer useless.Continuous printer error/message to change different colour cartridge over & over & over. It took 4 weeks of trying generic & non generic cartridges (at great expense) & absolutely NO ASSISTANCE from Epson until my generic cartridge supplier advised of update issue & that Epson had released a feature that would not allow the printer to recognise generic cartridges & a change over to branded cartridges only left me with a continuous error to clean print head. Solution?(after abuse, fits, tantrums & a bottle of rum) was to uninstall & reinstall software, select to NOT receive auto updates & lo & behold the printer worked successfully-all errors removed. (All this thanks to my very patient cartridge supplier whom as well as suggesting reinstall also sent me out a full bundle of replacement cartridges @ no charge). Now my ADF has failed after 18 months. All sounds so familiar to previous reviews on this site doesn't it? Again, Epson has no interest in providing any assistance except to refer me to Help site which is USELESS.
I had been an avid supporter for EPSON, but no longer. The quality of print & equipment needs great improvement as does clarification of operation (like how the hell to get the wi fi working successfully & across all functions). I'm sure there's something in it for the ACCC with regards to misleading statements on functions like WiFi & print quality & endurance but who has the time. I'll just let my wallet do the talking all the way to another manufacturer. In these financial times Epson I wouldn't take your customers for granted....

 

MerrilyW posted a reply   

YUP - ADF has failed with mine as well for no reason and it is a real pain. I know what you mean about their customer support It may as well not exist for all the stress and wait time they torture you with.

They wont even give you a hint of how to fix the ADF or supply parts under a "yes we know we have a design issue and we are sorry" plan.

Epson big thumbs down from now on when I buy another printer.


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User Reviews / Comments  Epson Stylus Photo TX800FW

  • ggxie

    ggxie

    Rating4

    "We had less problem with it except it never works for the purpose we bought it for: Wireless printing. No matter what I do, I just couldn't get it to work. It never had a paper jam. The ink cartrid..."

  • KhalfanA

    KhalfanA

    Rating1

    "Trust me don't buy it"

  • joeysworld

    joeysworld

    Rating1

    "I have had 4 of these printers and over a dozen epson printers, after exactly 3 months the head will clog and becaue that part is not under waranty epson will charge you a fortune to fix it.
    ..."

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