Epson Stylus C66 review

Price when reviewed

The Stylus C66 uses Epson’s DuraBrite pigment inks, which immediately limit the quality on offer. While dye-based inks are absorbed into specialist glossy paper, leaving a nice shiny surface that looks like a proper photograph, pigment inks rest atop the paper’s surface and deflect light in random directions. This gives a dull appearance, which is why most manufacturers don’t use them for colours. However, they do tend to resist fading and moisture more than dye-based inks.

Epson Stylus C66 review

So it’s no surprise that the C66’s photos looked dull and more akin to the printers of yesteryear. They also appeared at an incredibly slow pace. However, it stands out when printing pictures on plain paper as the lack of absorption leaves colours bright and vibrant. Considering that most home prints are still printed on plain paper this would be a boon for many. Standard text was spidery up close and appeared at a pedestrian 2.5ppm while draft text was faint and banded but appeared at a speedy 10.3ppm.

Unusually for a budget printer, the C66’s ink is also cheap. While mono text is an average 3.4p per page, 29.1p for 6 x 4in and £1.07 for A4 photos meant it was the cheapest overall to run. Also note that the chip resetter (see p152) allowed an extra 110 sheets of text and 56 6 x 4in photos, which lowers the running costs even more – just don’t completely run the ink dry or you could damage the print heads.

Ultimately, though, the C66 will only attract occasional users who want to buy into the DuraBrite system.

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