Epson Stylus Photo R200 review
Epson’s R200 is over a year old. But it looks good, is sturdy and uses six inks with photo cyan and photo magenta accompanying the usual CMYK. All of these, including black, are dye-based, which immediately sets some alarms ringing. Indeed, while normal text is perfectly readable, it’s noticeably less saturated and more spidery than pigment counterparts due to its absorption into the plain paper. In draft mode, characters are very light and grainy and verge on being uncomfortable to read. It seems that while we expect all printers to manage all tasks, this old-style ‘photo’ printer hasn’t moved with the times and only specialises in photos.
And it does a good job. While it struggled a little with coated paper, where we saw some noticeable grain in places, we could find little fault with its best-quality glossy photos. Grain was miniscule and only noticeable under close scrutiny of areas of uniform grey. Fades were also respectable.
But the really good news is that it’s cheap to run. Though a full set of ink cartridges costs a hefty £67, with the assistance of Epson’s low paper costs, you’re only looking at 35.7p per 6 x 4in photo. Using a chip resetter, you could also knock this down by about 10 per cent. Similar can be said for mono text, which already costs an affordable 2.5p per page. Fading isn’t brilliant though, and is noticeably helped by framing. Ultimately, the R200 is a good budget choice, but the Pixma iP3000’s versatility and speed make it better.