Epson Stylus Photo R285 review

  • £55

Cheap to buy but expensive to run, does this Epson justify its costs?

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Our Verdict

The Epson R285 is expensive to run and can't turn its hand to document printing as well as photo output. Outright photo quality is also second-best.

For

  • Good colour range
  • Cheap to buy

Against

  • Expensive to run
  • Poor document printing

The Epson R285 is a bare-bones A4 printer which doesn't even include PictBridge support. What you do get, however, is Epson's latest generation of Claria dye-based inks that are delivered from six replaceable cartridges.

The colour range is therefore very good but, in our tests, outright accuracy left a little to be desired, especially when it came to skin tones, which tended to be a little on the cool side. Prints are a little too contrasty and overly saturated in some cases. Highlight detail was also lost in some areas of prints.

Same difference

Print speed is quick in normal quality mode but sluggish if you switch to the best-quality setting. In most cases, there's no discernable difference in prints created at either setting, apart from some very marginal increase in lowlight detail in best-quality mode.

While the R285 is fairly cheap to buy, running costs are a little pricey. Another glaring difference is that, because the black ink is dye-based rather than being a pigment ink, mono text looks feint and greyish, so the R285 can't effectively double up as a document printer as well.