A smart-looking piece of kit, the contrasting shiny and matte black surfaces of the PX710W combine well to give the impression of quality and this is reflected in a broad range of impressive features and up-market specifications.

We liked

There's a wide choice of wired and wireless connection options as well as a full complement of media card slots, making it easy to print photos from just about any source, whether it's a PC, Mac, camera or memory card.

Compared with touchscreen printers, the vast expanse of buttons can look a little daunting at first but the control system is nevertheless quick and easy to use in standalone modes.

There are some nice little extras, like a secondary input tray for postcard sized photo paper, and a neat CD tray for printing directly onto compatible CD/DVD discs, as also featured in the Canon MP640.

We disliked

As a dedicated photo printer running six dye-based inks, the PX710W makes a surprisingly good job of mono text printing but print quality is less than perfect where you need it most – in photo output.

We often found that fine detail got lost in lowlight areas and that contrast was a little high, while skin tones were sometimes cool and less than flattering.

Another problem was that the Epson seemed more prone than other printers to print head blockages in the ink nozzles, requiring greater frequency in cleaning cycles, which is not only an inconvenience but also wastes ink.

Verdict

The PX710W is one of Epson's best photo printers to date but speed and quality could still be better, even in comparison to more general purpose printers like the Canon MP640.