And it does all this and prints photos exceptionally well, using fade-free inks, for only $130.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983

T e c h n o f i l e
Epson CX7000F all-in-one is an excellent photo printer, great scanner and quick copier

May 13, 2007

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2007, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2007, The Post-Standard

   I doubt that I'll ever meet the perfect printer, but the Epson CX7000F sure does come close. And if its printing abilities don't persuade you, here's the clincher: It's a great scanner, too.
   The CX7000F is one model down from the top in Epson's line of "all-in-one" devices. In addition to printing and scanning, it serves as a quick copier (it automatically scans whatever you slip under the cover, then prints it, for a near-instant copy) and it's even a fax machine, too. It does all this -- and prints photos exceptionally well, using fade-free inks -- for only $130.
   I didn't try the fax portion -- faxing is so 1990 -- but I adore the way the CX7000F does everything else. If you're thinking of ditching your old ink jet printer for one that can produce photos worthy of the local art gallery, do yourself a favor and get one like the CX7000F that's got a photo-quality scanner built in. All those old family photos will love you for it.
   I can think of only one drawback to the CX7000F: It can't produce prints wider than 8.5 inches. Prints can be more than three feet long, for colorful banners, I suppose, but they can't be as wide as a typical poster. (Epson sells printers that can handle poster widths of 19 inches, if that's what you want.)
   Apart from that, the CX7000F is just about flawless. You can plug camera memory cards directly into the side of the printer and print photos without needing a PC or Mac attached, and you can do borderless printing on photo paper from 4 by 6 inches to letter size. I made dozens of 4 by 6 borderless prints, and each looked as good as any old-fashioned photo-lab prints.
   The printer uses one black ink cartridge and three colored ink cartridges, at a discount cost of about $12 per cartridge. Ink jet printers have been termed ink vending machines because of the cost of ink, but careful use of the CX7000F should keep costs down. You can save even more by using the CX7000F only for photos and not for school reports or odds-and-ends printing. (Get a cheap laser printer for that. Laser printers cost much less to run. My choice is the Brother HL-2040, which sells for about $80.)
   I compared the CX7000F's prints to photos I've produced on my professional Epson printer, including some that have been displayed in my "Lost Photos of Vietnam" exhibit and one that was shown at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. As incredible as it may seem, the prints made on the $130 CX7000F were every bit as good as the ones I made on my expensive pro-level printer.
   They're not rated to last as long -- my pro printer's photos are rated for more than 100 years of fade-free life, whereas the CX7000F prints are rated for 70 years -- but in other respects the prints from the cheaper Epson were spectacular. (The limitation on print size prevents me from using the CX7000F for my gallery prints, unfortunately.)
   The scanner built into the CX7000F does very well -- its resolution is high enough to scan magazines, documents and photos without losing quality -- and the scanner software that comes with the unit is first rate, both under Windows and on a Mac. In fact, the CX7000F scanner software is the best I've ever used.
   Add this all together and you get quite a bargain. The CX7000F is supposed to sell for $150, but discounters such as Amazon.com have been dropping $20 off the price. Even Epson's own online site was offering it for $130 a few weeks ago. Go to the main site at www.epson.com, choose the region, then look for "Clearance Center" or "Rebates and Promotions" on the right.