Epson MX20DN review

Epson's latest mono MFP is certainly compact but is it good enough and cheap enough to earn a place in your office? Kat Orphanides finds out in our review.

Epson AcuLaser MX20DN

We were pleased to find that - once you've configured the printer's network settings - it's as easy to scan directly to a remote folder or USB stick as it is to scan from Epson's excellent Windows scanner interface. Image scans were a little disappointing, though. A photo scanned from the flatbed platen at the MFP's maximum 600dpi scan resolution was boldly coloured, but looked a little gritty and had lost some of its more detailed shading and subtle colour tones. We had no complaints about its scan speed of 16 seconds, though. We had no objections about our text scans either. Even at low resolutions, text was clear enough to read and OCR with ease. Unlike some of its competitors, Epson doesn't bundle any OCR or document management software with the MFP.

Print quality is excellent and the MFP can perform high quality hardware emulation of rendering languages including PCL 5a, PCL 6 and PostScript. Whatever standard you use to describe pages to the printer, the results are excellent. The pin-sharp text you'd expect from any laser printer worth its salt is supplemented by smoothly shaded greyscale graphics and excellent rendering of detailed line drawings in the high quality 1,200dpi and photo-quality modes. We found that photos actually looked better when we didn't use the driver's photo mode, which produced a grainy half-tone effect rather than the smooth shading we'd seen on our embedded photos, business illustrations and graphs in text and graphics mode. Print speeds are excellent all round and near Epson's claims, at 26ppm for mono text and 21ppm for our graphics-heavy greyscale documents.

K.G. Orphanides

K.G. is a journalist, technical writer, developer and software preservationist. Alongside the accumulated experience of over 20 years spent working with Linux and other free/libre/open source software, their areas of special interest include IT security, anti-malware and antivirus, VPNs, identity and password management, SaaS infrastructure and its alternatives.

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