"An excellent multi-tasking machine!"4.0 starson by Tropical_Fish
Pros: Can do almost anything for home office use
Cons: Slow speed, EPSON Smart Panel that is NOT smart at all, and rather wastefull on ink use
Summary: I purchased this machine last April 2005 after checking various other multi-tasking machines in local stores and after listening to various lay-experts' advises on printers and their operating costs (i.e., ink cartridges!). I decided to purchase this model because of: (1) its utility comprehensiveness for a home office use, and (2) the lowest price for its ink cartridges (it has 6 cartridges, therefore, reducing the per-unit-cost of changing the cartridge).
After using it for a few months, I had not had a chance yet to use the photo printing function, neither the negative film scanner and the card reader. However, I use the text printing and photocopier a lot. They work really well. I also use the scanner ocassionally. The scanning function also work well; EXCEPT when you scan it through the EPSON Smart Panel; when it just go freezing.
It seems like the Smart Panel is supposed to integrate various functions of the machines (including those provided by the bundled ArcSoft softwares) in one-stop panel. However, the Panel does not work in my laptop (Acer TravelMate 371 TCi, with Intel Centrino [Intel Pentium M Processor 1.4 GHz; Intel 855 chipset family; and Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 network connection] and Windows XP Professional; 512 DDR SDRAM; 40 GB HD plus an external 80GB HD). It kept freezing whenever I start clicking on the icon, and if it ever works at all, it works EXTREMELLY slow. It is way much better to use the scanning function directly using the EPSON Scan tool. All in all, I think the Smart Panel is useless. All of this machine's functions are accessible separately, either via separate clickable links, the bundled softwares (which I found just 'okay' - what can you expect in bundled softwares?), or directly on the machine using the provided buttons.
I also found that the machine consumes the ink quite fast. The first new black ink cartridge (that came with the printer in April 2005) was finished after about 2.5 month of medium use (in early July 2005). Later on, I found a really neat software called InkSaver 2.0 (CAD$39) that really save me a lot of ink money. The 2nd black ink cartridge that I installed in early July 2005 is about to finish now (January 1, 2006)!
All in all, I think this EPSON Stylus Photo RX500 is excellent for home office use, and serves its purpose as a multi-tasking machine.
Imagine: a photocopier, a text & photo printer, a paper & negative film scanner and a digital card reader in one machine for CAD$285 (including taxes)! (I got it in a sale at a local London Drugs).
All you need to have is a bit of patience if you need to print something really quickly.