Epson had promised major progress with the printing speed of its new all-in-ones, and those promises have been kept, by and large. Compared to the Stylus CX4800, the CX6000 puts out 4x6 and 8½x11 photos almost twice as fast - or maybe we should say half as slow. Because while the marks are much better, they're still well below what the competition can do. Paradoxically, even multifunctions with combined cartridges, like the Lexmark X5470 and HP Photosmart C4180, were faster, even though that technology is supposed to be slower. According to Epson, the gain in speed will be significant mostly on the top-of-the-line Stylus Photo models, a claim we'll check out in an upcoming article.
We were also disappointed with the speed in text mode. At draft quality, performance was adequate, but at normal quality the speed was never above 3 ppm, so you'd do well not to be in a hurry.
Cost Per Page
Thanks to the use of four separate ink cartridges, the cost per page of the Stylus CX6000 is among the best: only the Canon Pixma MP510 can compete with it. Also note that Epson remains fairly aggressive in its pricing policy regarding cartridges, with the price at less than $13 per cartridge. But also keep in mind that head cleaning and alignment, which you'll have to perform regularly, are big ink consumers.
Scanning And Copying
Epson generally puts the accent on its scanners, having a very good reputation in that area. The one in the Stylus CX6000 is high-quality in terms of scanning, yet a little slower than we might have hoped. It took close to 10 seconds to do an 8½x11 preview, and for color copying it was actually the slowest, taking over a minute to reproduce a document.