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Epson Stylus NX515

Epson Stylus NX515 all-in-one multifunction color inkjet printer
Click for full size picture

Review of the Epson Stylus NX515 all-in-one multifunction color inkjet printer

by Dillon Flynn

To judge a printer

The Epson Stylus NX515 is the latest in Epson's line of state-of-the-art inkjet printers. This model works wirelessly, with additional USB and Ethernet compatibility. In addition to standard printing operations, the NX515 also boasts scanning and photo editing capabilities.

At HomeGear.com, we believe that when assessing any item, two universal tests can make the difference between an average and an outstanding product. The first test is creativity. Does the merchandise show ingenuity in its design? Does it contain features that set the bar higher for the other models in its class? The second test is competitive pricing. It is one thing to market an item at a cost that is simply fair. However, when a product retails at a price that undercuts its competition without any sacrifices in quality, then we can count ourselves as impressed.

Let's look at how the Stylus NX515 stacks up under these criteria.

Features

The NX515 suffers no shortage of fascinating bells and whistles. Most prominent is a 2.5” LCD screen on the left side of the device that hosts most of the printer’s settings and controls. Similar screens have been an option on printers for many years now. But as of this writing, this Stylus model features the brightest and clearest screen we have come across. Because of this improvement, a feature that has felt like a bit of an unneeded appendage in previous incarnations definitely enhances the experience of using this printer.

Through the on-board controls and with the added visual guide of the LCD screen, we quickly and easily were able to set up the device to communicate with our computer wirelessly. This means that as long as our computer and our printer were both signed onto the same network, distance between the two had no effect on the printer’s functions. There was something strangely satisfying about sending a command from our office and watching it print at the other end of the hall. If your computer is not set up for wireless access, the model can also connect via an Ethernet cable or USB 2.0.

Lift up the top panel of the NX515 and it becomes a fully functioning photo scanner. Once an item is scanned it can be sent it straight to the computer or it can be worked on using the Stylus’ built-in photo editing suite. With this feature, we were able to crop, resize and rotate the scanned image, as well as do some basic color corrections and photo restorations. Although the LCD screen is small, the clarity and brightness of the display made this feature extremely useful for doing little touch-ups on our image before moving it onto the computer for more advanced photo editing techniques. Additionally, with our printer set up wirelessly, we were able to e-mail our scanned picture to a friend from the printer itself, without ever transferring it to our computer.

Functions

The speed of this printer is one of its major selling points. A black-only page of text, when set to laser printing quality, produced roughly 15 pages per minute, a speed nearly two times faster than other printers in its class. At the lowest quality setting, the printer clocked in at just over 30 pages per minute without ripping any paper or running any ink. It was exciting to know that it could print that fast to see some quick draft output.

The NX515 is capable of producing professional prints. From the on-board LCD display, we were able to choose from a vast number of printing presets, and printing at some of the higher-quality settings produced some remarkable results. Epson's photo-quality gave us a print that was nearly immediately dry. The image was not oversaturated in ink; the colors were warm and accurate and showed no signs of bleeding at all. To the naked eye, the image on our piece paper was very close to the image on our monitor. Even with the extra features notwithstanding, we found that the Stylus NX515 carried its weight in fundamental performance and then some.

Epson Stylus NX515 all-in-one multifunction color inkjet printer
Click for full size picture

Design

This is an eye-catching printer. The coal black shell has a pleasant shine to it, and the device is constructed with some sharp angles that give it a bold look. Both the in and out paper trays and the LCD screen fold and collapse into the unit for enhanced storage capability. The buttons for the on-board control are easy to see and use with accuracy. The printer runs quietly during all operations and has no problems with overheating. The Stylus measures roughly 18" x 21" x 12" and features an aesthetically pleasing and practical design.

Cost versus value

We were pleasantly surprised to see that this printer retails at a competitive price. Other models with scanning capability and an on-board LCD retailed at more than $300, while the NX515 came in at less than half that price. This is a first-class device with all of the latest in on-board gadgetry. It is always refreshing to see a premium product on the market without a premium price.

Summary

After test-driving this product extensively, we found that Epson has delivered in this model one of its finest products to date. It offers superior speed, printing quality and the latest in extras at a highly competitive price. Considering that it practically exemplifies our earlier stated criteria for excellent gear, we recommend the Epson Stylus NX515 to anyone considering a fast, all-in-one printer for home use with scanning capabilities.

Selected specifications

Printing Technology

  • 4-color (CMYK) drop-on-demand MicroPiezo® ink jet technology

Ink Cartridge Configuration

  • 4 individual ink cartridges

Ink Type

  • DURABrite® Ultra pigment ink
    (smudge, fade, water and highlighter resistant)

Minimum Ink Droplet Size

  • 2 picoliters

Maximum Print Resolution

  • 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi

Maximum Print Speed

  • Black
    36 ppm1
  • Color
    36 ppm1

Laser Quality Print Speed

  • Black
    15 ppm1
  • Color
    9.3 ppm1

Maximum Copy Speed

  • Black
    36 cpm1
  • Color
    36 cpm1

4" x 6" Photo

  • 4" x 6" borderless photo in as fast as 20 seconds

Scanner Type

  • Color flatbed

Optical Resolution

  • 2400 dpi

Hardware Resolution

  • 2400 x 2400 dpi

Scanner Bit Depth

  • 48-bit color, scan 24-bit output

Copy Quantity

  • 1 – 99 (PC-free)

Maximum Copy Size

  • 8.5" x 11" (PC-free)

Copy Features

  • Fit to page, adjustable reduction and enlargement (25 – 400%), adjustable copy density

PC-free Printing

  • Print all photos, photo index sheet and color photo restoration

Direct Camera Connection

  • Front PictBridge™ port (print from digital cameras and mobile phones, PC-free), DPOF

Color Preview Monitor

  • 2.5" tilt LCD

Built-in Memory Card Slots Compatibility

  • Compact Flash® (memory card only), Microdrive®, Memory Stick®, Memory Stick Duo™ (with adapter), MagicGate™ Memory Stick, MagicGate Memory Stick Duo (with adapter), Memory Stick PRO™, Memory Stick PRO Duo (with adapter), SD™, SDHC™, MiniSD (with adapter), MiniSDHC (with adapter), MicroSD (with adapter), MicroSDHC (with adapter), MultiMediaCard™, xD-Picture Card™, xD-Picture Card Type-M, xD-Picture Type-M+, xD-Picture Card Type-H

PC-Free Filters and Image Enhancements

  • Photo restoration

PC- Free Paper Support

  • Plain (8.5" x 11"), Photo (4" x 6", 5" x 7") Letter size

Maximum Paper Size

  • 8.5" x 44"

Paper Sizes

  • 8.5" x 11", 8.5" x 14", A4, B5, A5, A6, Half letter, Executive, User definable (3.5" – 44" in length)

Borderless Photo Sizes

  • 3.5" x 5", 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", 8.5" x 11", A4
    Preset custom sizes

Envelope Types

  • No. 10, plain paper, bond paper

Input Paper Capacity

  • 100 sheets plain paper

Weight and Dimensions (W x D x H)

  • Printing
    17.7" x 21.3" x 11.7"
  • Storage
    17.7" x 13.5" x 7.2"
  • Weight
    13.5 lb

Connectivity

  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0, Wireless Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) – Compatible with 802.11n Wired Ethernet (10/100 Mbps)

Operating Systems

  • Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows XP, Windows XP x64, Windows 2000
  • Mac OS® X 10.3.9, 10.4.11, 10.5.x and 10.6.x

Software Included

  • Epson printer driver, Web to Page, Epson Scan, ArcSoft® Print Creations

Warranty

  • One-year limited warranty in the U.S. and Canada


MPN: C11CA48231. UPC: 10343871823

Notes

  • Maximum pages/copies per minute (ppm/cpm) are measured after first page with text patterns in Draft Mode on plain paper. Color photo in Draft Mode on Premium Photo Paper Glossy measured from start of paper feed. Laser quality black and color print speeds are determined in default, single-side mode in accordance with ISO/IEC 24734. Actual print times will vary based on system configuration, software, and page complexity. See www.epson.com/printspeed for details, including complete ISO reports.

  • Cartridge yields are based on continuous printing of a suite of five black and color pages as required by ISO/IEC 24711 and 24712. Actual yields will vary considerably for reasons including images printed, print settings, temperature and humidity. Yields may be lower when printing infrequently or predominantly with one ink color. A variable amount of ink remains in the cartridges after the “replace cartridge” signal. Part of the ink from the first cartridges is used for priming the all-in-one. Ink is used for both printing and print head maintenance. All inks are used for both black and color printing. For more information about yields for this all-in-one, see www.epson.com/cartridgeinfo.

About Epson America Inc.

Epson America Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation and is a leading provider of digital imaging products that exceed the vision of its customers. The company's extensive range of printers, 3LCD projectors and small- and medium-sized LCDs are renowned for their superior quality, functionality, compactness, and energy efficiency. Seiko Epson was recently added to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, an indicator for selective leading companies who meet a rigorous standard of economic, environmental and social criteria.
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