Epson CX9400Fax: Home office on the cheap

Working from home is fun. There are plenty of distractions, and you rarely have to excuse your own flatulence. This growing in-home-office trend, combined with the paperless-office myth, has created a strong demand for inexpensive, easy-to-use all-in-one printer/fax/copiers. Average consumers don’t need excessive features or complicated button layouts; a successful product is one which is simple, yet effective, and Epson’s Cx9400Fax has accomplished this task flawlessly.

At first glance, you’ll notice the machine sports a beautiful, color LCD—it’s easy on the eyes and provides loads of useful information. From displaying your vacation photos via the built-in memory card reader, to previewing vivid color copies, the screen is definitely a feature you’ll want to get used to. Unlike other all-in-ones, the CX9400Fax looks great atop your desk or anywhere else you decide to put it. Elegant design combined with low-profile construction and very light weight makes for an incredibly pleasing user experience.

After putting this bad boy through its paces I noticed that it does kill trees very quickly. It sports a very impressive 32 pages per minute of printing power, whereas HP all-in-ones in the same price range can only handle about 20 pages per minute at best.

Something that put a smile on my face was its quiet operation. The loudest sound only lasts a second, as a piece of paper is inhaled to suffer the wrath of a devilishly quick printer head. After that, it’s smooth sailing and calm waters.

The color copies and prints turn out excellent, as well. We must not forget that this is a photo printer, too! It’s perfectly capable of pumping out borderless 4×6 prints just as well as a midrange photo printer from Epson. Colors come out beautifully with deep, natural hues and stunning accuracy. Simply select the paper and quality via the menu on the 2.5-inch LCD screen and print whatever you would like. Naturally, higher quality prints on photo paper will take longer.

Let’s talk ink. Individual colors are easily replaced after lifting the scanner bed, and are very affordable. The same four cartridges: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black are used for every task including high-quality photo prints. All colors, including special, high-capacity black cartridges, are available at the Epson ink store.

One thing I really liked was the handy mode-selection dial located near the power button. This circular selector is used to switch between copy, memory-card, fax, and photo-print functions at the push (or spin!) of a single button. A green light and image on the LCD screen tell you which mode you are currently in.

I’m sure you’re thinking that there must be something bad about the device, right? Not so. In my time with the machine I haven’t run into any problems. The software installed flawlessly and included some handy utilities. I’ve had absolutely no problems when it comes to any of the multiple functions.

The only thing that bothers me slightly is the flimsy lid, which covers the scanning bed. Due to the low profile of the machine, the lid is pretty thin and might wear out with use. Other than that, it’s great.

The price? This all-in-one wouldn’t be very “cheap” unless it came in under $200. Currently, it is available via Epson’s online store at just shy of a Franklin. A wireless version (the CX9475Fax) can be purchased for only $80 more.

If you’re in the market for a simple, high-quality, and inexpensive all-in-one for use in your home office, get the Epson Stylus CX9400Fax. Oh yeah, one last thing! The screen tilts out for a better viewing angle, which I thought was kind of neat.

Epson CX9400Fax, $99

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