R300 Out – RX560 In..

WARNING: I thought that this printer would work ok with the drivers that you can download. Unfortunately I can only get the scanner working at the moment. Wouldn’t recommend anyone buying one just yet until I can find out why the drivers won’t install.

EDIT: Gutsy and any Ubuntu releases after, allow full printing from this printer by default.

Well.. after 2 years my Epson R300 printer has bit the big one & blatantly refuses to use black ink any more. I can’t complain too much, as it only cost me about £70 when I bought it & it’s had plenty of use + it’s given me no trouble what so ever while using it with Ubuntu. It’s just a shame that the blacks stopped working when all the colours are still fine 😦

As I can’t really be bothered to strip it down/clean it out & I have my 30th birthday coming up next week, I decided that I might as well get a new printer. After looking over all the printers currently on the market, I finally settled on the Epson RX560. It’s basically an Epson R300 with a flat bed scanner on top, improved ink management features & a small colour display built into the front for viewing & editing photo’s without the aid of a computer.

I checked that the printer was Linux friendly before I bought it of course & was surprised to find that there are Linux drivers available from Avasys. Avasys (from what I can tell) is either a part of Epson, or it’s a separate company that makes drivers for the Epson Corporation.

RX560

First Thoughts:

This probably isn’t the best looking printer in the world.. It looks like they took a lot of good ideas, mashed them all up & just hoped that they would all work right together. It’s got to be said that I wasn’t expecting a great deal from the RX560. You know what they say about judging a book by it’s cover though & I’m pleased to say that term certainly applies to this printer.

After taking it out of the box, I had to go through the usual routine of removing all the pieces of tape & plastic that stop everything from moving during transit. While doing this I was instantly impressed with the printers build quality. This thing is a very solid machine & Epson seem to have gone through a lot of trouble to increase overall durability. Even the cover for the ink cartridge holder is of a lot better quality than my old R300 & sports a very well designed locking mechanism. This might not seem like the most important thing in the world to you, but I see small things like this as a sure sign that the designers have really gone all out to produce a very stable product.

Once I had the printer plugged in & all the inks installed; the next thing that I noticed was that the small screen on the front is of a decent quality. I suppose that this should be expected from something like a digital camera with the price of screens dropping so much these days, but I never expected it on such a cheap printer. The image is sharp, the colours are vibrant & I can see my self doing a lot more printing of photographs without my laptop than I ever did with my last printer.

I won’t go too much into the quality of prints etc., as I haven’t even tried to print with it just yet. My R300 was always good quality when it came to the printing & this model is pretty much the same with an added advanced ink management system that should result in less wasted ink per print.

This printer also supports Epsons Claria inks. When combined with Epson Glossy paper, this is supposed to produce superior prints that can last up to 200 years or so. I’d take this estimate with a pinch of salt though, as companies don’t tend to mention that’s only in a best case scenario; e.g. the prints are locked away in a very dark place & vacuum sealed to keep them from degrading 😉

I’m about to start installing the RX560 on my VAIO laptop, so hopefully I’ll have a step by step tutorial on the site later on this weekend.. if all works as expected?

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