Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Epson Artisan 725 Color Inkjet All-In-One Review – 062811 Update


06282011 Upadte: Adding troubleshooting for cannot find scanner issue at the back.

So Office Depot is offering a trade-in special on this EPSON Artisan 725 Color Inkjet AIO. I picked it up for $50 after turning in my ancient Lexmark AIO (which is still functioning I believe, but they don’t care if the printer is in working condition).
I picked up this model because I want to print CD/DVD labels with those direct printable surface. Also I want to print covers for the keep case. Plus the reviews on Amazon seems overall positive. After owning it for a week, printing a dozen labels/photos, I have to say that I’m impressed with the printing quality from this printer with its 6 color HD ink system. Also the network function exceeds my expectations. I have previously owned EPSON CX4400, CX7700, CX8400 AIOs (I so miss those great days where you can buy a cheap $10 camera and get these AIOs for free. Well, more like for free ink), but I wasn’t able to get much from those models. But this Artisan 725 packed with so much advanced features which made it worth the money.
First impression is that the printer is heavy and large, it takes up a lot of spaces! But I do like the top is flat unlike the previous CX8400. Initial setup was pretty easy. For connections, You can choose between USB, wireless, wired network. I opted for wired network installation since my desktop doesn’t have wireless and I want to have printing/scanning on all of my computers. So my particular setup was router –> 8 port switch –> printer. 2 laptops connected to the router wirelessly and then the printer, then 1 desktop connected to the switch then the printer. All computers can now access to the printer’s card reader, printer, and scanner. The card reader is mapped as a connected network device, on 32bit system, it seems to use up a drive letter Z, on a 64bit system, it shows up as a network device which didn’t use a drive letter. I’m not sure if it’s the normal behavior, personally I prefer as the latter since I’m running out of drive letters on my desktop!
Software consists of printer driver, scanning software (no OCR), network manager. There’s not much change between the driver and scanning software interface since those CX series. I never liked the scanning software, but I can live with it. It seems adding an office mode aside from auto, home, and professional from the CX series. The only thing I’m missing is ADF automatic document feeder but since this is an entry level model, they didn’t equip it. The scanning speed has improved dramatically. Either from lamp warming up to scanning, it’s really fast compared to the CX series. I can now scanning at 600dpi within minute, this took ridiculously long before on the CX8400. And the image is instantly available across a lousy slow wireless g network, even for images that are saved as *.bmp which could take up to 90MB easily (600dpi).
Another note for the network setup is that I wasn’t able to use the default WSD port for the scanner to work. But adding a standard TCP/IP port works. The only problem is the ink level checking no longer works. But you can still check the ink using the web interface by typing in the IP address: http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/PRESENTATION/
The screenshot reflects the ink level after printing ONLY a total of 6 DVD labels AND 8 keep case covers. So yes, this is another ink guzzling machine as expected… At this rate, I guess the yield is gonna be less than 100 paper… I’m not sure how they could claim 500 yield on draft mode… But this is not too surprising…


One thing that changes quite dramatically is the paper tray. It’s a 2-layer design where the large sized paper going the bottom, and small sized photo paper going the top. Some people on Amazon mentioned the printer has trouble grabbing two pieces of paper at a time, I only had this problem with some really thin copy paper supposedly used for laserjet, but that was not supposed to be used for inkjet…


Another tray is the CD/DVD tray for printing labels. It’s built-in unlike the previous models. You have to tilt the touch panel all the way up to see this tray. There’s a button on the touch panel to eject and close the tray, otherwise I don’t find such a button in the CD Printing software. It feels more like burning a CD/DVD now. The tray emulates a full size A4 or letter size paper. And it’s printing the image upside down. I have to mention this because the Verbatim BD-R DLs I got have letters on the disc where you cannot print over, so I have to adjust the orientation to avoid the letters covering on the important part of the images. The provided sample Memorex (oops!) CD-R does have white printable surface edge to edge without any letters. However, the printable Verbatim DVD-R/+Rs I got a while back has large non-printable center hub… So the discs really vary from model to model.

Another change is the addition of duplex module at the back. Double sided printing seems pretty standard nowadays, but I really don’t see much use on an inkjet. The module is large, and sticking out too much IMO. While it is removable, it leaves a large opening at the back, and EPSON didn’t provide a cover.


Printing, I’m very satisfied with the performance. It could easily compete with any local photo labs, if not better. The only problem I had initially was disabling color profile in EPSON’s driver so that it converts the colors twice, which causing the colors to be smeared and appears magenta… After reading this article on Adobe’s web, I was able to print photos very close to what I see on the screen even without any calibrations.

So basically you have to choose EPSON’s profiles in PS, then disable the ICM color adjustment in the printer driver:

From PS:


From driver:


Other neat features include operating without using computer. You can copy documents, even CD/DVD labels directly using the printer. You can also scan images directly onto memory cards. Then the images are shared across the network! Operating with computer, you can use the touch panel to scan pictures, open email application on the computer without using the software on the computer. (It would be cool to be able to send images as email attachments directly without computer) Also the USB port supports charging USB devices which I haven’t tried yet.

Lastly, this is the CD/DVD template for PS. This let you print labels directly inside PS, instead of using the included CD printing software which doesn’t have much flexibility… It’s from CDfreak, although it says it’s for Artisan 810, it works for my Artisan 725.

Recently my router broke, so I have to swap it. The problem is that the IP address changes, can the replacement one doesn’t have a fixed IP feature like the old one. Therefore the IP address of all my network devices changed, which of course includes this printer/scanner. The issue is with the the scanning software – Epson Scan cannot be started. So I looked into this, found that you have to enter the IP address manually in EPSON Scan Setting.


You might want to delete the original scanner, since it’s no longer useful. Clicking the Edit button only allows you to edit the name, so it’s useless. So just delete it, and add as a new.


Now the automatic search doesn’t work for me, so I have to enter my network address manually. The IP address can be found inside the router. This should solve the scanner problem.

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