The Epson S20 is a run of the mill photo inkjet printer that's inexpensive and portable.

It has neither direct photo printer capabilities nor networking options, but the Epson S20 is a useful A4 inkjet that can also print 6x4in photos.

Although not specifically marketed as a photo printer, the Epson S20 has a solid driver setup that makes selecting the right combination of paper size, stock and inks a breeze.

Epson believes separate inks are more economical than combined 'tricolour' cartridges. Each of the cyan, magenta, yellow and black cartridges costs £5.99 and slots firmly into its clearly marked bay. However, we had to mark down the Epson on the value front because it doesn't supply the necessary USB cable to connect the Epson S20 to your PC.

Once connected and the driver software is installed, you must run the Epson S20 through a guided printer alignment process to calibrate it. After this, the S20 is all set and you can begin printing. The driver allows you to select print sizes from 3.5x5in up to A4.

Simple edits such as cropping and red-eye reduction can be performed using the included Epson Photo Print Software. You can choose borderless or full-page prints as well as adding borders and effects, making the image sepia or optimising specific areas.

We tested the Epson S20's print quality on a range of papers, from plain office paper to standard photo inkjet paper to Epson's Premium Glossy Photo Paper. This costs £11.87 for 15 sheets, which works out at 79p per page (for the paper alone).

The Epson S20 took 3 minutes to print a 6x4in photo and 5 minutes 10 seconds to print the same 17MB photo at A4 on Epson's Premium paper. This was far longer than we'd like, although to be fair the maximum resolution of 5,760x1,400dpi is also a lot more detailed than all except the Epson's SX4000 high-end sibling which costs five times as much.

Most importantly, the results were very crisp and the photos bright with vivid colours. Epson uses pigment-based inks with a protective resin coating to prevent smudging and water damage. We tested the effectiveness of this and found our prints touch-dry as soon as they came out of the printer and no adverse effects when we spilled half a glass of water on them.


We can't fault the prints from this value-for-money machine which also prints documents too. The Epson S20 is ideal if you don't want a portable device.