Lately, it seems that every few months Epson is releasing another model in its “Small-in-One” line of compact inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printers. Just a few months before this review, in October 2012, we looked at one of the company’s latest higher-end models, the Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One. We found it to be a great little all-around office appliance for families. Our only complaint? This scaled-down five-ink printer was, in terms of cost per page (CPP), just a bit too expensive to use.
Today, we’re looking at a more photo-centric family member, the $349.99-MSRP Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Printer. (When we wrote this in late December 2013, it sold for about $259.99 on the street.) Similar to two of Canon’s higher-end photo inkjets, thePixma MG7120 and Pixma MG6320, this AIO uses a six-ink imaging system. And much like Canon’s six-ink Pixmas, the XP-950 prints exceptional photographs and graphics—and, also like those Canons, this Small-in-One is fairly expensive, on a per-page basis, to use.
A further way the XP-950 resembles those two Canon photo printers is that it has no automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning and copying multipage documents. Instead, you must feed the scanner one page at a time, which is time-consuming and tedious. Without an ADF, you’ll find that an AIO’s scan and copy functionality is practical only for single-page and relatively small jobs.
The lofty CPP and lack of an ADF aside, the XP-950 performs reasonably well compared to competing models, and it prints snazzy-looking documents and photographs with aplomb. The high CPP, of course, limits its value for printing in any kind of serious volume. If you print hundreds (or even thousands) of pages each month, you’d be far, far better off choosing a much higher-volume, office-centric model with a lower cost per page, such as HP’s OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus. For churning out heavy-duty jobs day to day, this model will cost you a mint to print.
On the other hand, if you need a good photo printer that has the ability to print the occasional business document cleanly, the XP-950 fits that profile, and then some. In addition, it can print on appropriately surfaced CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, and (as we’ll discuss on the next page), it supports numerous alternative mobile printing channels. And it has an ace up its sleeve compared with most mainstream inkjets: It can also print to 11×17-inch paper, which most inkjets cannot.
Granted, the XP-950 is not meant for serious printing at this size; you have to feed it one oversize page at a time. But if, now and then, you need the occasional outsized image or want to visualize a giant spreadsheet on paper, this is a very handy feature to have in your back pocket.
Above all else, though, this is a photo printer, and a good one.
Read entire review at Computer Shopper.