We remember, about four or five years ago, when the first Epson Small-in-One printers appeared on the market. Then as now, their key selling point was, of course, size: You could buy an all-in-one (AIO) machine with a very small footprint that printed, copied, and scanned, and tuck it on the corner of your desk. The Expression Home Small-in-Ones have been a mainstay for many years, like the Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One we reviewed back in 2013, a distant predecessor to the $99.99-MSRP Expression Home XP-440 Small-in-One we are reviewing here today.
The XP-440 is the one on the right; the XP-410 is on the left. Making a few tweaks to a product, up-ticking the name, and releasing it as a new product is common practice among printer makers. Not only does releasing slightly iterated machines with incrementally higher model numbers, year after year, keep the products themselves fresh to an extent (generating new reviews, like this one!), but it also gives us technology journalists something to do. We’re not complaining.
Like the first XP-400 series model, the XP-440 delivers top-notch quality across all of its prime functions. It churns out stellar prints, especially photos, and it scans quite well. This is, however, an entry-level, low-volume AIO printer designed for home and family use. It’s meant for environments that will demand only light usage, and that’s evidenced by its lack of an automatic document feeder (ADF) for sending multipage documents to the scanner without user intervention. That omission is expected in this price range, but it severely limits your scanning capabilities.
Like most other entry-level AIOs of its class, this one, like its predecessors, costs a lot to use, in terms of the per-page price of ink. That’s always a critical issue for us. Historically, we’ve always recommended expensive-to-use machines like this one with the caveat that, because of the running cost, they are practical for only minimal use (say, no more than a few hundred prints or copies per month). Our beef is that the buyers of these entry-level AIOs who actually use their printers day to day end up getting taxed, and heavily, for doing so.
Nowadays, though, with the advent of “supertank” printers like Epson’s own EcoTank models and Canon’s MegaTank AIOs (such as the Epson Expression ET-3600 and Canon Pixma G3200), users have more choices. If you need to print hundreds of pages on your entry-level AIO, you can opt to pay more for the printer itself, with the aim being to pay less for the ink to keep it going. If, on the other hand, you need a printer but will use it little, you can spend less than $100 on a small AIO like the XP-440, in exchange for higher per-page ink costs over its life. If you print only a few pages each month, then the cost of ink is less important. Hence, our perspective on the cost per page typically seen in low-cost entry-level AIOs like this one has changed with the times.
That said, the Epson Expression XP-440’s running costs are, as you’ll see in the Cost Per Page section later on, quite high. Even so, if all you need is to print and make copies on a small scale, the XP-440 is designed to do just that, and it does it quite well.
We first encountered Epson’s Small-in-One printers in the Expression Premium XP-800, the first in a series that debuted back in November 2012. On sight, not much has changed in Small-in-One land since then.
In fact, as you can see in the image below, aside from the model number, from the outside the 2012 XP-800 and 2015 Expression Premium XP-830—today’s unit up for review, which lists for $99.99—are nearly identical…
That’s the XP-830 there on the right. Just like today’s review unit, changes to interim models in this series, such as the Expression Premium XP-810 and XP-820, were internal—that is, the updates consisted primarily of feature add-ins and performance tweaks.
When these Small-in-One units debuted a few years ago (especially the higher-end models like this one; Epson also offers Small-in-One models in its XP-400 and XP-600 series), we applauded them as impressive feats of engineering. They did (and do) so much given their diminutive sizes. And for all three previous XP-800-series models, our assessment was about the same: excellent little printer, but costs too much to use.
Unfortunately, while Epson has piled on the features over the years, it hasn’t done anything to bring down the per-page cost of ink. The XP-830 and all of its predecessors are, first and foremost, photo printers, and photo-oriented all-in-ones (AIOs) historically have a higher cost per page than equally priced and equipped office-centric AIOs.
That hasn’t changed here. New features have been added with each of the updates, for the most part the underlying XP-800-series machines haven’t changed all that much, nor their cost per page. As we pointed out in 2014’s review of the Expression Premium XP-820, however, the pricing on these units has gotten more aggressive.
The original XP-800 started out at a $279 list price. After that, the XP-810’s MSRP was $50 lower, or $229; then came the $30-cheaper ($199 list) XP-820. This year’s XP-830 also comes in at an MSRP of $199, but as we wrote this in mid-November 2015, it was discounted on Epson’s own Web site by $70, for a total price of $129. This price brings it close to parity with Canon’s five- and six-ink photo-centric Pixma AIO models, such as the five-ink Pixma MG6820 we reviewed recently.
When it comes to print quality and features, the Pixma MG6820 and the Expression Premium XP-830 are reasonably close. However, our Epson review unit has an automatic document feeder (ADF) for feeding multipage documents to the scanner—a feature that many users find very handy, and that the photo-centric Pixma MG models just don’t have.
Alas, few users need or have the space for a printer for each task, say, one for printing documents and another for photographs. When it comes to printing business documents, both black-and-white and color, the XP-830’s output quality, as discussed near the end of this review, is quite good. And when it comes to keeping up with the competition, this little Small-in-One held its ground in our speed tests, too.
Each year since 2012, we have given the latest XP-800-series models in this series 4 out of 5 stars; they have just missed our Editors’ Choice nod due to their too-high cost-per-page figures. Granted, many of Canon’s and HP’s budget photo printers have high per-page ink costs, too, but just because they all do doesn’t mean it’s justified—we haven’t given the competitions’ consumer-grade photo printers the award either. But with changes afoot in the inkjet-printing market, notably HP’s Instant Ink subscription program, which can rewrite the book on color printing costs if you print just a few hundred color pages a month, we have to dock an extra half a star here for the lack of progress on that front from Epson in its Small-in-Ones. Were it not so expensive to use, the XP-830 would surely have been an Editors’ Choice winner.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper
Two terms that don’t play nice together are “economical” and “photo printer.” While there are quite a few photo printers available nowadays, few, if any, provide low-cost prints—in terms of consumables used, or cost per page (CPP), that is. Hence, while I often find myself impressed with the output, especially the photographs, from 6-ink photo printers like the topic of this review, Epson’s $299.99 (MSRP) Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One Printer, the too-high per-page cost of consumables often makes them, depending on your printing needs, less than desirable.
Over the years, Canon’s five- and six-ink printers, such as the Pixma MG7120 and Pixma MG6320 (or this year’s Pixma MG7520 and MG6620, which we’re in the process of reviewing), have acquired a well-earned reputation for high-quality output—especially for printing photos. Perhaps not as well-known for their photo output, but arguably as good at printing images and documents, are Epson’s midrange and top-of-the line Small-in-One models. Two that excel are the six-ink Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One, and the subject of this review, the five-ink, $199.99-MSRP Expression Premium XP-820 Small-in-One All-in-One Printer. (Now there’sa mouthful.)
The Expression Premium XP-820 is the third in its lineage, after the Expression Premium XP-800 we reviewed back in November 2012, and the XP-810 we looked at late last year. Apart from some feature updates and add-ons, primarily in the areas of mobile and cloud printing, the XP-810 was much like the XP-800, and in turn, this year’s XP-820 looks and prints much like its predecessors. To our eyes, the biggest difference from year to year has been pricing.
With an MSRP of $229.99, the XP-810, for instance, was about $50 cheaper than the XP-800, and this year’s XP-820, at $199.99 list, is $30 lower still. On top of that, it was selling, on average, for much less—$130 to $150 street price—from several resellers when we wrote this. Typically, price reductions like these suggest that the printer might not have been selling well enough at the earlier pricing. If that’s true, that’s a shame, because all three are (or were) very good printers.
It’s probably not just the purchase price holding this printer back, though. Like the XP-800 and XP-810 before it, as well as most of Epson’s other Small-in-One models, the XP-820 is expensive to maintain, in terms of its cost per page (CPP). Most other photo printers are, too. Canon’s closest equivalent printer, the $149.99-list, five-ink Pixma MG6620, delivers a slightly lower CPP when printing in color. But the XP-820 excels in certain other areas, such as by providing an auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning, copying, and faxing double-sided originals.
While the Pixma MG6620 does have a scanner for making copies (or for straight-up scanning to your computer or to a memory device), it has no ADF, which makes processing multipage documents, especially dual-sided multipage documents, much more tedious and time-consuming. In that regard (as well as for its support for a wider range of flash-memory cards and devices), the XP-820 is a better choice.
As we said about 2013’s Expression Premium XP-810, the XP-820 is compact and attractive; it prints well (especially for photographs); and it comes loaded with deep features for PC-free, cloud, and mobile printing. Together, that makes it a great match for light-printing small and home offices that need to print often from smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It works for us as a photo printer, too, but despite all of the office-friendly features, its CPPs are too high for office environments that print or copy more than a couple of hundred pages each month.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.
Whether it’s a small personal all-in-one printer for churning out 20 or 30 pages each week, or a high-volume model designed to turn out thousands of pages monthly, Epson’s engineers design highly attractive, capable printers. Case in point is the topic of this review, the $299.99 (MSRP) Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Printer.
Epson’s consumer-grade Small-in-One line of AIOs are aimed primarily at families and home-based offices. A photo printer, the XP-950 can print tabloid-size (11×17 inches), pages one at a time via the override tray on the back. Three-hundred dollars is a premium price for just about any consumer-grade printer, suggesting a strong feature set or perhaps something else exceptional. Above all else, this AIO’s claim to fame is its 6-ink print system that prints great-looking photos.
Read entire review at About.com.
By the time the subject of this review, Epson’s $229.99-list Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One Printer, came around, the company’s “Small-in-One” line had become ensconced and we were getting used to these little, but well-built and handy little multifunction printers. And I say multifunction because I mean it—right down to the bundled caddy for labeling appropriately surfaced CDs and DVDs. Overall, the XP-810 is an impressive little machine, even if the cost per page is too high.
Read the entire review at About.com
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.
The market for all-in-one (AIO) inkjets really is a fickle place. A couple of years ago, several models from Kodak (and a few other manufacturers) suggested the end of a long-running trend: specifically, selling entry-level printers at rock-bottom prices, then compensating by charging exorbitantly for the ink. For a while there, we were seeing under-$150 printers with costs per page (CPPs) of about 3 cents for black-and-white pages and under 10 cents for color. It appeared that small and home offices were finally going to get a break.
Alas, here we are in mid-2013. Kodak’s out of the printer picture, due to a recent bankruptcy. Dell and Lexmark have quit the inkjet-printer market altogether. And the survivors, notably HP, Canon, and Epson, are introducing some of the costliest-to-use entry-level AIOs we’ve seen. Case in point is HP’s recently debuted Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Printer. (We have a review of it in the works.) When you use the company’s standard-yield ink tanks, it costs over 9 cents per black-and-white page, and over 20 cents per for color—yikes!
That brings us to the subject of this review, Epson’s $99.99-list Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One Printer—another entry-level AIO with, alas, astronomical per-page costs. We’ll discuss that issue in some detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section a little later in this review. But those costs, really, are the most important news here.
Why? No matter how strong this printer’s feature set, no matter how well it prints or how quickly, the fact that this AIO costs so much to use relegates it to an occasional-use machine. Prospective inkjet buyers who need to use their printer frequently would be better off paying more—perhaps as much as $100 more—to get a printer with a cheaper per-page cost of ink. Period.
That said, the XP-410 does churn out fine-looking business documents and photographs, and it performed well on our print-speed benchmarks for a printer in this price range. True to its Small-in-One name, it’s light and compact, which makes it easy to situate in even the most cramped home offices. And, despite somewhat flimsy-feeling input and output trays, it feels well-built.
Unlike a few other AIOs in this class, though, it lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning and copying multipage documents, and it can’t print two-sided pages without user intervention—meaning that you’ll have to turn the pages over yourself to print the other side (and pay attention to the document order). While neither of these missing features is standard fare on under-$100 machines, some models do provide them. Whether or not this is a deal-breaker depends on how you plan to use the printer. Having both features can save time and frustration if you’ll use your printer for light business/home-office tasks. (And even if not, they’re nice to have, just in case.)
We recognize that many small and home offices print less and less all the time, relying on their printers as standby machines. From that point of view, the Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One works for us—as an occasional-use AIO for printing or copying a handful of documents or photos each month. For heavier duty, though, you can and should do better.
See full review at Computer Shopper.
What do you get when you cram every possible modern multifunction-printer feature—printing, copying, scanning, faxing, and CD/DVD labeling—into a very small and stylish chassis? Well, until now, we’ve always called the result “all-in-ones” (AIOs), whatever their size. But Epson has just released a line of the smallest full-featured machines we’ve laid eyes on, dubbing them (cleverly) “Small-in-Ones.”
Almost everything is rosy about this printer—but not quite. Alas, above all, the XP-800 is a photo printer, and like most photo-centric models, its per-page cost of ink is higher than that of many business-oriented AIOs. In this printer’s case, the cost per page (CPP) is even higher than most other photo printers, too. That issue—the astronomical per-page cost of ink—is our only major complaint about this AIO. But it’s a really big one: The XP-800 costs so much to use that we just couldn’t see our way clear to award it our Editors’ Choice nod, though it was close. (We’ll talk more about this model’s CPP in the Setup & Paper Handling section, later on.)
This really is too bad, because we were otherwise very impressed with this printer. (Indeed, it’s a vast improvement on the first Epson Small-in-One model we tested, the Epson Stylus NX430 Small-in-One$ (69.00 at OfficeMax.) That ink cost is coupled to a feature set that would be impressive even in a much larger printer at its price. The XP-800 includes both an auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) and print engine, which, together, allow you to copy, scan, and print multipage two-sided documents without user intervention. The XP-800 also sports a gorgeous 3.5-inch touch screen, a tray for printing labels on printable CDs and DVDs, and support for several different types of flash-memory devices.
Overall, as we said earlier, this is an impressive printer, but you need to think about how much you’ll actually print on it, and temper your enthusiasm. The ink makes it relatively expensive to use, and that—as we see it, anyway—makes it best for homes and small offices with light printing needs. It works, too, for users who need impeccable photo and document output, so long as the cost of producing them is not their first—or second—concern.
Finish reading this article at Computer Shopper.