The Epson Expression Premium XP-600 Small-in-One Printer sits in between the Editors’ Choice Epson Expression Premium XP-800 and the Epson Expression Home XP-400 in Epson’s Expression Small-in-One line of compact multifunction printers (MFPs). Like the XP-400, it’s geared to home use, eschewing the XP-800′s more office-centered features like fax capability, automatic document feeder, and Ethernet connectivity.
The XP-600 prints, copies, and scans (and can do so as a standalone device without connecting to a computer); it can print onto inkjet-printable DVDs or CDs; it can print from or scan to a USB flash drive or memory card; it can scan to a computer or a network folder.
True to its Small-in-One moniker, the all-black XP-600 measures just 5.4 by 15.4 by 13.4 inches and weighs 21 pounds. It has a 100-sheet main paper tray and a 20-sheet photo-paper tray. There’s an auto-duplexer for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. On top is a letter-sized flatbed for copying or scanning. The front panel houses a 2.5-inch LCD surrounded by touch controls. To the side of the paper trays are the memory-card slot (SD family or MS duo), and a port for a USB thumb drive.
The XP-600′s paper capacity is fine for a home printer, though short of what we’d look for in a unit to serve double duty in a home and home office. No matter, as the rest of its feature set leans strongly towards home use. This printer employs 5 ink cartridges, including a photo black. The XP-600 also offers USB and Wi-Fi connectivity. I tested it over a USB connection with the driver installed on a computer running Windows Vista.
The Epson XP-600 printed out our business applications suite (timed with QualityLogic’s hardware and software) at 4.9 effective pages per minute (ppm), slightly slower than the Epson Expression Premium XP-800 (5.2 ppm) though faster than the XP-400′s 3.1 ppm and the 3.2 ppm turned in by the Editors’ Choice Kodak ESP 3.2 ($100 street, 4 stars).
The XP-600 averaged 1 minute 6 seconds in printing out 4-by-6 photos, a very good score and less than half the time taken by the XP-400 (2:18) though it was bested by the Kodak ESP 3.2 (50 seconds) and trounced by the XP-800 (26 seconds).
The Epson XP-600′s overall output quality was average for an inkjet. Text quality was on the low side of average for an inkjet, though fine for typical home uses other than documents like resumes. Graphics quality was typical of inkjets; issues included dithering (graininess), mild banding (regular vertical striations) and some thin colored lines barely showing. Photos were slightly above par; a photo with a dark background showed a trace of a tint, but all of the prints were at least the quality you’d expect from drugstore prints and about half considerably better.
Running costs came to 4.6 cents per monochrome page and 13.4 cents per color cartridge, based on Epson’s prices and yields of its most economical ink cartridges, and they are on the high side; Kodak’s claimed cost per page for the ESP 3.2 are 3.2 cents per monochrome page and 9.5 cents per color page.
The Epson Expression Premium XP-600 Small-in-One Printer is a compact and speedy multifunction printer, with a good suite of home-centered features such as the ability to print directly on optical disks, slots for both USB thumb drives and memory cards, and Wi-Fi capability. Its output quality is decent across the board, with slightly above average photo quality.
The XP-600 is worth the premium you pay for it over the Epson XP-400, with considerably faster speeds for both business and especially photo printing, and better photo quality. It also adds an auto-duplexer and a port for a USB thumb drive. On the other hand, it lacks the business-centered features that make the Epson XP-800 suitable for home office as well as home: fax capabilities, a 30-sheet duplexing ADF, Ethernet and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity.
The Editors’ Choice Kodak ESP 3.2 is not as fast as the XP-600 in printing from business applications, but is largely comparable in features (though it lacks an auto-duplexer and the ability to print on optical media) and comes in at a lower sticker price and with considerably lower running costs. They both print very good photos, with a slight edge going to the Kodak. The ESP 3.2 has a true touch screen, while the Epson has a panel with touch-based controls that surrounds the (non-touch) LCD.
Which of the two depends on your needs: if text speed or an automatic duplexer are the key factors, the XP-600 should be your printer of choice, while if cost of ownership is paramount—especially if you expect to print a lot—the Kodak ESP 3.2 is the clear favorite.
More Multi-function Printer Reviews:
|Standalone Copier and Fax||Copier|
|Printer Category||Ink Jet|
|Direct Printing from Cameras||Yes|
|Maximum Standard Paper Size||Legal|
|Ink Jet Type||Standard All-Purpose|
|Color or Monochrome||1-pass color|
|Connection Type||USB, Ethernet, Wireless|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc