As befitting its name, the Epson Expression Premium XP-800 Small-in-One Printer ($279 list) is compact for a multifunction printer (MFP). But although small in size—which lets it fit in spaces that most other MFPs can’t—it’s large in features and performance. Though primarily a home MFP, it adds enough business features to make it suitable for light-duty use in a home office as well, and brings enough to the table to make it an Editors’ Choice.
The XP-800 prints, copies, faxes, and scans. You can fax either from the printer or from your computer (PC Fax). You can print from or scan to a USB thumb drive or memory card, and scan to a PC or network folder, to email, and the cloud. It supports Google Cloud Print, Epson Connect—which lets you print by emailing the job to your printer—and Apple AirPrint.
The all-black XP-800 measures 7.5 by 15.4 by 13.3 inches when closed, and weighs 21 pounds. The adjustable-tilt front panel includes a 3.5-inch gesture-based color touch screen. On top is a 30-page reversing automatic document feeder for copying, scanning, and faxing two-sided documents.
The main paper tray is 100 sheets, fine for home use but low for a home office, and it adds a 20-sheet photo-paper tray, as well as the capacity to print on CDs and DVDs. There’s also a rear paper feed for card stock and envelopes. It has an automatic duplexer for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper.
To help with photo printing, in addition to cyan, magenta, yellow, and black cartridges, the XP-800 includes a photo black cartridge, with good results, as you’ll see later in the review.
The XP-800 connects to a computer via USB, or to a network by Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi Direct, which lets you quickly connect with any Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device. I tested it over an Ethernet connection with a PC running Windows Vista.
The XP-800 zipped through our business applications suite (as timed with QualityLogic’s hardware and software) at 5.2 effective pages per minute (ppm), much faster than the Editors’ Choice HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One’s 3.0 ppm and its replacement, the HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One’s. (The HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One has been discontinued, but is still available through e-tailers.) It was equally fast at photo printing, averaging 26 seconds per 4-by-6 print to the Premium Fax All-in-One’s 1:07 and the Premium Fax e-All-in-One’s 1:14.
The XP-800′s overall output quality was average for an inkjet. Text quality was below par for an inkjet, fine for schoolwork or in-house business use but not for resumes or documents requiring smaller fonts. Graphics quality was typical of inkjets; issues included dithering (graininess, and in some places fine dot patterns). Also, some thin colored lines were barely visible. Photos were above par; a photo with a dark background showed some tinting, but most of the prints were true photo quality, suitable for framing.
The XP-800′s running costs of 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, are slightly higher than those of the HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One (4.4 cents per monochrome page, 11.6 cents for color) and HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One (4.2 cents per monochrome page, 11.4 for color), particularly for color printing.
The Epson Expression Premium XP-800 Small-in-One Printer has much to recommend it, with a good mix of home features with office-friendly features like fax, a wide range of connectivity choices, and a 30-sheet reversing ADF giving it some home-office chops, though the 100-sheet standard paper capacity limits it to light-duty use in a home office.
The Editors’ Choice HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One and its successor, the HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One each have slightly higher (125-sheet) paper capacity, and a larger 50-sheet reversing ADF that, like the XP-800′s ADF, works for copying, scanning, and faxing two-sided documents. They have slightly lower costs per monochrome page and considerably lower per color page than the Epson, and can print better text (though the XP-800′s text is suitable for general use.
The XP-800 is much faster than the two HP models, is flush with features, and has the convenience of a 3.5-inch touch screen while the HP MFPs’ screens are non-touch LCDs. It’s a great package for home and home-office use, and worthy of an Editors’ Choice.
More Multi-function Printer Reviews:
|Standalone Copier and Fax||Copier, Fax|
|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