Epson still quotes some silly print speeds for the Expression Home XP-405, but it also quotes ISO speeds, which are far more realistic. Perhaps they’ve listened to our constant complaints of exaggerated speed claims – who knows. The ISO specs are 8.7ppm for black print and 4.5ppm in colour.
Our five-page black text print gave 7.0ppm and the draft mode print gave 12.5ppm. The 20-page test produced a speed of 8.0ppm, within a gnat’s crochet of the claimed speed. The 5-page text and colour graphics test returned 2.7ppm, though, which is a good deal slower than the claim.
Colour print is unusually slow when it comes to photos, too. A 15 x 10cm print took 2:12 from a PC, 2:48 from an SD card and 3:09 from a Samsung Galaxy Mini Android phone. Compare this with the Epson Stylus SX525WD, an older machine at a similar price, which can print a 15 x 10cm photo in 1:14.
The print quality is better than from some recent budget Epson printers we’ve reviewed. Although black text is not quite as crisp as from a Canon or HP machine, there’s less of the slight fuzz around characters we’ve noticed before and very little misalignment between different passes of the print head.
Colour is also well reproduced, although perhaps not quite as vivid as from some of its rivals. Filled areas are smooth and text over colour shows little spread. Photos have always been a strong feature of Epson printers and our test images showed good colour blends and high levels of detail, though with less definition in the darker shades.
Epson provides two different versions of its Daisy ink cartridges and using the higher capacity, XL, variants gives page costs of 3.9p for black and 11.0p for colour. Both these costs are quite high in comparison with other machines at around the same price, but you may be able to reduce them, over time, by shopping around.
The Epson Expression Home XP-405 is an above-average home or home office all-in-one. In its favour are its small footprint, easy-to-use control panel with touch buttons and it’s versatile printing from mobile devices, both locally and remote. Against this, it’s not that cheap to run, has no duplex print and photo printing, normally a strength of Epson machines, is slower than usual.