There’s been a recent move among printer makers to reduce the size of their all-in-ones and make them more discreet on the desk. Epson, with its Expression Home range now refers to these as Small-in-One printers, and the XP-412 lives up to this designation.
This is a neat, glossy black machine with a textured lid to its flatbed scanner. It reverts to Epson’s favourite paper feed design, with a near-vertical slot at the rear, which has a pull-up, telescopic support and flip-over dust cover. Paper then feeds to another telescopic tray at the front; a good, simple paper path.
At the front, a hinged control panel swings out to a convenient angle and shows a 64mm LCD screen, coupled to a touch panel on its right. While a touch panel is not quite as intuitive to use as a touchscreen, the large, dedicated orange icons on the panel are easy to see and sensitive to even a light touch.
At the bottom left of the front panel is a single card slot, which can take SD and MemoryStick cards, though there’s no front panel USB. The single PC data connection is a rear mounted USB socket, but the machine’s wireless facilities will make this redundant for many customers.
The printer is well equipped for wireless connection and supports Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint, covering most of the mobile devices you may want to use. Additionally, Epson provides a function similar to HP’s ePrint, where you can email the printer directly.
Lift the scanner section of the Expression Home XP-412 and you have easy access to the four ink cartridges which plug directly into the machine’s piezoelectric head.
Epson’s software bundle includes Scan and Easy Photo Print, both of which are good utilities, though it’s a shame Scan doesn’t provide OCR. You can scan to a PDF, but have to rely on third-party conversion software, if you need to edit the text of a document.
My Epson Portal looked as if it might be a handy utility, too, but all text within it was in Japanese, so it was hard to tell. We also saw a Japanese alert box at the end of software installation.