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Epson Expression Photo XP-850 review



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Epson Expression Photo XP-850
  • Epson Expression Photo XP-850
  • Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Display
  • Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Open
  • Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - CD/DVD Tray
  • Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Cartridges
  • Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Feature Table
  • Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Speeds and Costs


Our Score:



  • Three paper feed sources
  • Touch panel controls
  • Unusually small footprint


  • Tray and display won’t auto-retract
  • Much slower print than claims
  • 100-sheet main paper tray

Key Features

  • 6-colour photo printing
  • Direct CD/DVD print
  • Wireless print from mobiles
  • 30-sheet ADF
  • Fax functions
  • Manufacturer: Epson
  • Review Price: £188.00


Epson’s Expression range of all-in-ones stretches from a simple entry-level machine up to the Expression Photo XP-850, which has all the extras you are likely to ask for. Although it has the Photo tag, mainly indicating that it’s a six-ink printer, it also includes an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) for its scanner and full fax functions.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850: Design

The printer has a surprisingly small footprint to its largely glossy black case and when you lift it you can tell that a lot is being packed inside, because of its solid and heavy make-up. The top cover has a slight wave to it, indicating Epson’s inclusion of a 30-sheet ADF, where the centre section folds into a feed tray.

The control panel hinges out from the front surface of the printer and has an 88mm touchscreen in the centre, with dedicated touch buttons down either side. Below this is a flip-down cover for the two, separate paper trays. The top one of these takes 20 sheets of photo paper, while the bottom one takes only 100 sheets of plain paper, which seems a very small amount, even for a home printer.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - CD/DVD Tray

There’s no option for an extra tray, either, though a flip-down cover at the rear provides access to a single sheet feed for envelopes and special media. Lastly, right at the bottom is a CD/DVD carrier, which pulls out and slots in above the trays for direct disc printing.

The output tray and the touchscreen control panel above work in a similar way to HPs Envy lifestyle all-in-ones, but only do half the job. If you start printing without opening the machine up, it very intelligently folds out the control panel to a convenient angle and powers out the output tray.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850

However, like machines further down the Expression range, getting this tray back in again involves pressing on its front edge against quite a graunchy-feeling mechanism. This is crazy, as the tray is obviously capable of being driven back in, in the same way it was driven out.

A flip-open cover on the left-hand side reveals slots for SD, MemoryStick and Compact Flash cards and there’s a USB socket with PictBridge support below this.

Sockets at the rear support USB, 10/100 Ethernet and phone line connection for the fax. Epson’s software bundle handles printing, scanning and faxing and there’s a three month trial of Corel Draw X6.


November 30, 2012, 6:59 pm

I had looked forward to this as a replacement for my PX720WD. I had understood that it had a single sheet facility. However, according to the specification in the review, the maximum 'paper' weight is 255gsm. If that is right, it is no better than the 'round the bend' printing of the 720.

Is it so limited? I was looking forward to a printer that would deal with heavier stock for greeting cards and the like. 255 is only moderate weight for that purpose.


January 21, 2013, 10:13 pm

I just purchased the XP 800 unit which overall I am very pleased with but I agree with this review on the outoput tray retraction issue which is shares with the 850. It is very odd that the motorised control panel and output tray opens automatically but will not retract, having to be closed manually. I have read various reviews on the web that say this is normal but I can't quite believe it I'm afraid. The tray is clearly motorised and could retract after printing and removal of print job just as easily as it opens. It feels odd to push the tray back in and you can clearly feel the resistance of the motorised mechanism. I have also seen this review that stated clearly that in the review model the output tray "When idle, the control panel and output tray retract automatically,...." http://www.computershopper....

I have seen the control panel close once automatically but never again since.

What has gone wrong with the firmware/drivers etc that means that this no longer happens? Has this been disabled in the driver software updates for some reason since that review?

The FAQ on the US support webpage has also only just appeared as it is flagged as new on 09/01/2013; it does not appear on the UK webpage. In addition, the manual explicitly mentions the manual opening and adjustment of the control panel but does not mention the output tray has to be manually closed.

What are you not telling us Epson?


August 28, 2013, 8:46 pm

If Darth Vader had a printer it would look like this...


December 20, 2013, 8:51 pm

Although I love the quality photo prints of epson I am ready to go postal on the tech & customer support - in over 6 years of printers I've only had 1 exceed it's warentee and have frequently had to have replacements replaced within a few weeks or even days. Less than a month ago I had to have my xp-850 replaced due to ink output the replacement didn't work and I could not take a chance of getting another lemon so I purchased a BRAND NEW one along with the replacement and now in just a few weeks neither one of them work - AGAIN!!! Same problem - ink nozzles. I really don't know why I continue with this company other than I just dont' know what other printer in this price range is any better with the same quality of photo prints. The minor things like tray retractions do not bother me one bit compared with other problems that require replacements and replacements of replacements.

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