Photo enthusiasts are a more diverse crowd than they were. With cameras in phones and tablets, added to their compacts and SLRs, there is a need to be able to print from a variety of sources and at a variety of sizes, too. Epson’s top of the range Expression Photo XP-950 aims to take care of all these requirements and adds in a couple of other extras, too.
This is a substantial all-black box, though not quite as large as you might expect for an A3 printer. Epson may have looked at Brother’s recently introduced range of A4 sized printers, which can also take occasional A3 sheets.
This machine has three different paper sources. At the front, once you flip down the unnecessarily tall tray cover, you can pull it out to reveal the main paper tray, of just 100 A4 sheets. Directly above this is a separate photo paper tray, which can take sheets up to 13 x 18cm. Finally, a flip-open cover at the back reveals a pull-up paper support for sheets up to A3, fed from the rear.
At the top of the machine a textured plastic lid to the 4800ppi flatbed scanner is oddly hinged across its middle, Epson says it’s to enable a better fit over irregular scan subjects. In front of this is a touchscreen control panel with an 88mm touchscreen and dedicated touch buttons.
Both the control panel and the output tray slide out under power when a page is printed, though, unlike HP’s Envy series all-in-ones, the control panel doesn’t fold back down when you shut down the machine. Instead, you have to push it against its mechanism, which is a bit tacky.
To the left of the control panel, a flip-open cover reveals two memory card slots, adding CompactFlash to the more ubiquitous SD and MemoryStick types. There’s also a PictBridge USB socket, for legacy camera connection.
Hinging up the whole of the scanner section reveals the head carrier, with its six ink cartridges, adding light cyan and light magenta to the normal set. Bundled software includes ArcSoft’s Scan-n-Stitch editing utility and Epson’s own scan, photo print and CD printing software. There’s a CD/DVD Holder at the bottom of the front panel, which can be slotted in to directly print on coated discs.