Epson quotes speeds of 32ppm in both black and colour and, although the printer proved quicker than the Expression Photo XP-850, we didn't see anything approaching that. Our five-page black text print gave 10.3ppm and the longer, 20-sheet print only slightly increased this to 11.2ppm.
The XP-800 prints duplex pages as standard and we got 6.0 sides per minute when printing the 20-page document as 10-page duplex. The five-page black text and colour graphics test gave 5.9ppm. The speeds are respectable for a printer in this price range, but are some way off Epson's claims.
Copy speeds in both black and colour were quite a bit slower than equivalent print speeds, with a single page taking 27s and five-page black text taking 51s. 15 x 10cm photo prints took 39s and 54s in normal print mode and 1:30 in best print mode. All the speeds are very quick for reproducing photos.
Comparing test prints from the four and six-colour Epson printers, we have to say we prefer those from the Expression Premium XP-800, which look more natural and with less emphasis on reds and blues. Both are good, though, and are likely to attract few complaints. Colour print on plain paper is marginally better on the Expression Photo XP-850, but both are good at reproducing original colours in copies.
The five inks are available as single cartridges and in multipacks, though there’s not a big saving in going the multipack route. We calculate a black and white page to cost 3.4p and a colour one to cost 11.6p. Neither of these is particularly good, though we have seen more costly all-in-ones to run.
Epson’s Expression Premium XP-800 is a compact, well-featured all-in-one which covers nearly all your printing, copying, scanning and faxing needs. It has a conveniently small footprint, all the necessary connections and four different ways of feeding media for print. It’s very easy to use, reasonably quick to print and doesn’t cost the earth to run. Best of all though, it's yours for well under £150.