As you read down the company brochures to the entry-level end, all-in-ones start to streamline their feature-sets. The Epson Expression XP-102 is just such an example as it has no LCD display, but still manages to perform most of the duties expected of it in a home or student bedsit, and could possibly even stretch to home office use.
It’s a compact machine, part of Epson’s cutely named ‘Small-in-One’ range, and has a footprint not that much bigger than the A4 sheets it handles. It’s all-black case has a smooth lid – no Automatic Document Feed, of course, on a machine at this price – but it does have a small extension to the hinge, to help scanning from magazine pages.
Behind the lid is the paper feed slot, with a flip-over dust cover, which can only take 50 sheets at a time, a little meagre even for an occasional use machine. The two-stage telescopic support is easy to use and the paper guide has a positive feel. Plain and photo paper can be fed from this source and they feed through to an extending output tray at the front, with a flip-over paper stop.
The control panel has no LCD display, so you can only start a single copy from the printer itself, but there are separate buttons for black and colour copies and one for cancelling a running job.
On most machines, hinging up the scanner section to reveal the ink cartridges automatically moves the carrier to a convenient spot on the carriage to replace them, but with the Epson Expression XP-102 you have to do this from the maintenance tab in the driver. Fitting the four separate cartridges is straightforward, though they’re a bit of a tight fit, particularly when it comes to removing used ones.
Bundled software includes ABBYY Finereader Sprint 9 OCR and Epson’s own driver and maintenance utilities. The only data connection is via a USB socket at the back end of the left-hand side panel, as there’s no wireless facility.