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Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Review

Verdict

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Pros

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

Cons

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

Key Specifications

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

Introduction

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.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850: Performance

Epson rates the Expression Photo XP-850 at 32 pages in mono and colour, though it does also publish ISO figures of 9.5ppm mono and 9.0ppm colour. Where it gets 32ppm from we guess only Epson knows. Our five-page black text document gave 6.7ppm and this rose to 11.5ppm in draft mode.

The 20 page document, printed in normal mode, gave 7.9ppm, so not too far off the ISO figures. Automatic duplex is standard on this machine and our 20 page document printed as 10 duplex pages produced 4.6 sides per minute, which is quite a bit quicker than, for example, Canon’s high-end all-in-one, the https://www.trustedreviews.com/canon-pixma-mg8250_Printer_review PIXMA MG8250.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Speeds and Costs

A single-page colour copy took 27s from the flatbed and a five-page black text copy fed from the ADF completed in 56s. 15 x 10cm photos took from a very speedy 35s to a still more than respectable 1:03, depending on the print source. Printing from Epson’s Android application is quick and easy and gives a bit more control than many apps of this type.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Open

Print quality is Epson’s usual mixture, with rather heavy-looking black text showing some ink feathering counterbalanced by superb photos, with plenty of intricate detail and near ideal colour rendition, even in those darker shadowed areas.

In between, colour graphics are reasonably solid and black over colour registration is good, though a colour photocopy looked washed out, with reversed text very muddy against a black which was only dark grey.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Cartridges

Epson’s Elephant inks come in two yields, though even the high yield is comparatively low. Page costs come out at a reasonable 3.3p for black and slightly pricey but still acceptable 10.4p for colour – all told, not bad for a six-ink printer.

Verdict

As a top-of-the-range photo all-in-one, the Epson Expression Photo XP-850 is a bit of a mixed bag. While it has a lot of the functions you would expect from a premium machine, some design choices, such as its inability to fold its trays away, and it’s indifferent print quality on plain paper, don’t fit expectations. You need to compare it against high-end offerings from Canon and HP.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 - Feature Table

Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Print Speed 8
  • Features 8
  • Value 7
  • Print Quality 7

Features

Networking Yes
Card slot SD, MemoryStick, CompactFlash, USB drive
Connection Type Ethernet, USB
Extra Features 88mm touchscreen with touch panel, duplex print, CD/DVD print, fax

Physical Specifications

Height (Millimeter) 191mm
Width (Millimeter) 390mm
Depth (Millimeter) 339mm
Weight (Gram) 8700g

Printing

Type Inkjet
Duplex Yes
Paper Size A4
Colour Yes
Number of Catridges 6
Sheet Capacity 100-sheet tray + 20-sheet photo tray
Print Resolution (Dots per inch) 5760 x 1440 (enhanced)dpi
Rated Black Speed (Images per minute) 32ipm
Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute) 32ipm
Max Paper Weight 255g/sm
Print Without PC Yes

Functions

Scanner Yes
Copier Yes
Fax Yes

Scanning

Scan Resolution (Dots per inch) 4800 x 4800dpi

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