We test gadgets that can do almost anything; sometimes we review ones which are out of the ordinary and sometimes we get sent functional items. The Epson XP-102 all in one home printer, scanner and copier falls into that category but has a claim to fame; it’s the smallest that Epson has ever produced.
Neil Wilson, product manager, Epson UK, certainly seems to think so: “Using the new Claria Home ink set, the Expression Home range allows you to benefit from the versatility of glossy, home photo printing and crisp, clear text output. You won’t have to worry whether printing documents or photos is the driving factor in your household, because you can now have both. Whether you’re printing coursework, home documents or family photos, this range ensures that your needs are catered for.”
What’s in the box
Setup and usage
It comes with a quick start guide which is useful if you’ve not setup a printer before; if you have then this probably isn’t needed. Most modern day computers (I tested it on a Mac) will detect the device instantly once plugged in, prompting you to install from CD or over the internet. If you are doing it by the book then you install the software first.
The printer comes with a set of starter cartridges; you get four in total which are branded with poppies/daisies to make shopping for them in a future easier (no silly codes to remember). You install the cartridges, let it run setup and hook the printer up using a USB cable (not included by the way) and are ready to go.
Using the printer is similarly easy; every program has a print option these days. When printing photos you can opt to use your preferred software or Epson’s own bundled program which we found worked well when printing 6×4 photos and full A4 prints too.
The sticker speed is 26 pages per minute, which is totally true if printing a standard page of text. Obviously pages of higher quality or images take longer; photos are markedly slower due to the printers 5,760 Dpi.
Scanning is also a doddle because there’s a lift up lid which can arch slightly at the hinges to take thicker books. This works best with single sheets of paper, although magazine thickness books also produced good results. Thicker books also scan although a telltale black border often is shown due to the lid not forming a seal around the document (this is the case with almost all scanners and copiers).
The machine itself feels sturdy, but certainly not bulletproof. It’ll probably stand-up best in a house which takes care of their gadgets and wouldn’t be suited to oafs, heavy handed people or children which like to pull at things.
The prints on the other hand are fantastic quality. I tested it with some 6×4 glossy paper and the photos came out at well enough to be used; it certainly beats paying 39p down boots for a single print. Documents also stood up well with even the fast draft print option reading well, I did find that a good quality all in one paper worked wonders (but that’s just common sense).
So is Neil Wilson right? We’d have to say that he is. Over the years all in one printers have gotten smaller, smarter and cleverer. The Expression XP-102 was easy to setup and can produce colour snaps, A4 prints, documents and copies with ease. It wouldn’t suit a heavy workload and isn’t wireless but that’s what its bigger brothers are for and you also need to your own USB cable.
You can pick up the Epson XP-102 for £49.99 RRP, but like most things a good Google search can turn up some bargains, Amazon have it for cheaper for example.