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I bought this printer almost on a whim, after my last printer (a Kodak) suddenly died. I was in desperate need of a printer, quick, so I bought the third cheapest one available on Amazon that had wifi and a scanner.
So far, this random selection strategy has worked out well for me! The printer is sturdy and looks good. It has a small colour screen on the front panel which adds to the aesthetic appeal more than anything else; I have yet to refer to this little screen while printing. The front section flips outward when the printer is turned on, presumably to give the user a better view of the buttons and screen. It is quite firmly attached but for some reason I find this quite worrying and I always feel as though I am going to break it clean off.
The printer has various settings, so you can print out a quick draft using less ink or a quality photo using a higher print resolution. As I mentioned, it has a wifi function so I can easily print from my laptop without the need for any wires. It also has a good scanner which will photocopy documents without the need to turn on my computer as well.
One major advantage of Epson printers is that the inks come in separate containers, one black and three separate colours. This means that if like Picasso you are having a blue period or perhaps a rose period, you only need to replace the colour that you are using the most. This strikes me as a very good plan, well played Epson! The inks are reasonably good value, probably middle of the market pricing and they last a fair amount of time.
One minor disadvantage of Epson printers is that they have such unimaginative names. I mean, XP 405 is not the most endearing of monikers. Personally I have renamed mine Edwin.
I do quite a bit of printing on a daily basis and this means I tend to go through quite a bit of ink, sometimes going through printers faster than a can say the word 'flaberdabberdobboliss' due to over worked printer heads or broken bits and bobs. So when I got my hands on a brand new all in one system I decided to put my latest printer to one side, as I liked that printer and thought that I would give this new one a bashing before over working my other one.
My other printer is an HP all in one and, as I have mainly always used HP, with some great results, I wanted to try and make this one last as long as I could. So I popped the HP into the cupboard and unwrapped this brand new All-in-one so that I could see if it would be as good as the HP that I had mostly been happy with.
This All-in-One system that I had acquired was in fact from a company called Epson, who we've all heard of, with this machine being the Epson Expression XP-405 with LCD screen and touch controls.
* Before I go into the pros and cons of the machine allow me to tell you what you get in the box, in case you're interested...
In the box there was the printer itself, obviously, together with the four individual cartridges, those being black, magenta, yellow and cyan. These cartridges are called starter cartridges and contain a smaller amount of ink than the normal ones. They don't last as long as you hope they will so make sure you get some more inks as soon as possible.
There's also a CD with the software that is needed in order to get this all in one ready for use on a PC. Finally, there's a few bits of paper work together with the power lead.
There are no other cables so if you want to connect this to a PC using the old fashioned wire system then you have to supply the printer cable yourself.
* Let me tell you this all in one looks like...
It looks like many other machines of it type, although I find it to be a bit smaller than some out there. The actual size of this box shaped unit is about 145mm high, (with the scanner lid shut), by about 390mm long and about 300mm deep, weighing in at no more than 4.5 kg.
It is made of a rather nice glossy black plastic with the lid being almost like a mirror when it comes to shining. Lift this lid and you reveal the scanner bed, which is a glassed area that sits over the scanner system.
On the front, there is the control panel, which pulls forwards at an angle of about 45° so that you can see the actual display more clearly when you are stood above the unit. On this front panel the are the main controls, (although this can be controlled from a wireless PC). These controls consist of, (from left to right), the power button which is situated above the wireless icon. Then, as we go along, there is another icon which is in the shape of a house, this is the 'home' icon, (of course it is). Next to this icon there is the small yet remarkably clear screen. Then, next to the screen, we have the main controls, those being an 'OK' button which is surrounded by arrow icons, up, down, left, right. On the left of these cursor keys there is a return button, which takes you back one step, in case you get something wrong in the process. There's also a '+' and a '-' icon that lets you add or subtract the number of pages you want printing.
Finally, there is a cancel button and also a print button.
All these icons glow up orange when the power is on, apart from the screen that glow up multi coloured, I mean, it is a screen after all.
There is one more little thing that is on the front of this unit, that is a small slit that lies on the far left. This is for slotting in an SD card, (or other card with an adapter), so that you can either print direct from the card or send things to the card.
I nearly forgot, there is something else on the front, sort of. This is a little tray that slides out of the lower part just under the mouth type gap that is under the control panel. This tray is there to catch the paper as it comes out after being printed. This tray not only pulls out, the end has a thinner section that folds out creating a small 'barrier' type ending so that your paper doesn't fall off the end.
And that beings me to the paper 'input' section, which is actually on the top of the machine, to the back of the shiny top. It is covered neatly by a small hinged piece of plastic that lifts up to reveal a pull out plastic section that pulls out and clips into place, creating a sort of shelving section so that you can put several sheets of paper onto the shelf for lots of printing.
So that's what it looks like, apart from the input sockets which are on the rear. Those are the mains cable port and the printer cable port, (this cable I do not use as I use this one for wireless printing only).
* Do we need anything special to get this going..?
This does need a few things on your PC in order to use this all-in-one.
It runs on windows Operating Systems XP and above, including Windows 8,also Mac OS X 10.5.8 and later, which covers quite a few modern day OS's.
Your PC also needs a few minimum requirements, such as a minimum of 128MB of RAM and at least 250MB of spare space on your HDD for the installation of the software.
* Is it easy to set up..?
No, it's so complicated that a friend of mine, who's attended some of the finest universities in England... he's never studied in them, he was doing a bit of work in the toilets as he's a plumber, but he's good when it comes to setting up computers and things...even he struggled in setting this up.
No seriously, this is so easy to set up that even I was surprised when it connected up through the wireless system as I didn't expect it to happen so quickly and so easily.
In fact, setting it up is a simple matter of following the four step instruction poster that came with this all in one. It could have been a leaflet really but as it comes in many languages it had to be a poster.
But if you're really interested on how to set this up then I have put a brief guide at the end of this review....
You can either use the old fashioned wired method or the wireless method, or both. It's all up to you.
What can it offer..?
It's your standard 3 in 1 inkjet system, which means that it's a printer, scanner and copier, but, if like me, it's the printer that is going to be used the most.
In other words it offers the same as any other all-in-one that you'd buy on the market, giving you the option of printing, copying and scanning your work, which is all you need really.
As for connecting it to a PC, you can use it wired up to it, or, as I have, you can have it wirelessly connected to each of your PC's so that you don't have to be next to this unit in order to get the machine to do what you want it to, all you need is a good wireless router and wireless PC.
Plus, apart from being capable of printing using a cable, or Wi-Fi, there's the option of using an SD card which slots into the SD slot which is cleverly housed on the lower left of the printer. The card slot can accept Memory stick duo, MS duo pro, SDHC, MMC and micro SD, although adapters are needed for some cards.
The minimum size of paper that can be used is a A7, ( about the size of an invitation card for something like a birthday party, smaller than an envelope), with the maximum size being your standard A4, which we all know how big that is.
Then there's the speed of the printing, it can print up to 33 pages per minute in black, and can mange about 15 pages per minute in colour, and as you can stack a lot of paper in the 'inlet' tray you can get the full quota of pages per minute without any trouble.
* What about the machine itself..? Does it work well..?
It does exactly what it is supposed to do. It scans, copies and prints, without too many hassles, especially after you've used it a few time and really got the hang of it.
The trio of options can be used either by using the small, yet very clear screen or using the PC that you have the software installed on.
Scanning it more or less a one touch system, although to use this method from the machine itself means that you do have to have it wired to a PC otherwise there is nowhere to scan too.
Copying is a matter of placing what you want scanning onto the scanner glass, selecting how many copies you want, then press copy. As long as you have paper in the tray then it'll copy all day long.
Basically, it works like any other printer, or all in one, well, like most anyway.
You simply place a wad of paper in position on the top of the unit, sliding the little width guide to gently rest against the papers. Then you press the right buttons in order to get the printing going. This is done either by the little screen or, for more control, using the software on you PC.
You do not have to use the Epson software to print anything off as most other printing software will get this wireless printer to print, although I did find that the worst of the prints came out using the standard 'print' on Windows itself.
To be honest I tend to use something called 'faststone image viewer as it gives me full control over what I want printing, how big I want the print and where I actually want the print placed on the paper itself.
But regardless of whether you use the Epson software to print/copy/scan you still have to install it in order to get the full benefits.
Then there's the option of printing direct from an SD card, or even sending copies to the SD card as well. This can be controlled using the on board 2.5inch as you can see the images on the card as they appear clearly on the screen so you can see which picture you want to print.
* What about the final results..?
The prints come out as clear as you'd expect, but this is all down to many factors, such as the picture itself as you took it and the quality of the paper you're printing on.
The colour quality from the printer, once the heads have settled in, is as clear as a bell, crystal clear, what ever the saying is. The colours are bright and clear, although this does depend a lot on the settings of course and the ink.
To be honest, I've done quite a bit of printing using this and I have not had one bad page as yet.
The basic letter printing is second to none, printing a full A4 page in a nano second, almost. So if it's just printing of letter you want then this one will keep you happy all day long.
For the record...
The technology inside this printer, and many others of this generation, is that they can put a block on certain things that you may want to print.
For example, (and remember, I did this for the sake of testing and not for trying the do anything illegal...)
Just for something to do I put a £20 note onto the scanner plate and when I pressed the scan button I got a pop up message on my PC stating that 'this scanner does not support the unauthorised scanning of banknotes....' meaning that it refuses to scan money... then I tried it with a fiver and the same thing happened.
This just goes to show that these all-in-ones are smarter than they look.
Now there's something new learnt today... for me anyway.
I wonder if it will scan a pound coin..?
* And what do I think about this printer/scanner/ copier...?
This is a rather fine little black box of a machine indeed. It may not be small, as it's an all-in-one you can't expect it to be that small anyway, but as it has a rather fine black glossy figure it doesn't look out of place on top of a desk or even at the side of a computer system.
It is pretty straight forwards to set up and using it is as easy as pressing a few buttons, either on the machine or your PC, it's all the same results.
I particularly like the screen as it response quickly when I press the buttons, the screen itself is not touch screen but the buttons surrounding the screen are touch sensitive and are easy to understand.
The wireless feature is remarkable and so fast that it's like your PC is connected to the thing with an invisible wire. (although this will depend on your router, setting, obstacles and more). The scanning over WiFi takes seconds, as does the printing, and when you scan you then get a clear image of what ever you've scanned on your PC so that you can fiddle about with it before printing the final image off, getting it perfect so you're happy with the result.
The entire machine weighs very little over all so carting it from one place to another takes no effort at all, although the bulkiness of it can stop you putting it into a rucksack or handbag of course.
There are many things I like about this all-in-one, such as the way the control panel pulls out on a 45° angle so that you can see it all as clear as day, so to speak, yet you can then slot it away when it's not needed so that the unit looks neat and tidy.
Then there's the way that the paper holders, both top and bottom, fold in and out so that it holds the paper in place yet folds neatly away.
But the main thing about this one is that the inks are as cheap as chips, so to speak.
What I mean by that is that I am one of those people who have spent years using HP printers and have all been good quality units, but when it comes to ink we all know how expensive the cartridges can be.
But when it comes to this Epson printer the inks are a fraction of the cost. In other words, I bought a full set of inks for this for a remarkable low price of £8.95. They may not be from Epson themselves but they work just as well, creating some rather fine printing.
I have one little quibble, so to speak, and that is that after it has finished printing, or scanning, or after it has finished doing what ever you have asked it to do, it omit's a high pitched whistle whilst the unit settles back into place.
This high pitch noise is a little irritating for me, only a little mind you, but the first few times that it did it my dog went mental, running around as if he's just been kicked up the 'jacksie' by a size 10 doc-martin steal toe capped boot. He doesn't do it any more he now just looks up at the machine in a curious sort of way.
I will mention it again that the inks that come with this package are 'starter' cartridges, which means that there is not as much ink in them as your normal sized cartridges, so they may run out sooner that you expect
* So what about the price of this All-in-One..?
This all-in-one isn't the cheapest on the market, but it's not the most expensive either.
At the moment it is selling for about £70, which is a nice price considering the fact that it's wireless, it can read and write onto an SD card and that has a little screen that is clearer than a Mother Teresa's conscience.
Plus, to top it all, the inks are at a price that even I can't complain about, and that's saying something.
In all, this is a fine all in one that has opened my eyes to the none HP world. I am actually using this more than my HP All in one as this one is not only easier to use, it works faster and gives me better results in the long run, which is what I want really.
* For those that are interested in how easy this is to set up...
Getting it going takes a few minutes from start to finish. And here's how...
You start by unwrapping the machine, taking off all the blue sticky wrapping that is there to protect the unit, not forgetting the piece of hard foam that is wedged inside the rear section the keeps the printer ink cartridge section in place.
So, know the wrapping is off, you plug the printer in, using the mains lead that I initially thought wasn't in the package, until I opened the lid to find it strapped there inside a piece of cardboard.
Once plugged in you press the on/off button, switching the machine on. Then you unwrap the four ink cartridges from the air tight sealed packs, rip off the little orange tags that clearly state that you should tear off the tab, then slot the cartridges into place. To find the cartridge holder inside the all in one you have to lift the entire top section, using the notches on either side to do so. The entire lid, which is the scanning glass really, should lift up on hinges at the rear. You should then be presented with what looks like a drug dealers hidey hole for his drugs so when the police pay him a visit they won't find his stash...
The ink cartridges slot into the four gaps in the cartridge tray, with each section having a colour tab on it so that you know which coloured cartridge goes where.
Once the inks are in place you close the lid and the machine should then go into set up mode. This starts with the ink cartridges going into 'set up' mode, which does take a few minutes to go through but once done it doesn't need to do it again until you change one of the ink cartridges.
Once the inks have 'settled in' it's a matter of connecting the printer to your PC's, which an be done using the printer cable, which does not come with this unit so you will have to get one if you want a wired connection. Or, like I did, you can rig all you PC's up to this using the good old wireless system, which I find to be the easiest way to use this one.
This all in one does all the work for you, all you have to do is put in the password of your router, which is a matter of scrolling through the letters that appear on the screen using the cursor keys and the ok button. Then, once the password has been accepted the unit it connected to your router. Now all you have to do is install the software on the CD onto the PC you want to wirelessly use this all in one with. This instillation only takes about five minutes to fully install and is a simple matter of following the on screen instructions.
You'll know that the wireless system is on as the green light on the wireless icon should glow, with the 'strength' indicator showing inside the little screen.
Each PC that you want to have connected to this unit wirelessly does have to have the software installed into it. Once installed you are then capable of not only wireless printing but wireless scanning and copying, which means that you can have this all in one sat in a room somewhere and your PC in any other room, (within reason).
For example, someone in the room that the all in one is in can put in a picture on the scanner tray and a person in another room can take a scan from the all in one straight onto their PC in minutes, no, seconds in fact.
Now you should be up and running, ready to wireless use this all in one from any where in your home.
(...Set up has ended... and it probably take as long to set up wirelessly as it took you to read that bit. If you did read that bit).
Save space, save money, save time
Mobile printing over Wi-Fi and email
Easy to connect wirelessly
Only replace the color used
|Product Description:||Epson Expression Home XP-405 - multifunction printer ( colour )|
|Device Type:||Printer / copier / scanner|
|Printing Technology:||Ink-jet ( colour )|
|Inkjet Technology:||Epson Micro Piezo - 4-ink|
|Max Printing Speed:||Up to 33 ppm (mono) / up to 15 ppm (colour)|
|Max Printing Resolution:||Up to 5760 x 1440 dpi (mono) / up to 5760 x 1440 dpi (colour)|
|Scanning:||1200 x 2400 dpi|
|Media Size:||Legal (216 x 356 mm), A4 (210 x 297 mm) (max)|
|Media Type:||Envelopes, plain paper, photo paper|
|Standard Media Capacity:||100 sheets|
|PC Connection Availability:||Yes|
|PC Connection:||USB 2.0, Wi-Fi|
|Office Machine Features:||Print from memory card, Google Cloud Print ready|
|Power:||AC 110/230 V ( 50/60Hz )|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||39 cm x 30 cm x 14.5 cm|
|Microsoft Certification:||Compatible with Windows 7|
|Environmental Standards:||ENERGY STAR Qualified|
|Manufacturer Warranty:||1 year warranty|