Epson's Expression XP-830 Wireless Small-in-One Printer

Feature-rich, excellent prints, scans and copies

Epson Expression XP-830 Wireless Color Photo Printer
Epson

Pros

  • Good print speeds
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Great output quality
  • Competitive purchase price
  • Auto-duplexing ADF and print engine
  • Prints labels on optical discs
  • Versatile paper handling

Cons

  • Cost per page is too high

Bottom LineThis compact little all-in-one prints, copies, and scans with great quality, decent print speeds, and it's loaded with features. My only real objection is the cost per page.

Buy Epson's Expression XP-830 Wireless Small-in-One Printer at Amazon

Introduction

This is my fourth XP-800 series model printer--since Epson started marketing its Small-in-One AIOs a few years ago, that is. While Epson calls this and the previous models Expression Premium (such as the Expression Premium XP-800 Small-in-One, or perhaps the Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One, the Expression Premium XP-820, and finally the topic of today’s review, the $199.99-MSRP Epson Expression XP-830 Wireless Small-in-One Printer), these really are, according to Epson, photo printers.

That said, that changes much of the marketing strategy. Photo printers, for example, typically have a per-page cost of ink significantly higher than comparably priced business-centric printers, but then the photo-centric models do typically print photographs better than their business-ready counterparts do.

Design & Features

When it comes to overall size, the XP-830 is identical to its predecessors.

At 17.2 inches across, 23.5 inches from front to back, and 7.5 inches tall, compared to some of its siblings, this Small-in-One isn’t so small. Even so, at 21.5 pounds, it’s plenty light enough to wrestle out of the box and set up without inducing a hernia.

Basic connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and connection to a single PC via USB; however, to use most of the Internet features, you’ll need to connect via either Wi-Fi or Ethernet, or you can connect via Wi-Fi Direct, a protocol for connecting two Wi-Fi Direct-compatible devices without the need for a network or a router.

Without a network, though, you won’t be able to use even the most basic mobile connectivity options, such as Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, and several others.

As for PC-free, or walk-up printing, scanning, and faxing, you can scan to and print from an SD Card, as well as various Web sites, and it’s all managed by a spacious and colorful 4.3-inch touch screen.

Performance, Print Quality, and Paper Handling

Much like the XP-820 before it, the XP-830 held its own against several like-priced models, turning in scores close-to-par on other photo-centric models, such as the Pixma MG7520 Photo All-in-One (Or even the model replacing the MG7520, the MG7620 I have sitting here for review.). It’s plenty fast enough and, like many Epson photo-centric printers, it churns out great-looking documents and photos. Even the graphics and photos embedded in my business documents came out clear, vibrant, and detailed.

As to paper handling, the XP-830 has a 100-sheet cassette located at the bottom-front, and inside that, an insert for holding up to 20 4x6-inch sheets of premium photo paper. There’s also a 20-sheet override tray on the back, providing three paper sources, which should help keep the machine in service by holding down on the need to empty input sources and reconfigure them.

Cost Per Page

Nowadays, with HP’s Instant Ink and Epson’s own EcoTank programs, these entry-level and midrange printers don’t have to cost so much to use anymore. However, the XP-830 doesn’t support any new ink dispersing technologies. So, when you use this AIO’s high-yield cartridges, black-and-white pages will run you about 4.6 cents and color pages about 13.3 cents.

Keep in mind, too, that this machine has a fifth ink tank that kicks in now and then, thereby adding even more to the cost per page. The point is that with this type of printer, how well it prints often outweighs how much it costs to print—within reason, of course.

The End

There’s always been a trade-off with photo printers—impeccable photos for a high per-page cost—and that doesn’t seem ready to change any time soon. As midrange photo printers go, this is a good one. And did I mention that it prints on pre-labeled CD, DVD, and Blu-ray discs?

Buy Epson's Expression XP-830 Wireless Small-in-One Printer at Amazon