Epson Expression Home XP-312 Inkjet Printer

I was given an Epson Expression Home XP-312 Inkjet Printer a month ago. It hadn’t been used for several years, and it needed a great deal of external and internal cleaning. However, once I had it ready, it worked at once. Setting up the wireless connection involved scrolling through each alpha-numeric character until the password was fed in – but I fail to see how else this could have been arranged, given the size and design of the control panel.

The print quality is excellent. Black text comes out almost as well as from my laser printer. It starts to look blobby if you go below 8pt. On the other hand, unless you are printing dodgy contracts covered in fine print, how often do you need to go lower than about 10pt? Photographs look very nice – no banding, good colour balance. The printer takes a variety of papers, including paper already printed on one side – something my laser printer never has. With black text, it’s acceptably fast. Ditto with text of mixed colours. The highest settings to print in colour mean that you spend a minute printing out an A4 picture. But I don’t see that as a problem, given that this is a cheap home printer not intended for commercial use.

My only complaint is that the printer is very thirsty. Playing with it, and printing a dozen pictures and about a hundred pages of text, took the new Epson cartridges down to nearly empty. I suppose this is a complaint applying to all modern inkjet printers, especially now that the manufacturers have become so mean with the ink they put in their own-brand cartridges. Start buying supplies from Epson, and you will soon start monitoring how much you print.

However, there is a simple way round the problem. Look elsewhere on Amazon for the clear, plastic cartridges you can refill yourself. Make sure these have modern chips that automatically reset. Also, ignore the continuing nags from Epson to update the firmware. That brings down the cost of recharging the printer from about £30 to about 20p. At that price, it’s worth switching off the laser printer and reusing paper by the ream. I appreciate that Epson sells its printers cheap, and expects to make its profit on the ink. But I see this as a matter for Epson to reconsider. I have no obligation to prop up a failing business model.

In conclusion, a delightful printer that I hope will last me for the next few years. Highly recommended.

Review published on Amazon on the 9th March 2018

© 2018, seangabb.

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