Epson XP-800 Review
A multifunction with fantastic print quality, is only hindered by quickly-used ink.
Meet the XP-800
Among the multifunction printers available in Epson's lineup, the XP-800 is the highest-end model, with a bunch of nifty features that help save space. Granted, it's not a super-high performance model: it gets the job done, but it burns through ink relatively quickly. Still, it does extremely well with detail and color accuracy, and is a good fit for those who need a printer with a fax, scanner, and copier.
Design & Usability
Taking the --> --> out of the box and setting it up doesn't actually take all that long if you intend to use the USB connection to print. The software is straightforward, the support is all online, and the tools to install your device and monitor its supply levels are very easy to use. If you want, you can always connect the printer to your network for shared jobs, which is a plus.
Despite the fact that the outside of the --> --> doesn't look like it's meant to be minimalistic, that's actually far from the truth. In fact, it seems that many of the design choices were put in place so that the printer doesn't take up much space when it doesn't need to. For example, the paper tray is stowed inside the unit until you send a print command, upon which the tray slowly extends from the body of the printer; features like this make the XP-800 a good fit on a desk.
As far as other design features go, Epson has stuck with what works in the --> -->, as it doesn't really rock the boat in terms of how it handles its ink cartridges, load trays, or the scanner bed—and that's really fine. It's a printer that will handle most jobs you throw at it. However, just be sure to read the manual before loading the paper, as an incorrect load with photo paper tends to get ink all over the rollers, and it takes a bit to clean them off properly.
Features & Performance
Multifunction printers typically wear a few different hats when it comes to office or home needs, and the XP-800 is no different, except that it comes with the whole package: it can print, copy, scan, fax—the whole shebang. It can even print on compatible CDs/DVDs if you so choose.
For those that need a fax machine, the printer has a quick loader on the top of the printer to handle large jobs, which should please just about any home user. The scanner bed is decently large in area, and can support scans up to 4800 dpi according to the Epson website. As far as features go, it's hard to ask for more from a multifunction printer.
Performance is a bit of a mixed bag with the XP-800, but honestly, it's not so impacted that you're likely to notice. Really, the only thing that will be annoying are problems inherent to the vast majority of inkjet printers: it has somewhat slow photo and document printing speed on best quality. The rest is actually quite good—It has great color accuracy, good contrast, and an acceptable color gamut. And really, for all the features it has, you're getting quite a lot for the money you'd spend on it.
Really, the only thing you'll need to keep an eye on is printing lots of photos, as it seems to chew through your ink levels quite quickly. In the lab, we were unable to complete our testing without running out of the magenta and cyan ink cartridges, for reference. We do make well over a hundred prints, so take that as you will.
Even though it does cost a pretty penny, the return on the investment for an --> --> is quite large in terms of features and convenience. It may be too much for a young family to drop on a printer, and that's fine—it's the top of the line Epson multifunction: it has all the bells and whistles associated with that particular line of multifunction printers, so it's not surprising its pricetag is what it is.
If you're looking for a pure photo printer, though, there are some foibles you should be aware of. For example, it gets very close to providing solid photo prints, but falls a bit short in color gamut. The detail it can preserve is superbly high, but it runs into trouble with print speed at best quality.
Still, it's very hard to argue with the --> --> in terms of a pure office printer. It can handle just about any function thrown at it, and it handles most things very well. If you're looking for an office multifunction printer that can make better-than-average photo prints, the --> --> may be your printer if you can afford it. If not, keep in mind that it is the top-of-the-line printer in a series of four fielded by Epson, so be sure to weigh your options if you think an XP series printer is for you.
Get Our Newsletter
Real advice from real experts. Sign up for our newsletter
Thanks for signing up!