We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Hardware Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Small-in-One Printer review

£199 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Epson

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Small-in-One Printer is an inkjet printer that produces great-looking photos, and offers automatic duplex printing and scanning. Here's our Epson Expression Photo XP-850 review.

Epson XP-850

The Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Small-in-One Printer's talents may lean toward photos, but along with the superior image quality, it's also a full-featured, fairly fast colour inkjet multifunction printer (MFP) with automatic duplex printing and scanning. This printer's £199 price is steep, but it includes other premium features, such as CD/DVD printing.

The Expression Photo XP-850 inkjet printer is generally a joy to use. Setup is easy, and the touchscreen and contextually lit buttons, plus nicely thought-out menus, make operation simple. The software is the current standard Epson bundle that includes the company's venerable Epson Scan, as well as Abbyy FineReader 9.5 Sprint for OCR chores. There's also mobile printing via e-mail and Wi-Fi. By 'generally a joy' we mean that one of these first days, Epson needs to fix a long-standing push-scan issue. This is at least our third printer from the company that has required either tweaking the Windows firewall, or waiting for a number of minutes, before PCs on the network will show up as scan destinations. No other vendor's printers suffer this issue. See also: TOP 5 INKJET PRINTERS.

Paper and media handling are top-notch for small volumes. Duplex printing is automatic, and augmenting the 100-sheet main paper cassette and 20-sheet photo cassette is a rear, single-sheet vertical feed that allows straight-path (no bending) photo printing. The automatic document feeder (ADF) holds 30 sheets and supports automatic two-sided scanning. The scanning platen itself is letter/A4-sized, and the lid telescopes a small distance to accommodate magazine-thick media. Optical media may be on its way out for some, but on the bottom of the Expression Photo XP-850, you'll find a removable adapter for feeding printable CD or DVD media. The adapter inserts into a slot above the 50-sheet output tray.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Small-in-One Printer: test results

Before we quote speeds, note that upping the photo-printing setting from 'Photo' to 'Best Photo' slows output to a glacial pace, with little improvement in quality. At default settings, monochrome text and graphic pages print at an aggregate 7.1 pages per minute (ppm) on the PC and 6.8 ppm on the Mac--average times. Snapshot-sized (4-by-6-inch) photos print at above-average speeds of 4.6 ppm to plain paper and 1.6 ppm to glossy paper. A full-page colour photo prints at about 0.4 ppm--a shade slower than average.

The Expression Photo XP-850 uses a six-ink system that adds light magenta and light cyan to the usual cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. While the individual ink costs are slightly cheaper than average overall, the cost potential is higher when you have six inks in play rather than four.

The standard-capacity £11/240-page black and £11/360-page colours are 4.6p per page and 3p per page, per colour, respectively. The high-capacity £15 black lasts for 500 pages and the £16 colour cartridges, 740 pages, which work out to 3p per page and 2.1p per page per colour.

While you pay a lot for the ink, it's worth it when you print photos. The colour palette is generally cool, but the Expression XP-850's glossy prints show very nice detail and overall colour accuracy. Most users will like what they see. Text printed on plain paper is sharp, but the dye-based ink means that larger fonts and black areas tend more towards dark-gray. The weakest aspect of the Expression XP-850's output is colour graphics printed on plain paper, which look washed-out.

The Epson Expression Photo XP-850 would work well as a photo printer that will occasionally double as an office MFP. It's at least one feature better than the Canon Pixma MG8220 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-In-One, which lacks an ADF. The HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One Printer is a comparable and worthy alternative with a lower price tag.

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Small-in-One Printer Expert Verdict »

Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Scores 8.9 out of 10 based on 14 reviews
ink-jet - colour - photo
Print from memory card, Google Cloud Print ready, AirPrint
SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick Duo, MultiMediaCardplus, Memory Stick PRO Duo, SDHC Memory Card
Automatic Duplexing
Epson Micro Piezo
Nozzle Configuration: 180 nozzles (per cartridge)
Max Printing Resolution: Up to 5760x1440dpi (mono)/up to 5760x1440dpi (colour)
Ink Cartridge Configuration: 6 individual ink tanks
Ink Palette Supported (Colours): Cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta
Minimum Ink Droplet Size: 1.5pl
Epson Claria Hi-Definition Ink
Scan Element: CIS
Automatic Duplexing
Optical Resolution: 4800x4800dpi
Interpolated Resolution: 9600dpi
Super G3
Fax Resolutions: 200x200dpi, 200x100dpi
Total Memory Capacity: Up to 180 pages
PC Faxing
Fax Machine Features
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Small-in-One Printer is an inkjet printer that produces great-looking photos, and offers automatic duplex printing and scanning. Unfortunately we found washed-out colour graphics on plain paper and a clunky push-scan setup. It's definitely worth a look, however.

  • Epson Expression Home XP-405 review

    Epson Expression Home XP-405

    The Epson Expression Home XP-405 is a well-featured but expensive to run budget all-in-one printer.

  • Epson Expression Premium XP-800 review

    Epson Expression Premium XP-800

    Epson's Expression Premium XP-800 Small-in-one Printer is a great little multifunction that handles every SOHO chore in the book and is especially well-suited for graphic artisans. But considering how much the printer costs, it feels like the ink should be cheaper. Here's our Epson Expression Premium XP-800 review.

  • Epson PictureMate 290

    Epson PictureMate 290

    The Epson PictureMate 290 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor and offers excellent print quality, fast print speeds, a great user interface, and a valuable built-in CD burner.

  • Epson SX400 review

    Epson SX400

    The Epson SX400 is a sleek all-in-one printer/scanner with a neat design and a glossy black casing.

  • Epson P50 review

    Epson P50

    The Epson P50 is a single function printer that seems strangely bare of extras.

IDG UK Sites

iPad mini 3 vs iPad mini 2 comparison: New iPad mini 3 isn't worth £80 more

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Halloween Photoshop tutorials: 13 masterclasses for horrifying art, designs and type

IDG UK Sites

Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite? What you need to know before updating to...