Epson Expression Premium XP-605 review

4 Nov 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Epson has produced an effective all-rounder MFP, but it's expensive to run


32ppm print speed, USB, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 138x390x341mm

The XP-605 has a new five-ink print engine that uses a new range of Claria ink cartridges. These have yet to be tested for photo permanence, but we don't anticipate any problems. Epson's five-ink setup includes a pigment-based black for crisp text and dye-based cyan, magenta, yellow and photo-black inks for glossy photos. Unlike photo-focused six-ink models such as the PX-730WD, there are no light cyan or light magenta inks. The yellow cartridge oozed a bit of ink onto our fingers as we removed its lid prior to fitting, which is something that's never happened to us before with an OEM ink.

Epson Expression Premium XP-605

In use, the XP-605 is gently impressive. Although it's quick for an inkjet, it's noticeably quiet, even when despatching 16.3 pages of draft text per minute. Photo printing was rapid, even at the printer's best quality setting. It was also very quick when duplex (double-sided) printing, allowing very little drying time before pulling paper back through for a second pass, but it managed to avoid smearing. With our medium-thin test paper, however, much of the print was visible through the page at the default setting.

The new print engine performed well across our tests. Graphics printed on plain paper had bold colours and were free from streaks, banding or other obvious artefacts. Text was blocky compared to most rivals’. At normal quality it was bold with acceptably sharp outlines. Photos were noticeably crisp and exhibited superb detailing in dark regions, along with Epson's characteristically accurate colour reproduction overall. Sadly, our black and white test image exhibited areas of magenta and green bias rather than a neutral greyscale; a particular surprise given the presence of the dedicated photo black ink.

Espon print interface

Epson's print interface remains comprehensive yet easy to understand and use

While the XP-605's scanner isn't the sharpest we've tested, it produced perfectly exposed images with accurate colours and plenty of subtle detail among the darkest and lightest regions. It was also very quick at low and medium resolutions. Only our 1,200dpi photo test slowing it down significantly.

Epson scan interface preview

The scan interface has several modes, though we normally stick with Professional

The XP-605 is quick and capable, but it's quite expensive to run. The mono cost per page of 5.6p is particularly high because it includes both black ink tanks. In practice only one is used to print text. Conversely, the 5.1p cost per colour page is likely to be lower than the true figure. Regardless, the overall cost of 10.7p per page is high. It's likely that prices will fall somewhat as the new inks become more widely stocked, but at the time of our review they took the shine off Epson's strongest all-rounder yet.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Maximum native print resolution 5,760x1,440dpi
Max optical resolution 1,200x2,400dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 32ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 32ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 5m 10s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 8m 41s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 138x390x341mm
Weight 7.1kg
Noise (in normal use) 37dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 255gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 120
Maximum paper inputs 2
Maximum paper input capacity 120
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes


Printer technology piezo inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later
Other inkjet features 6.3cm colour screen
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £123
Consumable parts and prices £11
Price per colour A4 page 5.1p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge black 220 pages, photo black 200 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) cyan, magenta, yellow 300 pages each (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty one year carry-in

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 5
Number of ink cartridges 5
Maximum number of ink colours 5
Maximum number of cartridges 5

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 11s
A4 document at 150dpi 12s
A4 document at 300dpi 12s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 20s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 1m 20s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 13s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 22s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Borderless printing A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards SD, Memory Stick (Pro, Duo)
CD printing Yes

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution N/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages) N/A