Epson Expression Home XP-405 review

A wireless MFP with entry-level performance. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the price to match

19 Jan 2013
Our Rating 
2/5
Price when reviewed 
60
inc VAT
Buy it now for 

Specifications

print speed, USB, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 145x390x300mm

The XP-405 may look almost identical to the cheaper Epson Expression Home XP-102, but as well as adding Wi-Fi Epson has also improved some of the MFP's key specifications, most notably upping the scan resolution to 1,200x2,400dpi and improving the print speeds to a claimed 8.7ipm in mono and 4.5ipm in colour.

Epson Expression Home XP-405

While not exactly flashy, the XP-405 isn’t as basic as the XP-102. It comes with a colour display with touch-sensitive controls, and memory card slots that allow for direct photo printing. It's not a full touchscreen but is still a simple enough system to use, with the exception that all the touch-sensitive controls are lit up in the same orange colour, which makes it less easy to recognise start and cancel icons that might be more usefully coloured green and red. The control panel is hinged at the top and can be used either vertically flat against the printer, or extended upwards by about 40 degrees.

First time setup

The First time setup guides you through fitting cartridges and network connection, after which you can add drivers only to your other PCs

This MFP uses Epson's new Claria Home ink cartridges. Even when using the 450-page XL sizes, however, overall running costs work out at 9.6p per page, which isn't especially competitive for this class of device. While it's easy to fit this printer's ink, we noticed in use that it made a faint, very high-pitched sucking noise that could be irritating to some users. This stepped up several notches in volume as the printer undertook housekeeping for a few seconds immediately after a job, to the extent that we wondered if it might be uncomfortable for hearing-aid users.

Epson Expression Home XP-405

It's immediately apparent that this is a faster MFP than the cheaper XP-102. Print speeds were markedly quicker, with 10x8" photos completing in about five minutes each, and text reaching 8.3ppm at the default print setting. At 2.3ppm colour prints were still slow, however. Although the scanner wasn't fast, taking 15 seconds to preview a side of A4, it captured sharply-focused images with accurate colours, preserving fine details from the darkest and lightest areas of the original.

Manual duplexing

There's no automatic duplexing, but the driver's manual guidance is at least helpful

Although photocopies didn't display the fuzziness we saw when testing the XP-102, colour copies from the XP-405 did exhibit the same slightly seasick colour cast. We were satisfied with its photo prints, which exhibited a small but acceptable amount of grain, and quite impressed with graphical prints on plain paper, which had strong and accurate colours with little visible grain or banding. Unfortunately text was disappointing, with the draft setting resulting in faint and blocky characters, and the default setting producing slightly sketchy outlines and subtle horizontal tearing on a couple of lines.

Despite the underwhelming text quality, this isn't a bad MFP. In particular, it's worth noting that it seemed impervious to the poor Wi-Fi performance that plagued some of the competition in our congested test environment. However, it's about 50 per cent more expensive to buy and run than the Canon PIXMA MG3250. Canon's MFP does without the colour screen, but as long as you don't need to make direct photo prints from a memory card it's a far better choice.

Basic Specifications

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

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 10m 3s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 19m 26s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 145x390x300mm
Weight 4.3kg
Noise (in normal use) 37dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 255gsm
Standard paper inputs 1
Standard paper input capacity 100
Maximum paper inputs 1
Maximum paper input capacity 100
Duplex (code, cost if option) No

General

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

Buying Information

Price £60
Consumable parts and prices £10
Price per colour A4 page 6.7p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 175 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) 180 pages each (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty one year carry-in
Supplier http://www.currys.co.uk
Details www.epson.co.uk

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 4
Number of ink cartridges 4
Maximum number of ink colours 4
Maximum number of cartridges 4
Quoted photo durability 98 years

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 15s
A4 document at 150dpi 14s
A4 document at 300dpi 31s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 36s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 2m 7s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 12s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 33s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge support No
Borderless printing A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards Memory Stick, SD, MMC
CD printing No

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99

Fax Features

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

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