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Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 review: Speed and quality at a cost

Simon Handby
27 Feb 2019
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
111
inc VAT

A brilliant MFP for creative home use, but it could be cheaper to run

Pros 
Well-featured
Quick performance
Excellent results
Cons 
Very steep ink costs
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The Expression Premium XP-6100 is a mid-range inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP), designed for everyday and creative use at home. It can print, scan and copy, and you can share it among users on a wireless network. There’s support for automatic duplex (double-sided) printing, although if you want to fax you’ll have to look elsewhere.

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Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 review: Design and features

While rivals such as Canon’s Pixma TS6250 use a touchscreen, this MFP partners a colour screen with a small group of buttons. It works well enough, and the XP-6100 has plenty of other neat features.

In the base, there are two trays for up to 100 pages of A4, and 20 sheets of 6x4in or 5x7in photo paper. Tidied away behind the front panels are an SD slot and a USB port for direct scans and printing.

The XP-6100 is rather compact. Its comparatively slight width is achieved by mounting the five ink tanks behind, rather than alongside, each other. As with the TS6250, Epson’s system pairs a pigment black ink for plain paper work with a dye-based black for photos. Dye-based cyan, magenta and yellow are used for both.

Epson sells replacements in standard or XL sizes, but even calculated for the latter, a colour A4 page costs a steep 11.2p, of which the black component is a dizzying 3.7p. Photo black isn’t used on plain paper so isn’t included in this figure: Epson says a £17 XL cartridge should last for 800 6x4in photos.

Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 review: Performance

Steep ink costs aside, it’s hard to criticise the XP-6100. It’s surprisingly quick, delivering black text at a heady 15.6ppm in our test. Colour graphics reached a swift 4.4ppm, but they would have been quicker still without some pauses during the most complex pages.

At less than a minute each, 6x4in photos were quick, while two 10x8in photos completed in just under ten minutes.

Despite testing over a wireless connection – which can sometimes be a bottleneck – scans were very fast too. An A4, 150dpi scan completed in just seven seconds, and even our 1,200dpi 6 x 4in photo was done in 45 seconds.

While Epson’s scan interface feels a bit businesslike, it combines a good set of features with reasonable ease of use, and produces great results.

Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 review: Results

Print quality was impressive across the board, with crisp black text and strong graphics. Duplex prints looked as bold as single-sided prints, although there was some bleed-through: you could adjust the ink density in the driver, or use thicker paper than we do.

Photocopies were fast, at nine seconds in black only or 19 seconds in colour, and their exposure was well judged. Photos were extremely good, with accurate colour reproduction and a wealth of detail, particularly in mid and light regions.

The one disappointment was a dull, grey/brown livestock photo, which looked to have been enhanced with too much contrast, making it look far too exciting.

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Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 review: Verdict

This is a great MFP, with all the features the typical home needs, but it’s a very tight choice between it and Canon’s Pixma TS6250. We’d narrowly choose the XP-6100 for its speed and quality, but the Pixma is cheaper to run and almost as good.

Key specifications
TechnologyPiezo inkjet
Maximum print resolution5,760 x 1,440dpi
Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth)1,200 x 4,800dpi (24-bit)
Dimensions142 x 349 x 340mm
Weight6.6kg
Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
WarrantyOne year
Price£111