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Epson Expression Home XP-312 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £53
inc VAT

A wide range of features and high-end print, photo and scan quality make this our favourite MFP for the money

The Epson Expression Home XP-312 is a low-cost MFP that’s designed to be a good all-rounder, and supports both USB and wireless network connections. If you opt for the latter, you’ll be able to take advantage of the all-in-one printer’s support for Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint, as well as Epson’s mobile printing and scanning apps for Android and iOS devices. If your device isn’t supported, then you can always use Epson’s Connect website to configure the MFP’s Email Print feature, which will spit out a copy of anything you send to its unique address.

Epson Expression Home XP-312

The XP-312 also has a 3.7cm colour LCD screen, and you navigate its menu options using a cluster of directional controls to its right. Its memory card slot supports the most popular formats and cards can be used as a print source but not a scan target. Unlike many budget MFPs, but in common with other low-cost models from Epson, the XP-312 uses individual ink cartridges, which means that you don’t have to replace a multi-colour cartridge just because you’re low on cyan. It’s still a bit expensive to run, though, with a mono page costing 3p and a colour-and-black page 11.5p

Epson Expression Home XP-312

Epson XP-312 Print Quality

Epson’s printers, even budget models, tend to hit above their weight when it comes to photo printing, and the XP-312 is no exception. Particularly noteworthy for a £50 printer is the quality and intensity of dark tones and even solid black areas in photo prints, despite the printer’s photographic black being made from a combination of the cyan, magenta and yellow inks.

There’s plenty of detail in low-contrast images, where other printers lose some dark elements amid similarly coloured areas. The only flaw is a slight over-emphasis of red tones, which is most visible in some skin tone shares. However, this warmth was by no means unflattering to most of our photos, and doesn’t affect or tint areas that wouldn’t normally use any magenta ink in the first place.

The glossy, sharp and professional looking pictures produced by the XP-312’s best quality photo printing don’t emerge particularly quickly, but at least we were able to print a pair of 10x8in pictures in under ten minutes, while six 6x4in prints took 17 minutes, 20 seconds. The rear tray is supposed to have space for 20 sheets of photo paper, but we found we could fit a couple of extra pages in easily enough.

If you’re printing on standard A4, there’s space for 100 sheets, so you produce quite hefty document prints if you need to. In common with its photo printing, the XP-312’s colour document prints look great when it comes to the quality of shading and sharpness of the illustrations we had it reproduce. Its text reproduction is legible, even when it comes to 8pt fonts, but these looked a little jagged in places. We’d have liked faster colour print speeds, but the XP-312’s 2.4ppm is by no means the worst performance we’ve seen from an inkjet.

It’s a bit nippier when it comes to mono prints: a batch of standard quality mono letters printed at 8.4ppm. Print quality on our document’s 12pt lettering was pretty good and the text was dark and fairly sharp, although close examination revealed a few wavering edges some letters. We were pleasantly surprised that draft mode produced clear, readable results, although the prints looked a little pale. Given that draft prints emerge at a quick 16.3ppm and save you ink, it’s worth printing throwaway documents in this mode, although we’d not use them for correspondence or record-keeping.

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Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution5,760×1,440dpi
Max optical resolution1,200×2,400dpi
Output bit depth24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A49ppm
Quoted speed, colour A45ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.09m 58s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.017m 20s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 802.11n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Noise (in normal use)51dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeup to A4
Maximum paper weight255gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity100
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity100
Duplex (code, cost if option)No


Printer technologypiezo inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.5.8+, Android, iOS
Other inkjet features3.7cm colour screen, cloud printing
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices£13 each
Price per colour A4 page8.5p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge175 pages (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)180 pages (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges4
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges4
Quoted photo durability98 years
Quoted photo durability sourceEpson

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview13s
A4 document at 150dpi14s
A4 document at 300dpi32s
6x4in photo at 600dpi45s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi2m 7s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.017s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.034s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge supportNo
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsSDXC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, microSDXC, Memory Stick Micro (M2)
CD printingNo

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99
Max mono copy resolution1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution1,200dpi

Fax Features

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