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Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One is a cute, capable printer with pricey inks

Melissa Riofrio | June 12, 2013
This compact inkjet multifunction will suffice for light home/student use. The print quality is surprisingly good, but ironically, the pricey inks mean you shouldn't buy this machine unless you don't print much.

Print speed is decent. Documents consisting of plain, black text and small monochrome graphics printed at an aggregate 6.6 pages per minute (ppm) on the PC and 6.4 on the Mac. Color photos took considerably longer—especially the full-page photo we print on the Mac, which took three minutes to print at best settings. On the PC, a smaller 3-by-5-inch photo took 16 seconds at default settings on plain paper, and 70 seconds at the Photo setting on Epson's own special stock. Scan times were among the slowest we've seen in a few years (as they were for this product's predecessor, so this is a feature, not a bug), but the scans themselves were good.

Expensive inks
Here's where you have to take care: The XP-410's ink is very expensive. The 500-page, $30 XL black works out to 6 cents per page (cpp), while the $17, 450-page cyan, magenta, and yellow XL cartridges are 3.8 cpp each. That's an above-average 17.4 cents for a four-color page. In the smaller standard capacities, black is a whopping 7.4 cpp, and each color 5.4 cpp. Spending 23.6 cents for a four-color page is pricey even in the entry-level category.

Here's how ink prices work: The cheaper the printer, the pricier the ink. So if you print a lot, spend extra up-front for the higher-end printer and you'll be amazed at how affordable ink can be. If you print infrequently, however, a lower-cost printer with higher-cost inks won't matter—you won't use the inks enough to notice. It's for low-volume home and student users that the Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One is best suited. The bonus treat is surprisingly good output quality for the price.


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