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Epson expression premium XP-7100 review: Is the all-in-one printer worth the investment?

Quality documents and photos are a breeze – but we find out if it’s got the full package

David RS Taylor
Thursday 09 September 2021 15:16
<p>We put the premium printer through its paces</p>

We put the premium printer through its paces

Epson has a good record of producing some of the best home printers on the market.

Take the forward-looking ecotank ET-2710 (£162.90. Cartridgepeople.com) with its eco-friendly refillable ink tanks and premium print quality; or the expression premium XP-6100 (£119.99, Epson.co.uk), a heavyweight printer that provides a solid printing performance for the price of a Premier League football shirt.

The aptly-named Epson expression premium XP-7100, is a little bit more more expensive than its younger sibling. Add to that Epson’s cartridge prices, and the cost begins to add up.

So, is the XP-7100 worth the extra initial investment, and a strong enough performer for the modern home office? We decided to find out.

How we tested

We tested it on print speed and quality, ease of setting up, tech specs, ink usage and general look and feel. We always test our products with one main question in mind – will we still approve of the product in a year’s time, or will we be on the lookout for a replacement?

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Epson expression premium XP-7100

Buy now £127.59, A2boffice.co.uk

  • Printer type: Inkjet, cartridge
  • Scan quality: 1,200 dpi x 4,800 dpi
  • Printing speed: 15.8 pages/min monochrome, 11 pages/min colour
  • Input capacity: 100 standard sheets, 20 photo sheets
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 390mm x 339mm x 183mm
  • Weight: 8.2kg
  • Connectivity: Epson Connect (including iPrint and Scan-to-Cloud), Apple AirPrint, USB, Ethernet
  • Rating: 8/10

Design

The XP-7100 isn’t the smallest or lightest printer in Epson’s home range. It’s still pretty compact, but its weight means that you’d be wise choosing a permanent home for it, rather than lugging it around your house. Besides this, the printer looks great, with the all-black casing fitting nicely in most rooms, and little touches like automatic tray lids are a welcome bonus.

In terms of set up, it was a joy. The rapid and simple connectivity is down to Epson’s no-nonsense iPrint app – there’s no need to register an account or download various plug-ins or extras in order to get printing, as the app connects your phone straight to the printer.

It’s even easier to print from a laptop or desktop: just choose the printer and away you go, or connect via USB or ethernet. It’s as little work to set up as we’ve ever tested, and we all know that no work is the best work.

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Printing from the app might be easy, but the XP-7100 also has a 10.9cm interactive touchscreen for PC-free printing from a memory card – the screen is pleasingly clear and more than large enough to make printing via this method hassle-free. It also automatically raises itself to an ergonomically-better angle for interactions, but can be adjusted manually. It’s the little things.

Performance

This is one of Epson’s best home printers. It’s an all-in-one printer, meaning that documents and photographic prints are a doddle, including glossy photos, via the dual paper trays. There’s also a speciality slot at the back for printing on thicker paper. An automatic document feeder also means that you won’t need to stand over the printer feeding pages into it to be scanned.

It comes with five inks: the classic CMYK quartet and a “photo black” cartridge that Epson claims provides deeper blacks in your imagery and documents. It certainly seems to do the trick, with the XP-7100 producing quality documents and imagery.

Print speed was impressive, coming in at around Epson’s stated 15 monochrome pages per minute, and the finish on each page was pretty much flawless. Make sure to up the quality of your paper, however, if you really want that photo of a sunset you took last year to pop: on glossy paper, photos printed by the XP-7100 really come into their own.

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An added extra is the “ready print go” system, which alerts you when ink is running low, giving you enough time to order more before your pretty prints get stripy. However, replacing five cartridges will certainly be a blow to the bank balance. But, with the printer’s economy running at around 2-5p per page, the XP-7100 actually comes out as a decent performer over long periods: it’s a case of gritting your teeth and taking the hit.

The verdict: Epson expression premium XP-7100

The experssion premium XP-7100 is up there among Epson’s best personal printers. For the cost, there’s really not much that we can criticise it for in terms of performance. Perhaps it could be a little more quiet (no late-night printing), and it’s a bit of a brute to transport, but when it comes to doing its job, it is more than up to the task of producing quality prints at a quick pace.

Where it falls slightly is ongoing running costs: while print economy isn’t bad, it can still be expensive to replenish ink, and the XP-7100 has an extra cartridge to replace. That being said, it still doesn’t come out as extortionate when compared to other options on the market, and savings can be made when buying all five as a bundle, especially if you choose XL cartridges.

Overall, the XP-7100 is a strong upgrade on other Epson printers such as the XP-6100 (£119.99, Epson.co.uk), and performs above its current price. For a colour home office printer that will produce consistent and reliable work, you won’t go far wrong.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on printers and more home tech, try the links below:

Printing out pages of documents or your next novel can be costly, so we reviewed Brother’s HL-L2350DW monochrome printer to see if it the next home office must-have

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