Epson Expression Premium XP-710 Review

The XP-710 comes from Epson’s latest range of Expression Premium inkjet multifunction printers. It’s a high-end model “created for busy households” that prints, copies and scans (no fax). It has kept the touchscreen, Wi-Fi Direct and Epson Connect from its predecessor, the XP-700, but has lost the Ethernet port because “hardly any of our customers use it with this type of product” (Florent Charles, product manager for Epson France). That means if you want Ethernet, you have to either pay more for the XP-810 or go with an older model.

Design & Build4/5

This compact (39 x 34 x 14 cm), lightweight (7.3 kg) five-cartridge printer is aesthetically identical to the Expression Premium XP-700 and has the same convenient, tiltable 9 cm touchscreen. Epson has successfully simplified the driver installation process with a tutorial that guides the user through the movements, but the Wi-Fi connection is just as laborious to configure as ever.

Like the Canon Pixma MX535, the XP-710 has Wi-Fi Direct (Canon calls it “Access Point Mode”), which allows users to wirelessly print documents stored on mobile devices without going through a router. With Epson Connect, users can send documents and photos to the printer from anywhere in the world via e-mail. Epson has been making this a standard feature in its household models since 2011.

Ecran amovible epsonXP710 Fun and practical: responsive colour touchscreen (8.8 cm)

The inside is identical to the XP-700: below the motorised output tray are two cassettes, one that holds up to twenty 10 x 15 cm and 13 x 18 cm sheets of photo paper, and one that holds up to one hundred standard A4 sheets, plus a tray for CD labels. The second cassette can be adjusted to fit different paper sizes.

Showing the dual cassettes pulled out and the output tray pushed in On the left, the memory card readers and USB port

Dual-tray systems usually make life a lot easier, but here it’s so poorly conceived that we docked the XP-710 a whole star in this subrating. Here’s the problem: every time you print something, the motorised output tray automatically opens. It looks cool, granted, but it also blocks your access to the cassettes and slows down the printing process. So every time you want to get to the input cassettes you have to push the output tray back into the device just so you can reach them. Plus, there are no stoppers inside for the cassettes, so when you push them in they keep travelling and you have to pay special attention not to push them in too far. Basically, the whole tray system is in need of revision.

Similarly frustrating, while the XP-710 is able to print documents straight off a USB key, it doesn’t read PDF files, which are kiiiiiind of a common file format. Another issue—which you might be able to tell from the image below—is how few sheets the output tray holds. Print a hundred pages or so, and it’s full.

Usb esponxp710

Motorised output tray: FAIL

But the XP-710 has other things going for it. Not only does the touchscreen facilitate its use, making it more fun and intuitive to operate, but we didn’t experience any paper jams while testing the machine—which was not the case with the XP-700. Plus, the ready-to-print templates for colouring books, games and calendars are a great addition for families.

Epson is advertising faster text print speeds than on the XP-700… That’s not what we found. We observed slower speeds of 11 pages per minute (ppm) in colour and 15 ppm in mono, both of which fall to 5 ppm when doing double-sided prints. In colour, it prints one ppm faster than the competing Canon Pixma MG6350, but one ppm slower in mono.

XP-710

Print speed: text

For photographs, the XP-710 takes 1 minute and 36 seconds to print one A4-size photo, which is a bit slower than the Pixma MG6350’s 1 minute and 18 seconds. It’s also slower with 10 x 15 cm prints: 39 seconds, compared to the MG6350’s 23 seconds. Ppmphoto Print speed: photos

Epson is also advertising professional print quality for both text documents and photographs, but we didn’t find it to be quite that versatile. For example, the image below, which we printed in text mode and then enlarged three times: the yellow lettering over the green background is muddled and imprecise, making it hard to read. Also, you can see the individual ink droplets in the green background where it’s supposed to be solid green. The Pixma MG6350, by comparison, has more all-round printing skills.

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Compare with results from competing printers in the Face-Off

The colour fidelity in text mode is consistent across the colours, and by that we mean consistently bad. Every shade’s Delta E ranges between around 10 and 15, making for an extremely high average of 13.7. This means that the colours on your printed page will not be the same as the colours in the original document.

DEstd

Average Delta E 94: 13.7 The higher the bar, the less faithful the colour (3 and below is ideal) The average for printers we’ve reviewed is 7

Photographs, on the other hand, come out looking quite nice. The picture below, which we enlarged three times, is precise and clearly defined in both mono and colour.

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Compare with results from competing printers in the Face-Off

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Printed and enlarged six times

As is typically the case, the colours are more accurate in photo mode than in text mode. There are subtle yellow overtones in colour prints, but on the whole it’s relatively neutral. As you can see in the graph below, the Delta Es are much closer to the ideal value of 3.

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Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 7.2

Scan & Copy4/5

The scan function is identical to the XP-700’s. It scans in 2,400 x 4,800 dpi and is capable of saving scanned documents straight to cloud, memory card, USB key or computer. The printer emits a tone if you forget to remove the original document afterwards, a good feature for the scatterbrained.

The copier interface is understandable and easy to use. You simply choose how many copies you want, whether you want them in colour or B&W;, and the density. A copy preview shows up where you can resize the image. As always with copiers, the quality is mediocre with dull, washed-out colours. This mode is good for text only.

Power Use & Noise5/5

The Epson XP-710 consumes low power: 1 W on standby and just 19 W while running. It’s also a quiet printer with an average noise output of 45 dB (printers are considered quiet when they produce under 50 dB).

Cost Per Page4/5

The XP-710 uses the same ink as the XP-700. The cartridges come in two sizes, standard and XL, in the Epson “Polar Bear” packaging. Like most brands Epson also offers packs with every colour in it, such as the 26XL Multipack for £28.70 (shipping included). Our calculation, which is the same we use for all printers, gives us 9.5 pence per page here. In other words it’s higher than the Canon Pixma MG6350, which costs 7.8 pence per page with XL cartridges, and that’s with a total of six cartridges…

To give you some points of reference, the Lexmark Pro715 gets 11.3 pence per page with XL cartridges and HP’s Photosmart range gets 10 pence per page.

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