Epson Expression Home XP-4100 review: A compact and affordable MFP
This little printer packs in more features than you’d expect, but printing costs run high
If you’re looking for a home-office MFP, you’re unlikely to find one much cheaper than Epson’s affordable Expression Home XP-4100. It’s not just the price that’s miniature, either; its footprint is barely larger than the flatbed A4 scanner that sits on top of it.
Don’t be fooled, though; this unassuming little MFP may lack some of the bells and whistles of more expensive counterparts, but we’re still flabbergasted that Epson has crammed so much into such a small box.
Its features are hidden under flaps that unfold to reveal its functions, such as the 100-sheet paper tray at the back, the 2.4in tilt-out control panel and the (slightly flimsy) paper output tray that slides out from the front. It’s got both USB and wireless connectivity, which is about all you can expect for the price, and it can even do some fancy tricks that pricier printers can’t, such as print on both sides of a sheet.
The printer uses four cartridges, which is a better option than the HP Envy Pro 6432 and its inefficient method of combining three colours in a single cartridge. However, the cost of printing comes in at 5.2p per page for black and 12.8p for colour, and it quickly ramps up.
Those prices apply if you travel down the road of buying your own ink cartridges, which is why the Epson Expression Home XP-4100 is a prime contender for Epson’s cartridge subscription – we wouldn’t consider this printer without it. It should bring the cost of printing down to between 3.3p and 4.3p per page, depending on how much you print. Ideally you should print close to your contract’s target page number, but even if you’re a bit out it should still work out cheaper than buying cartridges yourself.
Don’t expect stunning prints in standard mode – we saw faint lines across almost everything. It clearly wasn’t a problem with the printhead alignment, though, because printing in high quality mode eliminated it.
As well as eliminating these lines, the high quality setting also produced good-looking photo prints. The four-colour cartridge system can’t compete with the prints produced on the Canon Pixma TS8350, but they compared well with HP’s pricier inkjet models.
We didn’t expect to see a printer of this price top any of the performance charts, but Epson knows how to get a single page into the output tray at top speed, and this printer equaled the Epson ET-2750’s speed record of ten seconds. It surprised us by producing copies at speed too, managing a mono copy in 13 seconds which puts it close to the top of the table.
Despite the name, then, this capable all-in-one printer makes an excellent option for remote workers with modest day-to-day business printing needs. It can deliver speedy black and white documents at a perfectly reasonable quality, and you can crank the output quality up for when you really need to impress. The high cost of consumables would be our biggest concern, but that’s easily addressed with Epson’s subscription service. If you’re short on either space or cash, the XP-4100 is an attractive buy.
Epson Expression Home XP-4100 specifications
5,760 x 1,440dpi A4 inkjet MFP, 1,200 x 2,400dpi colour flatbed A4 scanner
10ppm mono/3ppm colour
2.4in colour screen
100-page input tray
375 x 300 x 170mm
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