Epson Photo HD XP-15000 review: Small footprint, small price, big prints
This A3 printer doesn’t take up much more space than a standard A4 printer and produces glorious photos
If your expectation is that a printer capable of printing on A3 paper must be huge, Epson’s Photo HD XP-15000 will be a pleasant surprise. It barely takes up any more room than a standard A4 multifunctional device – at least, not until you fold out the support arm for the rear paper feed, which necessarily extends some distance above the printer to stop A3 sheets in portrait orientation from bending. Even with all its trays and supports extended, however, it’s a lot smaller than the Canon Pixma Pro-200.
It’s also rather sleek, with an attractive black finish and pleasingly rounded lines. It looks distinctly similar to its stablemate, the Epson Expression Home XP-4100, complete with colour display and control pad.
While it may be the size of a multifunctional device, there’s no scanner to be found here. However, unlike Canon’s A3 printer, the XP-15000 is much better suited to being the only printer in your office because it’s just as capable of printing out documents without wasting precious photo ink.
It doesn’t have a dedicated high-capacity black cartridge for mono printing, using the same ink for photos and text, but black prints still work out at a reasonable 3.5p each. The printer uses six colour cartridges in total, with the standard black, cyan, magenta and yellow cartridges joined by additional photo red and grey.
They make a great job of printing photos onto photo paper, too: you can look forward to deep blacks and rich, bright colours. It’s only unfortunate for this printer that we had prints from the Canon Pixma Pro-200 available to compare against, because while the XP-15000 comes close, it can’t quite match the quality of the Canon’s prints.
On the other hand, while its photo performance is good, it’s not quite as versatile for mixed jobs as other machines we’ve tested. While the XP-15000 printed black text well, it struggled with our mixed text and colour document – especially when we dropped paper quality. For example, when we printed duplex on cheap plain paper, the ink soaked through the page.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the fastest inkjet we’ve tested, and its mono printing - which we clocked at 8 pages per minute - is outpaced by the printers aimed more at offices than photographers’ studios. However, it held its own on the colour printing side with a speed of 5ppm, and remained competitively speedy when printing a stack of 6 x 4in photos.
If you’re serious about your A3 photo prints, it’s worth considering the Canon Pixma Pro-200 over the Epson because the results are definitely superior. However, the Photo HD XP-15000 runs it a close second, and its relatively modest size makes it a good choice for offices that are tight on space.
It’s not just the footprint that’s small either; the price is surprisingly agreeable for an A3 inkjet, so if you can’t part with the eye-watering amount Canon is charging, the Epson Photo HD XP-15000 is a good compromise.
Epson Photo HD XP-15000 specifications
5,760 x 1,440dpi A3 inkjet printer
8/5ppm mono /colour
2.4in colour screen
200-sheet input tray, 50-sheet rear feed
479 x 370 x 159mm
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