Reviewed on: February 2015
The Epson XP-422 is ideal for users who'll be printing a mix of 'normal' document and images, and is particularly strong with photos. This means it's suitable for anyone, from students to technophobes who'll enjoy it's simple installation and use.
Features & Connectivity
Epson's XP-422 is part of their Flagship 'Small-in-one' printer series. It's a miniscule 390 (H) x 300 (D) x 145mm (W), ideal for small desks and people who don't want intrusive hardware. This tiny body still manages to fit in:
- Touchscreen display
- Card reader
- AirPrint / Cloud print compatible
Connectivity is a bit limited as there's no Network port and the USB is located on the rear of the printer, so you're limited to Wireless and the handy memory card reader, but the wireless is good enough that we doubt this will ever be a problem. It does have the advantage of supporting all mobile printing solutions, so whether it's through Google Cloud, your phone or iPad you can print.
The XP-422 is incredibly easy to set up. If you're connecting it to a PC, as long as the PC is connected to the internet, it will pick up and install the drivers automatically. There is a CD which comes with the printer which has Epson software on it but it's not a requirement to use it. The only real feature you're missing is a duplex so if you're intent on double-sided printing you'll need to look elsewhere.
Print Speed & Quality
The Epson XP-422 isn't the fastest of machines, but this is no surprise for a budget home printer. You'll see close to 8 pages per minute (ppm) in Black, and up to 5ppm in colour for standard A4 prints. Photo's are understandably much slower but the quality is worth the wait.
Photos from this machine are fantastic. The Epson cartridges give bright, vibrant colours and when you couple it with Epson glossy paper the prints are superb, only the more expensive Canon printers give such good results.
Standard documents come out fine as well, with the blacks legible and sharp. Draft mode isn't the greatest but it can still be read fine, which is the point of Draft mode so don't worry about that. Overall a solid printer if not a little on the slow side.
Cartridges & Running Costs
This printer takes 4 separate cartridges and suffers from the normal 'issue' with printers nowadays that you won't be able to print, scan, or essentially do anything with your printer if any of these inks are empty. Make sure to keep a spare set to avoid being stuck.
The touchscreen and monitor on your PC will alert you when cartridges start getting low so it's relatively hassle free to maintain the XP-422. Changing the inks is a simple task which takes a matter of seconds, even the most printer-averse will be comfortable here. Open the lid un-clip whichever cartridge you're changing and install your new one. The printer will make a few noises and then you're done.
For running costs we'd recommend you avoid the standard capacity cartridges. They come to in excess of 4p a page which is unacceptable for a home printer. The higher capacity cartridges may be more expensive to buy at face value but they last far longer. Buying these makes the printer very competitive in running costs and on a par with similar models in the home category.
You can see up to date prices for the inks for this printer at the bottom of this review, or see a full list of cartridges for the Epson XP-422 here.
What's In The Box
In the box for this printer you will find:
- Epson XP-422 (thankfully)
- Software CD
- Power cable
- Set of starter ink cartridges
- Standard manuals & warranty information
This printer does not come with a USB cable so if you want a physical connection to your PC you'll need to pick one up separately.
Who Should Buy This Printer?
Overall, this is a fantastic little printer if you mainly print photos and the occasional document. It's simple "plug and play" nature makes it perfect for anyone adverse to tech, but also has enough features and mobile printing options to support the needy user. A very good printer we highly recommend for a home user.