Surprisingly compact for a printer scanner copier, the Epson Expression Home XP-4105 is a great fit for most homes or small offices. This printer performs all of its standard functions exceptionally well and efficiently too. It looks lovely in either colour and navigating it without the use of a computer is trouble free.
Setting up the XP-4105 is simple, and the easy-to-read LCD talks you through it step by step, with additional information being available at some stages. You are immediately presented with the option to do a nozzle check and a couple of different alignment pages, but these are totally optional. I went through them anyway and found that print quality was close to perfect, straight out of the box. You can of course go back and do these manually from the printer, using the various tools in the maintenance area, if you should choose to.
Printing and Scanning
The 5,760 x 1,440 DPI print quality of the XP-4105, means that photos produced by this printer look great and I was able to print this photo in just under 4 minutes. If you are just looking to print text however, I managed a good page in 23 seconds from the moment I hit “print” on my phone.
Scanning with the XP-4105 is very simple and copies can be run off from the machine directly in just a few button presses. Thanks to the 1,200 x 2,400 DPI resolution of the scanner bed, the images look great too, even on non-photographic paper stock.
In addition to the A4 prints that most will use it for, the XP-4105 can also print to other sizes, including A5, A6, 6×4″ photo size and even various envelope sizes. In addition to standard print, automatic duplex and borderless printing is also available. While testing this printer I used a variety of thicknesses ranging from 80gsm office paper, right up to 260gsm photo paper, all without issue.
Copy and scan are the first and most prominent options, but I was interested in the “Various Prints” section on the main screen. From here you can print a few different bits like a monthly/weekly schedule, ruled paper or a couple of different sized foldable envelopes (in a variety of designs), under the “origami” category. This may be handy in a pinch, but with the effort that it takes, I think it may be wiser to just keep some envelopes to hand. Printable instructions are however available to help you out.
I could see printing of ruled paper in various sizes and the weekly planner being particularly handy for my everyday use. Those with school age children, or specific interests, may also like the blue tinted graph paper and music sheets that are available.
In the “Various Prints” section there is also “Various Copies” subcategory that has Copy/Restore photo, ID card, Book copy and borderless copy features, each with specific features that make using the scanner for these tasks a little easier.
The photo restoration intrigued me, but this was a bit of a disappointment. The printer was quite particular about what kind of paper it could print photos to, and navigating the acceptable paper types was a bit clunky. Why the printer didn’t just give you an immediate list of “acceptable” paper types to print to was beyond me. Whilst the printer did eventually make a valiant effort at restoring my test photo, I am not super impressed with the results.
Sadly, I also had issues with the “Book Copy” feature. Not only does the feature require that the book is scanned in awkward alignment (obscuring easy use of the screen), but some instructions have a visible representation and others don’t, making it unclear what exactly you should be doing. When you take this into consideration and add in the fact that it is also still plagued by the fussy paper settings encountered previously, I found the whole process frustrating.
As features like this are presumably aimed at those who are not used to dealing with technology, making them so unintuitive seems very odd. I would personally recommend spending your time getting to grips with basic image editing on your computer, rather than investing it in learning these features.
Connecting the printer to a phone or a wireless network is simple, especially when using Wi-Fi direct. The option for connecting to a smartphone can be found on the top level menu and the less commonly needed network connections can be found in “network setting”, under the normal “settings” section.
The 603 ink cartridges used by the Epson Expression Home XP-4105 come in both standard and XL capacity, meaning both light users and more frequent printer users can purchase genuine Epson consumables that are right for them. If, however, you plan on running the Epson Expression Home XP-4105 with compatible or remanufactured cartridges, most consumables on the market will be the more fully-filled XL capacity.
At the time of filming, we have individual cartridges available for £4.97 or a full set of four for £16.97. I would however anticipate the price to settle at around our normal £2.97 per cartridge as time goes on.
All in all, the Epson Expression Home XP-4105 is a highly recommendable printer for home or small office users. It has all the features that most people need from their machine and allows you to print from almost any device without much hassle. The print and scan quality are wonderful, making this a worthwhile purchase. If you can just ignore the inconsistent quality of the (admittedly ambitious) advanced features, and just use it as a printer/scanner/copier, I am sure you will be impressed. Normally retailing at around £80-£90 and in our opinion are well worth picking up for this price.