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To test whether the Epson XP-820 is worthy of printing your vacation photos, we snapped in the five ink cartridges (CMYK and black) and took it for a spin. For a printer billed as having "unbeatable photo quality" compared to leading photo all-in-one printers, the print resolution isn't as high as we would have expected: 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi (versus 9600 x 2400 dpi for both the Canon Pixma MG6220 and Kodak ESP C310 devices mentioned earlier). Epson also advertises that the ink droplets are as small as 1.5 picoliters (a trillionth of a liter). We'll take their word for it - but the photos do look sharp my eye, despite having a lower dpi than competing models. No complaints there.
A borderless, 4 x 6 color snapshot printed in about twelve seconds on glossy photo paper - a speed that's well ahead of similar printers (the previously mentioned Kodak ESP C310 All-in-One Printer advertises a speed of 38 seconds per color 4 x 6 photo, for example). The ink is dry nearly instantly after printing so no sticky or smudged photos to worry about. Epson also claims the Claria Premium Ink is water-resistant but we decided against taking the prints for a swim.
In addition to the device's ability to print color photos quickly, the Epson XP-820 offers users a number of editing features to enhance the images: Auto Photo Correction which gets rid of red eye plus the ability to crop, rotate and enlarge images. The options to get creative are numerous - users can print photo greeting cards, passport photos, personalized photo stationery, etc., on a variety of materials like labels, card stock, envelopes, and photo paper and in a variety of sizes up to 8.5 x 11.
Another interesting feature is the ability to make a customizable CD and DVD. The designated CD and DVD tray lets users print any color or black and white image directly onto the disc - making this printer a great option for aspiring musicians wanting a professional look for their latest release, or for anyone that wants to organize and store photo albums, documents, or home videos.
To sum up, the photos look great - as a color-photo printing device the Epson XP-820 delivers on its promises.
Scanning, copying, faxing
While the photo-printing capabilities of the Epson XP-820 will likely be the main reason for consumer purchase, the printer has a ton of other features that make it suitable for a home office.
The copier is fairly straightforward to use but there are additional features available to get the most out of the device. For example, the unit offers different copying modes depending on your needs: color, black/white, text, text and image, and photo. Two-sided copies are available at the press of a button on the touchscreen - with options for copying from 2-sided to 2-sided or 1-sided to 2-sided, etc. Users can also scan photos direct to Facebook or the cloud.
The color scanner on the Epson XP-820 has a dpi of 9600 x 9600. The fax speed is about three seconds per page with a memory of up to 180 pages. The fax also has a speed-dial function.
Epson iPrint mobile app
As is standard for new printers these days, the Epson XP-820 comes with its own mobile app. The iPrint mobile app allows users to print, scan, and share photos, webpages, and files from a tablet or smart phone. Users can print from anywhere to an email-enabled printer - enabling you to print documents from another room or another country. The app is compatible with both Dropbox and Evernote along with Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive. iPrint also lets you check the ink levels or the print status on their Epson device.
Available from the Play store for Android users or the Apple store this free download will add an element of convenience for users on the go. While the app's design is a bit clunky and outdated in appearance, the functionality has earned it a solid four star rating out of more than 40,000 reviews in the Play store.