Went printer shopping last week to replace my tired and flaky HP wireless printer. The wireless feature was wonky from the very first day so I did a little happy dance when it came to a grisly end. Interestingly enough, over the past year, I’ve seen an uptick in customer calls about HP dropping the signal or simply refusing to connect from sleep mode than any other printer. After a year of dealing with this, I had already decided to give HP a pass. with this purchase. I wanted a printer that was low cost to run, quiet, and had 4 seperate ink cartridges rather than two. I’m done with the big tubs ‘o colour ink. They are a costly rip off – run out of red and you have to throw away the entire cartridge so 4 inks was my primary need. I had always had luck with Epsons in the past with both printers and scanners. My trusty Epson scanner doesn’t work with Windows 8.1 so I had to replace it as well. I’ve needed to for quite awhile, but I limped along with the HP all in on
e scanner function. It was adequate whereas the Epson always reproduced colours faithfully so I started and ended my search with Epson.
So the key features were: low cost to run, quiet, and 4 seperate ink cartridges. After a bit of research, I settled on the Epson Small-in-One series. The slightly smaller footprint was a bonus. I was lucky, I found the XP 310 on sale for a paltry $49. Printer setup is simple on all printers, it’s pretty much no brainer territory. Epson’s wireless setup and connection is rock solid stable on my computers, tablet and phone. I tested it with a friends iPad and again – seamless. So far the irritating issue with the wifi disconnect when the printer wakes hasn’t appeared.
The scanner faithfully reproduces colours so no adjustment is needed. I like to test printers with some old Queen Victoria Canadian stamps I own. I use these stamps because although they are the same issue, they have serious colour variations that don’t always reproduce well with low end scanner. By placing them all on the scanner and scanning them individually and as a set, I can quickly pick out whether a scanner’s colour calibration is sensative enough. The HP scanner usually gave up slightly muted colours that didn’t pick out the variety. The Epson 310 duplicates the tricky colour differences exceptionally well.
The scanner is also whisper quiet – a nice feature if you’re like me and you do most of your scanning in the wee hours of the morning. I still encounter the odd scanner still that sounds like a chain is rattling across the glass, so this was a consideration. Printing is what you expect from an Epson – bright, vivid colour reproduction and fast output. No complaints at all here.
Now comes the real bonus – ink costs. No, you don’t have to sell your soul to keep supplied in ink. The XP 310 takes the T-200 ink in both regular capacity and high capacity refils. I tend towards the regular because I don’t print a lot, so that makes this printer even more cost effective. I can purchase the ink directly from Epson – delivered to my door – for $10 per colour and $15 for the black (around 175 pages). High capacity runs around $18 for the colour and $36 for black (around 500 pages). Buy 2 cartidges or more and shipping is free. So that drives the costs down a little.
All in all the Epson Small-in-One is a great little printer for the home.