Epson xp 530 review – A good, fast multi-function printer for the money

Epson xp 530 review – Does this printer have the world’s smallest screen?

Flat screens were amazing when they first appeared. Before then, displaying an electronic image meant accelerating a stream of electrons like some sort of fantasy, video-game weapon. This meant that however wide your monitor was, it had to be proportionally deep, making room for the picture gunners to take aim. Even the smallest screens offered far more volume than surface area, and the limit of miniaturization was the shoebox-sized 7in black-and-white telly in your caravan.

Epson xp 530 review

 

Then along came LCDs, allowing children of the Eighties to play Donkey Kong on a gadget that would slip into their pocket when the teacher turned around. Soon a screen was something you could easily stick anywhere at any size. Today, it’s common to see clear color images on advertising hoardings three-storeys high.

Epson has gone to the other extreme. The Expression Premium XP-530 – to be fair – isn’t a monitor. It’s an inkjet printer. But it has a screen to show you settings. It is not a big screen. In fact, it’s barely even a small screen. Perhaps a more apt term would be ‘interactive postage stamp’. It’s so tiny that when you use the buttons to delve into the menus, it can only fit one option at a time. Is it unreasonable of us to think this misses the point of options?

If you enjoy scrolling, the XP-530 will be your favorite printer to set up. Entering the Wi-Fi password is a particular pleasure, although you can forgo it if your router supports WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). The dinky display has one other purpose: it can preview photos to print from a camera’s memory card, inserted in the SD slot at the far left. That’s handy, but good luck trying to tell apart similar shots.

The paper tray – although normal size – also presents a challenge: sliding a stack of A4 into it often knocks the output tray above out of place. Those drawbacks aside, however, this is a rather good printer. The supplied software provides lots of controls that are easy to use. Postcard-sized photos rolled out in just a minute each, and our color graphics document at 6.4 pages per minute (ppm), faster than we’d expect from this class of machine, although slower than Epson’s estimate. Black text wasn’t exceptionally quick at 9ppm. You can print on both sides of the paper – called duplex printing.

There’s a scanning glass under the lid, so you can make photocopies or digitize pages to files on your PC. A black-and-white A4 photocopy took 16 seconds and a color copy 24. The scanner captured an A4 page at a rough quality of 150 dots per inch (dpi) in just 10 seconds, and managed a 6x4in photo at a high-quality 600dpi in 25. Bumping up to 1200dpi for enlargement slowed this to over two minutes.

Print quality was very good, distinguishing a full range of shades in accurate color. You could certainly get better, but not in this price bracket. As with Canon’s comparable Pixma MG5750, only four of the five inks are used for color output, and adding up the cost of these gives a total of 8.7p per color page. That’s more than 2p higher than for the MG5750. Real-life running costs can be unpredictable, but the difference is worth noting.

Despite its minuscule monitor, the Expression Premium Epson xp 530 review is a strong rival to the Canon Pixma MG5750, our favorite printer. Of the two, only the XP-530 has an SD card slot. But the MG5750’s screen is a proper size, and it’s a bit cheaper both to buy and to run, so Epson is the runner-up this time.

Epson xp 530 review VERDICT

It’s a good, fast multi-function printer for the money, compromised only by a tiny screen and high ink costs.

Epson xp 530 review SPECIFICATIONS

5670x1440dpi maximum print resolution • 9.5ppm quoted speed (mono) • USB • 802.11n Wi-Fi • 138x390x341mm (HxWxD) • 6.2kg

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