Epson Home XP-352 and XP-355 Review

Epson XP-352 and XP-355

9

Price

10.0/10

Print Quality

9.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Installation

9.0/10

Size & Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Small footprint
  • Good standard printing
  • Cheap compatible inks
  • Excellent software bundle
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Relatively slow photo prints
  • Not easy to scan a thick book

The Epson Expression Home XP-352 is a cheap all-in-one printer, most suitable for standard printing and occasional scans/photocopies. It is the black version – there is also a white model called the Epson XP-355 but they are identical apart from the colour.

I needed a new printer for my home office – it had to be small, wireless and cheap to run. Having decided on the Epson XP-355 (I preferred the white version) from the UK, this is my review.

Epson XP-352 (and XP-355) Basic Info

Size:

Epson call the XP-352 a ‘Small-in-One’ printer which is a clever pun and very true – it’s much smaller than standard sized all in one printers so is great if space is at a premium.

Specific measurements of the XP-352 are:
Width 39cm
Depth 30cm
Height 14.6 cm
Weight 4.3 Kg.

Note that the paper support/feeder is at the top rear of the printer and adds about 7cm to the depth (including paper) – so you can’t push the printer right back up against a wall.

In the picture below I have the LCD panel extended out at the front (it locks into place about 5cm out) – this makes the panel easier to see and use but is optional, you can keep it closed if you prefer a flush front.

Tip: to close the LCD panel – under the middle of the panel you’ll see a 7cm wide grey plastic lever – push that slightly upwards to unlock the panel and drop it down

I also have the front paper output support fully extended – this sticks out about 16cm in total and stops printed sheets falling onto the floor. But this is also optional, you can keep it closed for a flush front if you have space on your desk for the paper to slide out onto.

XP-355 Printer
My white Epson XP-355. The XP-352 is the same model but in black

Interface:

Wireless or USB interface (as usual, no USB cable is provided). Also offers Wi-Fi direct mode (useful if you don’t have a wireless router for broadband but most people do).

Compatibility:

All versions of Windows from XP to Windows 10 inclusive. Mac OS X (10.6.8 or later). No Linux printer driver is available, even on Epson’s website.

Print Speed:

An acceptable 10 pages per minute (ppm) for monochrome or 4.5 ppm for colour. Printing an A4 colour photo at high quality can take more than 1 minute though.

Price and Ink Cartridges

I bought mine from Amazon UK at a very competitive price for an all in one printer/scanner (check XP-352 price at Amazon)

Of course the cost of the printer itself nowadays is almost irrelevant – it’s the cost of ink cartridges that determines whether a printer is going to prove good value or become a gouging leech on your wallet…

Ink Cartridges:

This printer uses Epson’s Claria Home 29 ink cartridges – available as a Double capacity 29 XL multipack (3 colours and 1 black) or as a Standard 29 multipack – see current price at Amazon.

But much cheaper compatible ink cartridges are readily available – and that’s what I’m using. See my review of Genuine vs Compatible ink for this printer.

Features

It’s an All In One i.e. a combined Printer, Scanner and Photocopier with a 3.7cm LCD Display:

XP-355 LCD screen
Not a big LCD display but functional – fine for occasional photocopying etc
  • Small footprint – saves desk space
  • Individual inks – 3 separate colour cartridges and 1 black allow individual replacement – saves money compared to printers that use a tri-colour cartridge
  • Compatible with Epson iPrint – lets you print photos and documents wirelessly from smartphones and tablets using the free iPrint mobile app – Android iPrint app here and iPhone/iPad app here
  • Compatible with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print
  • Epson Connect – requires account setup. Let’s you print and scan from anywhere (Email print, Scan to Cloud, Remote print)
  • Feed tray – up to 100 standard sheets of paper (or 20 photo sheets). Borderless print, Manual duplex
  • Memory card reader – for direct printing without the need of a computer – SD, SDHC, SDXC (you’ll need an adapter for mini/micro cards)

‘Missing’ Features:

To be fair, these are only usually found in much more expensive printers…

  • Automatic duplex (print on both sides of the paper automatically). Only manual duplex is provided i.e. you have to turn the paper over yourself to print on the other side
  • 2 paper trays. Only 1 paper tray is provided (at the top rear) so you have to change the paper manually if you want to print on a different size or type of paper

Installation

My printer was supplied with a UK power lead (a generous 6 foot long) and a set of 4 ‘starter’ ink cartridges.

As with all such printers nowadays, these starter cartridges are probably less than 20% full so they only last for maybe 20 or so pages – more than enough to fully test the printer but then you’ll need to buy a new set.

It also came with an installation CD plus the usual Quick Start guide and very basic information booklet and safety information:

XP-352 Manuals
Installation CD and Quick Start guide etc

Installation is straightforward using the supplied CD (or download the setup file from Epson’s website) – the start of the installation allows you to pick and choose which additional software you want installed.

Towards the end of the installation process you are given the choice to connect the printer via USB or Wireless.

For wireless connections: Setup will prompt you to use WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) if your router supports it, or to manually configure the printer by using the LCD display to connect to your wireless network – select your network name then use the front panel buttons to enter your wireless network password.

Software Included

[In my opinion the following included software is either essential or useful]

Epson Scan (required) – directly controls all of the features of the scanner. Scan images in colour, grayscale, or black and white. TWAIN interface. Epson’s scan software has long been my favourite – powerful if you need it but easy enough for beginners.

Epson Event Manager, Epson Manual – optional but I’d recommend installing them.

Epson Software Updater (optional) – if you plan to use compatible inks then I wouldn’t install this (or update Epson firmware or software in future), in case a future update kills the ability to use compatible ink cartridges…

Epson Scan OCR Component (optional) – save scanned images as a searchable PDF file.

Epson Connect (optional) – cloud printing services etc, see Features above.

Optional Software:

[In my opinion the following software (all optional) is not so useful… There are better free alternatives if you want this sort of functionality]

Easy PhotoPrint – allows you to easily layout and print digital images on various kinds of paper.

MyEpson Portal – troubleshoot printer problems. I wouldn’t recommend this – it installs a Windows service that is always on and may serve up ‘offers’ from Epson i.e. adverts…

E-Web Print – can make it easier to print webpages (resize/crop them)

Easy Photo Scan – share/archive photos directly to Facebook and Picasa

Photo+ – add letters/stamps on a photo

Epson XP-352 (and XP-355) Pros and Cons

Good Points

The overall print quality of standard text and graphics in the Epson XP-352 is good. Photo quality is more subjective and depends on what type of ink you use – I’d say it as expected for a basic printer that is not really aimed at high quality photo printing.

Draft print option (in printer settings) saves a lot of ink but only because it is so faint – this makes it hard to read (see bad points below).

Easy set up – USB or wireless connection. The free Epson iPrint app allows direct printing from Android or iOS phones and tablets.

Small footprint saves space. Offering the same printer in a white or a black version is a nice touch, so you can more easily match with the colour scheme of your other devices or decor.

Individual colour ink cartridges avoid waste (compared to a tri-colour cartridge where you have to throw away the whole cartridge if just 1 colour is empty)

It is cheap to buy. Genuine Epson ink cartridges are quite expensive but see my review of cheap compatible inks which are widely available – these are what I use.

Bad Points

Relatively slow photo printing – fine if you don’t plan to print lots of photos every day. Acceptable for home use but not for a small office.

Draft print mode is extremely faint and uses a different font – just about ok for draft notes but I wouldn’t send it to anyone else or use in business.

I’d like to have seen a more usable draft+ option that was about halfway in between this draft mode and normal text – there are 3rd party programs that can do this but it would be much better if it was included by Epson.

The scanner lid hinges only lift up by about 7mm which makes it more difficult to scan from thicker items e.g. a hardback book. This is common on cheap printers but is annoying – it can’t be that difficult or costly to make taller hinges that lift a lot higher. But then I guess they wouldn’t sell as many standalone A4 scanners…

Conclusion

Overall the Epson Home XP-352 or XP-355 is an excellent printer, for the price. It includes wireless, it’s an All In One, it’s small and it provides good quality standard printing.

Keen photo printing users may want to look elsewhere (or just use an online printing service) but, for home use with occasional photo prints, it does the job very well.

The average printing speed isn’t of too much concern either unless you regularly print high volumes – in which case a much more expensive inkjet (like Epson’s WorkForce range) or even a laser printer may be worth considering.