Epson Home XP-352 and XP-355 Review

The Epson Expression Home XP-352 is a cheap all-in-one printer, most suitable for standard printing and occasional scans/photocopies. This is the black version of the printer – 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, above all, cheap to run. Having decided on the Epson XP-355 (I preferred the white version) from the UK, here is my review.

Epson XP-352 (and XP-355) Review

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 size all in one printers.

If space is at a premium, Epson’s Small-In-One range makes perfect sense – other models in the range include the XP-452 (black) and XP-455 (white) which have a larger LCD screen (6.8cm vs 3.7cm) but are otherwise very similar.

Specific measurements of the XP-352 are: Width 39 x Depth 30 x Height 14.6 cm. Weight is 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 it is optional, you can keep it closed for 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 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.

Price:

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

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 UK.

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.

Epson XP-352 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 from Amazon was supplied with a UK power lead (a generous 6 foot long) and a set of 4 ‘starter’ ink cartridges.

As with all printers nowadays, these starter cartridges are probably less than 5% full so they only last for a few pages – enough to test the printer out, 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 either 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.

Useful Software Included:

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 software in future, in case an update kills the ability to use non-Epson branded ink…

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 there are better free alternatives out there 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 (it installs a service that is always on and can serve up ‘offers’ 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) Review Summary

Good Points

Overall print quality of standard text and graphics 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 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. Choice of the same printer in white or black is a nice touch, so you can easily match it to your other devices/decor.

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

Cheap to buy. Genuine Epson ink cartridges are expensive but cheap compatible inks are widely available if required.

Bad Points

Relatively slow colour printing – ok as long as you don’t plan to print lots of color documents 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 and normal text – there are 3rd party programs that can do this but it would be much better if 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 most 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 use an online printing service) but, for basic home use with occasional photo prints, it does the job very well.

The average printing speed isn’t of too much concern 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.

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