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 to be small, wireless and, above all, cheap to run. Having decided on the Epson XP-352 from the UK, here is my review.

Epson XP-352 (and XP-355) Review

Price:

The XP-352 cost £42 at Amazon at the time of writing – very competitive for an all in one printer/scanner. 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…

Epson’s own ink prices are quite expensive compared to some competitors – £32 for a standard 3 colour & black multipack or £52 for an XL multipack (double the ink).

But much cheaper compatible ink cartridges are readily available e.g. £7 for an XL multipack – and that’s what I’m using. See my review to weigh up the costs of using genuine vs compatible ink.

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 ones. 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).

Specific measurements are: W39 x D30 x H14.6 cm. Weight is 4.3 Kg.

epsonXP-352

Features:

  • All In One – Printer, Scanner and Photocopier with 3.7cm LCD Display
  • Small footprint – saves desk space
  • 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 – account setup required. Print and scan from anywhere (Email print, Scan to Cloud, Remote print)
  • Individual inks – 3 colour cartridges and 1 black allow individual replacement which can save money
  • 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 (adapter required for mini/micro cards)

‘Missing’ Features (but only usually found in much more expensive printers) :

  • Automatic duplex (print on both sides of the paper automatically). Only manual duplex is provided, so you have to turn the page over yourself
  • 2 paper trays. Only 1 paper tray is provided so you have to change the paper manually to print on different size/type of paper

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 – time to put the kettle on…

Interface:

Wireless or USB interface (as usual, no USB cable provided). Also offers wi-fi direct mode (useful if you don’t have a wireless router).

Compatibility:

All versions of Windows from XP to Windows 10. Mac OS X (10.6.8 or later). No Linux printer driver available from Epson website

Installation:

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 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 Event Manager, Epson Manual, Epson Software Updater – optional but recommended.

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 (installs a service that is always on and can serve up ‘offers’ i.e. adverts…)

E-Web Print – can make it easier to printing 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. 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 tri-colour 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 have been 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 cheap printers but is really annoying – it can’t be that difficult/costly to make taller hinges that lift a lot higher…

Conclusion

Overall the Epson 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 but, for basic home use with only 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 more expensive inkjet (like Epson’s WorkForce range) or even a laser printer may be worth considering.

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