Epson Expression Premium XP-630
Five-ink £90, $80
Further direct competition to the pair of Canon printers on test comes in the shape of this model, the XP-630. Just as with the Canon MG6850, the upmarket Epson delivers exactly the same photo print quality and speed as its slightly cheaper sibling (in this case, the XP-530 – see left), but includes extra frills. It does rather better than the Canon, in fact, with a secondary input tray for smaller sizes of photo paper, plus the XP-630 has the ability to print on compatible CD/DVDs.
Colour rendition and tonal range are very similar to the Canon printers, at least when you don’t use any ‘photo enhancements’. Switch these on and you tend to get a boost in contrast and saturation that can be very noticeable in landscape images, and we found that ‘enhanced’ portraits can look rather pink. However, overall, it’s a very good all-rounder.
Pros Secondary input tray; much larger LCD screen than in the XP-530 Cons
Ink costs are a little on the high side; printing is a bit slow in top-quality mode We say
Compared with the XP-530, this finer-featured printer is well worth the extra Overall score
The 2.7-inch LCD makes standalone operation a more attractive proposition than with the XP-530