Epson XP-960 A3 Photo Printer Review
Epson has been a pretty solid name now within the household printing market, and their printers have always been some of the best on the market to invest in, thanks to their excellent colour reproduction when printing photos. They’ve come in a variety of sizes, including the Epson XP-960 which is able to print photos up to A3 size.
Epson still count this printer as a small form-factor which is compared to some of the larger printers on the market. And yes, for an A3 printer, it’s still relatively small. We had no problem keeping it nicely tucked away on a shelving unit below our desk. However, to print A3 images you’ll need enough clearance to use the rear paper feed. The actual unit comes in at 18 x 14 inches with a height of 5.5 inches.
But because it’s a small form-factor, the biggest downfall here is the amount of paper it can actually hold at any one time. The printer states it can print up to A3 sheets, but unfortunately found that it could only handle one or two sheets in the feed at a time. Secondly there are two paper trays, the top one for glossy photo paper, and the bottom for your every day A4 sheets. Sizes vary right up to a tabloid size of 11 x 17 inches, but can only hold one of these. A4 sheets are a little better being able to hold a maximum of around 20 at any one time.
What I found quite tedious about the Epson XP-960 was the fact you had to send print jobs to the printer, only to then follow on screen instructions on when to print. It wasn’t as simple as clicking print on your word document of photograph and watch it emerge. For bigger jobs that required more sheets than the maximum sheets inside the printer, you need to wait for prompts on screen before putting in more sheets of paper to finish the job. For people in a hurry, or for an office environment, this is a definite let down.
Having such a large screen on the front makes sifting through usually painful printer menus an easy task. Accessing the USB stick or memory card function to print directly from them is a breeze, and there are even some in-built photo editing enhancements you can make to your images, although these are very basic. You’ll find things like brightness boost, saturation controls and even a cropping tool. It won’t replace your editing software on your computer and it’s just there to give you the option to do some quick prints.
The quality of prints were pretty surprising. I was expecting them to be a little colourless and faded, but I was completely wrong. Colours popped, and looked extremely vivid. Print time however is very slow, which again, for the price they’re asking for this printer is a little disappointing. For your every day prints such as letters or a powerpoint presentation, writing was sharp, and even if images were used, they still gave off a premium quality.
Despite the minor downfalls like the time it takes to print and the fact it can hold so few sheets of paper, Epson has still created a pretty decent photo printer. If you’re looking for something more office based which can kick out a few more pages than two per minute, there are other printers such as their Workforce series printers. But for those wanting to print some photographs for home use, then this printer will be right for you.