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Epson Expression Photo XP-850 Small-in-One Printer Review

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Between schlepping to Walgreen's for their expensive photo lab or hooking up my laptop up to my own printer - only to wait for mediocre photos, my family photo albums have been neglected. That's why I was excited to upgrade to the Epson Expression Photo XP-850.

Two months ago, Epson introduced the Expression Photo XP-850 Small-in-One printer, which has solved all sorts of problems for me. From printing out photos in lightning speed to remote prints from anywhere (hollah!) to double-sided document copying, this is the ultimate game-changer for both my home office and my family.

Let's break this down:

Photos:The Expression XP-850 prints at remarkably fast speeds. Think 4" x 6" photos in as fast as 10 seconds. It can also print up to 8" x 11" for those frames for the photo wall in your family room. And I know what you're thinking--¦your cash must go away just as quickly with the replacement inks, right? Wrong. There are six colors for the most true color, and these Claria Photo HD inks are actually not as highly priced as other printers we've had. They come in two sizes for $11.99 to $16.99.

Photos come out crystal clear and in vibrant color (this is where the six separate inks really shine). They're ready to be passed around since they pop out smudge-, scratch- and water-resistant. And if they weren't great to begin with, there are several options for restoring faded photos and removing red eye (no more demon children, at least in photos).

Wireless: With its convenient Ethernet networking and built-in Wi-Fi, it also offers a variety of wireless functionality. Translation? I can be downstairs in the family room, decide I want to print something from my laptop to my printer on the second floor, and it prints--I don't have to move. That's right, Epson is helping me cultivate a true sense of laziness. I love them for it.

It also offers Wi-Fi Direct for printing from a mobile device without a network. We each installed Epson iPrint on our iPhones and we're able to print documents, emails and photos from our phones. Invaluable for when you don't have time to upload a photo from your phone to your laptop, or if you want to print out a quick email.

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Printing: The auto doc feeder is a 30-page helping hand that quickly prints into the output tray. This tray automatically extends any time you hit print from a Mac, PC or iPad, which translates to no more playing 30-page pickup when your printouts land on the floor. The two-sided printing and copying feature means you're also using 50 percent less paper--a big energy saver. Did I mention that the printer is Energy Star qualified?

Scanning: The flat bed opens wide to conveniently accommodate several sizes for high-quality scanning up to 4800 dpi. There's also a feed for multiple copies and scanning, which eliminates the annoying standing there and doing one page at a time. And you aren't limited to copying pages. You can actually copy photos. Straight onto photo paper. Genius.

Faxing: I took this opportunity to go all "Office Space'" on my fax machine. The XP-850 had fax capabilities when I plugged it into a phone line. Once again, you can utilize the multiple page feed for those extra long docs'?¦not that anyone faxes anymore, but just in case.

And just when you think this must be crazy intimidating, you can relax. Trust me, I glaze over and pass out when I start reading instructions for things like stereos and cameras. I didn't even blink twice at this printer. There's a user-friendly 3.5" LCD display on the front of the printer with intuitive gesture navigation (think of swiping from screen to screen with your iPhone). When things do get complicated, like finding a memory card slot to upload photos for printing, it even shows you an image with directional arrows. You can scroll through your needs easily and on the full-color screen, so you'll achieve the desired results without having a stroke.

Compact Nature: If you take everything that this is replacing (printer, scanner, fax), its space saving is no-brainer. With all that it does, I would have expected it to be huge and heavy. The nature is actually quite slight, but sturdy. Enough to earn it the Small-in-One name.

One feature that parachutes this printer into the future The printer boasts Epson Connect. This means you can print and scan from anywhere with Epson Email Print with a separate Epson email address. Just send photos or docs via email to your printer's email and you can print something from anywhere (read: anywhere). My husband has already found this quite hysterical and has remotely printed several strange things from his office to my home-office, unbeknownst to me. Don't ask.

Seems the main expression the Expression is causing in our household is a giant smile...followed by a sigh of relief.

Find out about more of our Epson reviews here to see the new Epson EcoTank.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review purposes.

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