Every inch of space is essential for modern desks cluttered with devices, charges, and accessories. And unless you’re a productivity powerhouse or operating a business out of your home, there’s no reason why you need a giant printer taking up half your work space.
That’s why the Epson Expression Home XP-430 multifunction printer is great for families and students: with a compact form factor and trays that fold into the device when it’s not being used, it really earns its “Small-in-One” nickname. The fact that it can print from nearly any device — PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android devices and Chromebooks — amps up the convenience factor. And the low price — it lists for $100, £90 and AU$129, but is available online for less — clinches the deal.
The XP-430 replaces 2015’s XP-420 — which we loved for the price — and has a very similar list of features but boosts the size of the color display and updates the ink cartridges to Epson’s new model 288 tanks. The DuraBrite Ultra Inks work to reduce smudges immediately after you print a document or a photo and actually adds a bit of water resistance on both plain and glossy photo paper.
Like the previous model, the XP-430’s space-saving design is the machine’s main focus, measuring just 15.4 inches wide, 20.8 inches deep, and 11 inches tall (39.1 x 52.8 x 28 cm) when the printer is ready for action: that’s with both paper trays fully extended; when they’re closed, you can fit the printer into a space that measures just 15.4 inches wide, 11.8 inches deep, and 5.7 inches tall in storage (39.1 x 30 x 14.5 cm).
The paper input tray can hold 100 sheets of plain paper, but it’s able to accept all different kinds of paper including Epson’s own Iron-on Cool Peel Transfer Paper, Ultra Premium Presentation paper, and more. There’s no auto-document feeder for batch copying and scanning, but I wouldn’t expect a $99 device to include one anyway.
Regardless, 100 sheets is certainly a suitable capacity for the average student or office worker, but small businesses looking for a high-volume printer will probably want to step up to a larger unit like the ET-2550 EcoTank that also happens to feature DIY ink refills.
The center control panel sits within a console that rotates up to view the 2.7-inch (6.9 cm) mono LCD display at a suitable viewing angle. Though I usually prefer printers that use mechanical buttons, I like that the XP-430’s directional buttons have a tactile click so you know when a press is registered.
The front has a memory card reader that lets you walk up and print from an SD card without actually touching a computer. Unlike previous models, however, you don’t have an open USB input to connect a flash drive; if you want to upload your photos, you’ll need to do so by extracting your SD card from the camera and popping it into the machine. That’s not a big deal either, especially now that Epson now offers one-touch photo uploads to Facebook and cloud-based services.
You can preview your photos on the LCD and even make simple adjustments to crop dimensions, resize, or perform one-button touch-ups.
Features and setup
Epson gives you the option to connect the printer to your computer using direct USB (you need to supply the cable), Wi-Fi or — if your router supports it — Wi-Fi Direct.
Smart setup on the touch panel is a two-part process: turn on the machine and click Network Setting, then designate your wireless network and enter its password, and that’s it. The entire setup from start to finish, with a connection established on our lab network (which uses a home-style Verizon Fios router) took us less than 5 minutes.
The installation process also includes a step that asks if you want the system to automatically hunt and install firmware updates, and we recommend you click “yes” when prompted; the appeal of Web-connected printers like the XP-420 means you don’t have to wait for Epson to ship you software updates, so take advantage of it.