The Epson Expression Photo XP-960 is a large-format photo printer with a penchant for high-quality photo printing. Tricked out with features like mobile printing from tablets and smartphones, support for all sorts of specialty paper, and label printing for CDs and DVDs, it’s a versatile device. Still, the real appeal is its use of six inks that combine to create lush and vibrant colors. With the ability to print true-to-life images and an all-in-one design that adds photo-grade scan and copy capability, the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award, making it the best printer for photos we reviewed.
The XP-960 distinguished itself in our photo printing tests with exceptional print quality – colors were vivid and well-balanced, and flesh tones looked natural and true to life. With 5760 x 1440 resolution, the printer recreates precise detail, and it offers borderless printing in all supported print sizes. In our testing, whether we printed 4 x 6 snapshots or large-format 8 x 10 photos, the inking was consistent and error free. When compared side-by-side with the competition, the XP-960’s prints consistently wowed us.
Photos also printed relatively fast. When printing 4 x 6 photos, it took an average of 68 seconds per print, just over one minute per photo. However, large-format prints clocked in at an average of 154 seconds each, which is more than half a minute faster than competing large-format printers.
With six ink cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan and light magenta) the XP-960 is better equipped to produce true-to-life color than the average four-color inkjet printer, and it more than holds its own against the eight-cartridge printers we tested. At $2.27 per milliliter, the ink it uses is just a little more expensive than that of the other art printers we reviewed. Even at that price, it’s more cost effective than the smaller snapshot printers in our review, which cost between 30 cents and 50 cents per photo. If you need to print in any sort of volume, this is a good photo printer to choose.
This top-rated photo printer can print up to 11 x 17-size pictures. That’s more than large enough for all of your snapshots and scrapbook photos and even full-page portraits, but if you plan to make larger prints for framing, it is a tad limited compared to other large-format printers in our review.
With support for photo paper of every kind (gloss, semi-gloss and matte) as well as brochure paper, scrapbook paper, iron-on transfer, self-adhesive sheets and plain old printer paper, it’s pretty versatile. There’s also a dedicated tray for printing CD and DVD labels directly onto discs.
For all its benefits, the XP-960 is decidedly not portable. Weighing 19.4 pounds and measuring 18.9 x 14 x 5.8 inches in its most compact configuration, it’s a stationary printer, and the lack of any battery option means you’re tied to wall power. That said, it’s not much larger than a standard home inkjet printer and has a much smaller footprint than the other large-format photo printers in our review. It is also easier to move, since other large-format printers tip the scales at closer to 30 or 40 pounds.
The printer has the added distinction of offering scan and copy capability, thanks to a built-in flatbed scanner. The photo-friendly design has a two-piece hinged lid that lets you position a photo on the scanner, close the lid halfway and reposition the photo as necessary without opening it all the way. It’s the only photo printer in our lineup with scan and copy features, and anyone who wants to duplicate existing photos in near-original quality will surely appreciate their addition.
The printer can be used to print from a PC or standalone, printing from PictBridge-enabled cameras and directly from a variety of media card formats, including SD, SDHC and SDXC; MemoryStick Duo; and Compact Flash. Connecting to the printer via Ethernet, USB or Wi-Fi is all relatively simple, and you can print from mobile devices using Epson’s iPrint app.
Epson covers the Expression Photo XP-960 with a one-year warranty, which is standard for the category. The company offers tech support services through phone and email, as well as live chat on the Epson website. An online user manual lets you look up features and functions, while FAQs help you learn about the printer and solve common problems.
The Epson Expression Photo XP-960 earns top marks thanks to its excellent print quality, wide variety of advanced features, and support for storage and media that far surpasses the average photo-friendly inkjet printer. If you’re serious about your photos and want to print great-quality pictures in a wide range of sizes, the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 delivers without being too expensive or complex for the casual user. It’s the best printer for photos we reviewed.
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