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Epson SureColor P400 Review

The Epson SureColor P400 isn’t just a run-of-the-mill photo printer – it’s a prosumer large-format printer and one of the top photo printers you can buy for under $1,000.

Our Verdict

The Epson SureColor P400 is a large-format photo printer that creates gallery-quality prints and supports a wide variety of fine-art papers like watercolor paper and canvas.

For

  • It goes well beyond snapshot printing to produce wide-format photos on specialty media.

Against

  • The printer doesn’t have a display, which makes using its physical controls a bit of a guessing game.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The Epson SureColor P400 is a wide-format photo printer designed to handle prints up to 13 x 19 inches.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The Epson SureColor P400 is a wide-format photo printer designed to handle prints up to 13 x 19 inches.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: Though the printer measures 24.5 x 12.8 x 8.6 inches when closed, its output tray and manual page feeder make it considerably larger when opened.

Epson SureColor P400 image: Though the printer measures 24.5 x 12.8 x 8.6 inches when closed, its output tray and manual page feeder make it considerably larger when opened.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: Built for professional-grade printing, the P400 is anything but portable and weighs 27.1 pounds.

Epson SureColor P400 image: Built for professional-grade printing, the P400 is anything but portable and weighs 27.1 pounds.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: As one of the top photo printers you can buy for under $1,000, the P400’s print samples were some of the best we saw in our testing.

Epson SureColor P400 image: As one of the top photo printers you can buy for under $1,000, the P400’s print samples were some of the best we saw in our testing.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The printer has superb color quality thanks to its distinctive seven-color ink blends, which include red and orange inks in addition to the usual cyan, magenta and yellow, along with two types of black and a cartridge of gloss optimizer.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The printer has superb color quality thanks to its distinctive seven-color ink blends, which include red and orange inks in addition to the usual cyan, magenta and yellow, along with two types of black and a cartridge of gloss optimizer.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The P400 comes with attachments for a variety of print media, whether cut sheets or rolls.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The P400 comes with attachments for a variety of print media, whether cut sheets or rolls.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The roll attachment lets you print on fine-art papers like canvas and high-luster photo paper that may not be offered in cut sheets.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The roll attachment lets you print on fine-art papers like canvas and high-luster photo paper that may not be offered in cut sheets.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: Installing the attachment is simple, thanks to a convenient slot-in design and clearly marked mounting slots.

Epson SureColor P400 image: Installing the attachment is simple, thanks to a convenient slot-in design and clearly marked mounting slots.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: Similarly, you can attach an additional paper feeder tray to cut sheets of material up to 1.3 millimeters thick.

Epson SureColor P400 image: Similarly, you can attach an additional paper feeder tray to cut sheets of material up to 1.3 millimeters thick.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The printer’s control panel has a simple design, but the lack of a display makes it hard to know what does what and when.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The printer’s control panel has a simple design, but the lack of a display makes it hard to know what does what and when.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: In our testing, it took the P400 an average of 88 seconds to print a 4 x 6 photo and 194 seconds for each 8.5 x 11 photo.

Epson SureColor P400 image: In our testing, it took the P400 an average of 88 seconds to print a 4 x 6 photo and 194 seconds for each 8.5 x 11 photo.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The expandable output tray accommodates large and small photos.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The expandable output tray accommodates large and small photos.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The printer’s top loading document feeder handles most standard photo paper up to 13 x 19 inches. Heavier print media needs to be fed through the back using the attachable feeder tray.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The printer’s top loading document feeder handles most standard photo paper up to 13 x 19 inches. Heavier print media needs to be fed through the back using the attachable feeder tray.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The SureColor P400 is covered by Epson’s standard one-year warranty.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The SureColor P400 is covered by Epson’s standard one-year warranty.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The Epson SureColor P400 is one of the best photo printers you can buy. It earned high marks for photo print quality and can print in wide format on photo paper, canvas, watercolor paper and other materials.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The Epson SureColor P400 is one of the best photo printers you can buy. It earned high marks for photo print quality and can print in wide format on photo paper, canvas, watercolor paper and other materials.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: On the back of the printer you’ll find ports to connect via USB or Ethernet.

Epson SureColor P400 image: On the back of the printer you’ll find ports to connect via USB or Ethernet.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The P400 is our top pick for the advanced amateur or professional on a budget who wants to make affordable professional-grade prints.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The P400 is our top pick for the advanced amateur or professional on a budget who wants to make affordable professional-grade prints.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: While you can print from mobile devices over Wi-Fi using Epson’s iPrint app, the machine doesn’t support external storage devices or direct printing from cameras.

Epson SureColor P400 image: While you can print from mobile devices over Wi-Fi using Epson’s iPrint app, the machine doesn’t support external storage devices or direct printing from cameras.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: If you want to print directly onto disc labels, there is an included tray for CDs and DVDs.

Epson SureColor P400 image: If you want to print directly onto disc labels, there is an included tray for CDs and DVDs.
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Epson SureColor P400 image: The P400’s gallery-quality prints are more than enough to make up for flaws like opaque control panel functions and slow print speed.

Epson SureColor P400 image: The P400’s gallery-quality prints are more than enough to make up for flaws like opaque control panel functions and slow print speed.

The Epson SureColor P400 isn’t just a run-of-the-mill photo printer – it’s a prosumer large-format printer and one of the top photo printers you can buy for under $1,000. With gallery-quality photo production and support for fine-art printing, the Epson SureColor P400 earns the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award and is our top pick for advanced amateurs and professionals on a budget who want an affordable way to print professional-grade photos.

Whether printing 4 x 6 snapshots or full-page high-resolution images, the SureColor P400 produced some of the best print samples we saw in our photo printer review. Judged on their own, all of its test prints were superb; its color quality is exceptional, with vibrant colors and sharp detail, but it is especially good at handling subtle gradients and flesh tones.

Even though its prints are high quality, the SureColor P400 consistently took second place in blind rankings next to the Gold Award winner. When compared side by side, the SureColor P400’s prints look excellent, but the color is ever so slightly muted. It’s only noticeable in a direct comparison, and even then it’s a very minor distinction.

Print speed is decent, with 4 x 6 photos printing at an average rate of 88 seconds each. In our testing, full-page printing was just as good – the photos had the same high-quality colors and flawless finish but printed at an average speed of 194 seconds per 8.5 x 11 photo, lagging a full 40 seconds behind the top performer. For a high-quality photo printer, this is all perfectly acceptable.

The printer’s superb color quality is likely due to its distinctive ink blends, which include red and orange inks in addition to the usual cyan, magenta and yellow. Two varieties of black ink, photo black and matte black, add to the images’ richness, while photos get an extra polish, literally, thanks to a cartridge of gloss optimizer. While technically not ink, this cartridge adds a protective glossy coat, filling any variances in inking for a consistent surface and providing a protective layer against smudges and moisture. The cost of ink is nearly impossible to estimate on a per-photo basis since every image is different, but it works out to $1.29 per milliliter, making it the most affordable ink in our review.

This printer is also a good choice for anyone who wants to do more than basic photo printing. In addition to accepting the usual cut sheets of paper, the SureColor P400 comes with an attachment for roll paper, and it supports the widest variety of specialty media we saw, printing on watercolor paper, canvas and fine-art paper up to 1.3 millimeters thick. As a large-format photo printer, it’s especially well-suited to making wide prints, printing borderless images on paper up to 13 x 19 inches in size.

Weighing in at 27.1 pounds, this is in no way a portable printer. When closed, the hefty printer measures 24.5 x 12.8 x 8.6 inches, but when open with both the output tray and manual page feeder extended, it’s considerably larger. As a stationary printer, there is no battery power option. What it lacks in portability, it makes up for in versatility. To support the many specialty media options available, the printer comes with a detachable roll feeder and a detachable rear-feed tray. If you want to print onto disc labels, there is also an included tray for CDs and DVDs.

One feature that would make the P400 easier to use is a display to go with its six control panel buttons. Since it doesn’t do standalone printing, it doesn’t need one for photo previews, but built-in displays usually double as control panels. With no display, using the P400’s physical controls feels like a bit of a guessing game, with only a few indicator LEDs providing feedback as you try to connect to Wi-Fi, change out ink cartridges, and switch the paper feed to roll paper and back.

With so much focus on high-end photo printing, the SureColor P400 doesn’t have much support for casual users. While you can print from mobile devices over Wi-Fi using Epson’s iPrint app, there is no PictBridge support for printing from cameras directly and no support for external storage devices. Everything you print needs to be from a PC or mobile device. For photographers and designers who spend as much time editing images as they do shooting them, this is ideal, but the lack of standalone printing may be a hindrance for some.

The SureColor P400 is covered by Epson’s standard one-year warranty. Tech support can be reached via phone, email and live chat, and support materials include an online user manual and answers to frequently asked questions.

The Epson SureColor P400 is one of the best photo printers you can buy, earning high marks for photo print quality. It’s a large-format printer that can print on a variety of materials, including photo paper, canvas and watercolor paper. Its gallery-quality prints are more than enough to make up for flaws like opaque control panel functions and slow photo printing.

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