Most leading printer manufacturers have at least one model of consumer-grade photo printer and Epson is no exception. Several photo-centric printers have been released under this brand, including the Epson Expression Photo XP-8600. The capabilities and features are mostly similar to its predecessor, the XP-7100 that has been renowned for the exceptional photo results.
Designed for the home environment, the XP-8600 is a consumer-grade photo printer with multiple functions. Not only does it support photo printing, but it also lets you scan and copy both mono and color pages. Despite it lacks an automatic document feeder, this model offers remarkable output quality for creative projects or family photos.
Tight Footprint with Compact Layout
The XP-8600 is a definition of printing with style. This model delivers round edges for a sleek appearance, combined with glossy-finished cover with matte area under the top for a premium look. The mid-range printer is well-constructed with solid plastic material, allowing you to print quietly even without using night mode.
At 13.3 inches by 15.4 inches by 7.5 inches and weighing 14.8 pounds, this product has a tight footprint, light body, and compact layout. It enables you to locate the device almost anywhere in your workroom or home office.
From the exterior, it looks clean and simple without an automatic document feeder on its top. Instead, it has a scanner and copier just below the top lid. This model features a clean control panel embedded on the hinged front cover with a 4.3-inch color touchscreen display. It does not have function or numerical buttons except the power button. That means settings and configurations can be performed on the intuitive display.
Small-in-One Printer with Reliable Specs
Epson’s XP-8600 is an ideal multipurpose printer for photo enthusiasts or home offices. The small-in-one printing machine supports three main functionalities including printing, copying, and scanning. The secret to remarkable output quality is reliable specs brought to the consumers.
To deliver high-quality print results, this HP printer uses 6-color MicroPiezo inkjet technology. Combined with print resolution support up to 5760 x 1440 dpi, this model promises remarkable prints particularly for photos. Vibrant and vivid colors with impressive details are all the XP-8600 can give to you.
Additionally, it supports borderless printing that enables photo enthusiasts to print borderless photos with various sizes. The machine can handle photographs sized 3.5 inches by 5 inches up to 8.5 inches by 11 inches without borders. Interestingly, I found the consumer-grade photo printer comes with CD/DVD printing capability.
Behind the small printer, you can enjoy capable copy functionality. The ability to copy up to 99 pages at one time makes it comparable to heftier printers such as the business-oriented HP EcoTank ET-15000. The copier has a number of features including fit to page, reduction and enlargement, adjustable density, and border-free photos. With various copy modes, you can easily adjust to your document.
Featuring color flatbed scanner with CIS element, the XP-8600 supports up to 1200 dpi optical resolution. It promises high legibility on computer screens for long-lasting storage. The bed size holds up to 8.5 inches by 11.7 inches for maximum scan size. The scanner features Scan to PDF, Scan to Cloud, and Scan to Email.
Ultra-Fast Photo Printing
The manufacturer claims this photo-centric printer delivers ultra-fast photo printing. And I found the claim is not a boast as it shows lightning-fast performance. It is capable of producing 4 inches by 6 inches photos only in 10 seconds, which is significantly faster than its competitor. The photo-centric Canon PIXMA TS8320 delivers the same size photos in 17 seconds.
When it comes to ISO document printing, the XP-8600 shows a not so impressive speed rating. This model is rated at 9.5 pages per minute for mono and 9 pages per minute for color. This speed is significantly lower than Canon’s TS8320 that prints up to 15 and 10 ppm for simplex mono and color. However, the fact that the XP-8600 is designed for home environment makes this speed rating tolerable.
Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 Paper Capacity
This model is equipped with a 100-sheet input paper capacity and a secondary paper tray that holds up to 20 sheets of glossy photo paper. In addition to paper handling tray, this printer also features an output tray that holds up to 30 sheets of plain paper. This tray keeps your output document organized after printing.
For families with occasional printing or amateur photo enthusiasts, this input paper capacity is acceptable. It can easily handle everyday printing tasks such as kids’ paperwork, family photo albums, and creative projects. But for home offices with higher print volume, this capacity may be too tight. As a consequence, you need to reload paper every few hours.
Apart from tight input capacity, this printer model supports a wide range of paper sizes and types. It can easily print on plain paper, glossy photo paper, premium paper, semi-gloss paper, icon cool transfer paper, adhesive sheets, brochure, and flyer. About the sizes, it supports 3.5 inches by 5 inches up to A4 and user-defined size.
Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 Output Quality
Despite its small build and rather slow performance, Epson’s Expression XP-8600 works amazingly to deliver superb output quality. Everything that comes out from this machine is good-looking, especially photos. When I tested with a text document, I saw terrific characters. Small fonts were perfectly delivered without weird spacing or misshaped prints. Even more, I assure the quality is close to a laser printer.
Not only does it work well for texts, but it also produces amazing graphics. I tried with Excel graphics and it resulted accurate colors with minor hairlines. Neither banding nor streaking was noticeable on the page when I worked with gradients and fills.
And the best part is photo printing. Designed as a photo-centric printer with six-ink support, the XP-8600 promises exceptional photo quality. It churns out accurate color with stunning details and vivid color. The snapshots I printed were well-printed with impeccable details and less noticeable graininess.
Relatively Pricey Running Cost
The small-in-one printer uses six individual cartridges consisting of standard CMYK colors and additional Light Magenta and Light Cyan. Much like other 5- or 6-ink photo printers, the XP-8600 is able to deliver a broader color palette with minimum graininess.
For color and quality enhancement, this model employs dye-based Claria Photo HD inks that works best with glossy paper. The manufacturer recommends users to use Epson Premium Glossy photo paper for optimum result.
For ink replacement, Epson offers 312 standard capacity that prints up to 240 pages for black and 360 pages for each color. If your print volume is higher than standard, you may choose a High Capacity cartridge that yields up to 500 pages for black and 830 pages for each color.
Unfortunately, this is not a cheap printer to use. The printer costs around 4 cents per black page. The cost significantly increases to 15 cents per page for color. For occasional printing, it may sound cheap and less troublesome. But if your print volume is higher, this machine is going to cost you pretty pennies.
Copious Connectivity Options
Multiple connectivity options are available to let you connect the printer with other devices. The standard wired connectivity includes USB and Ethernet for reliable connection. But if you want to go wireless, this model supports Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct. You can easily connect the printer to smartphone and tablet for easier printing experience.
Additionally, the XP-8600 offers mobile printing through Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Fire OS, and Mopria. Not to mention it lets you use Epson iPrint and Epson Email Print to explore the printer’s capability. Last but not least, the wireless printer supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free printing.
Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 Pros and Cons
Choosing the right printer is simple, provided you know the strengths and drawbacks that come along with the device. How do you know the XP-8600 is ideal for you? Get to know the pros and cons below.
Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 Pros
- Ultra-fast photo printing
This printer boasts the ultra-fast print speed, especially for photos. It manages to produce 4 inches by 6 inches photos only in 10 seconds. Compared to Canon’s TS8320 that takes 17 seconds, Epson’s printer is prominent in photo print speed.
- Superb output quality
The combination of advanced print technology and HD inks results in superb output quality. The consumer-grade photo printer promises exceptional photo quality with vivid and accurate color as well as impeccable detail. Not to mention it offers extended print longevity, thanks to Claria inks.
- Small footprint
Small footprint makes this printer a great space-saver. It does not consume much space on your narrow desk top, nor does it make your room look cramped.
Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 Cons
- Pricey running cost
Knowing your print volume is the key. If your print capacity is medium to high, using this printer can drain your savings. The XP-8600 uses a standard cartridge that has been renowned for its pricey running cost. But if you print occasionally, this printer can be budget-friendly.
- Lacks automatic document feeder
Unlike its predecessor, the XP7100, this model lacks an automatic document feeder. That means you have to flip the pages manually for 2-sided printing, copying, and scanning. For the home office, this is surely not an efficient choice to support your business.
The small-in-one printer with ease-of-use features can be an ideal choice for family or home office. It promises exceptional output quality for documents and photos, thanks to advanced print specs and ink choices. Despite its slow performance, superb photo results make it suitable for photo enthusiasts.
Is the XP-8600 a good printer to purchase? If you are looking for a small printer with dependable output, the Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 is a brand to mention. But if you need a printer with affordable running cost and ADF support, you might need to find other alternatives.