Epson Expression Premium XP-7100: a low-cost photo printer

The Expression Premium XP-7100 prints in excellent photo quality on any media.

Epson Expression Premium XP-7100

MSRP $239.99

“Epson’s Expression Premium XP-7100 delivers incredible photos on par with much more expensive models.”


  • Great photo printer
  • Fast color prints
  • Compact Size
  • Low Price
  • Support for thumb drives and SD cards

The Cons of Using

  • Cost-per-page high for color
  • 300 dpi mobile scans
  • Envelope printing failed

Epson’s Expression Premium XP-7100 is an all-in-one printer that’s optimized for photos, but sale prices place it in the budget category. With a price tag of $150, we were curious to see how well it would perform as a photo printer. We also looked at its speed, the ease of use and the cost over time to determine if this cartridge printer offers good quality.

You can also Design Your Own

Epson's Expression Premium XP-7100 has shiny black faceted sides
Alan Truly/Digital trends

The XP-7100’s black color matches its premium aspirations and would fit in nicely in a home photo studio. White is a common color for home printers intended for casual use to better blend into the decor.

I don’t mind the textured black top, and the shiny faceted corners look nice. It’s also compact, particularly for an all-in-one printer that includes an automatic document feeder (ADF). The ADF panel is open to scan and it stands only 8.1 inches high. You need to lift the cover in order to get at the flatbed scanner.

When the trays are closed, the footprint is 15.24 by 14.5 inches. Epson’s Expression Premium XP-7100 has a clever output tray that automatically extends while printing. The large 4.3″ color touchscreen panel tilts automatically up at the same moment. This increases the length of the device to 23.5 in.

There’s a USB port at the front for easy walk-up printing and scanning via a thumb drive. Memory cards can be inserted into the slot. It accepts SD, SDHC SDXC and microSD.

Walk up printing with a USB drive is easy with the Expression Premium XP-7100.
The Expression Premium XP-7100 makes it easy to print from a USB device. Tracey Truly/Digital trends

The main paper tray is hidden under the bottom of the machine and is very thin, especially for a device that has so many functions. It’s completely removable, holds 100 sheets of paper up to 14 inches long, has a built-in photo tray, and includes a holder to print directly on CDs and DVDs. Envelopes, specialty paper and CDs are loaded at the back.

Epson has packed a lot of functionality into its small footprint. It’s a question of whether the compact design can deliver quality and speed.

Printing performance

I compared draft and best quality prints on the Expression Premium XP-7100.
I compared the best and draft quality prints on Expression Premium XP-7100. Tracey Truly/Digital trends

The Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 produced impressive results during testing. I tested borderless full-page printing, 4×6 photo printing, and plain paper printing of a variety of pictures. Color accuracy is great, with images that are detailed on photo paper. Even plain paper has a decent quality.

It’s no surprise that Epson knows how to build a great photo printer, but I wrongly assumed there could be some tradeoff in quality at such a low price. The Expression Premium XP-7100 uses a five-color Claria Premium ink system that’s nearly a match for Epson’s six-color variety.

A professional photographer might notice the difference, but it was a challenge for my eyes to detect the slightly better color fidelity of Epson’s EcoTank ET-8500, a six-color premium photo printer. That’s a much more expensive printer, but the ink tank savings would add up over time for a heavy user.

Of course, black-and white printing is also crisp. Monochrome printing is fast, at 15,8 pages per minutes. It also supports double-sided print. Color doesn’t lag too far behind, rolling through 11 pages in a minute.

If you’re short on time, don’t be afraid to try “draft mode” photos. Draft mode photos lose some detail, but they look nearly as good as the normal print quality.

When printing multiple copies, it’s worth checking if the draft mode is good enough since it saves ink and prints much faster. I don’t think I’d ever select the best setting for such stunning photo prints. A 4×6 is finished in just 12 seconds and looks great.

I couldn't print an envelope with the Expression Premium XP-7100.
I couldn’t print an envelope with the Expression Premium XP-7100. Tracey Truly/Digital trends

The compact paper feed seems reliable, but two 4×6 photo papers were pulled through at a time. This didn’t affect printing and could be because of higher humidity and the inherent stickiness of photo paper. Only the envelope test let me down. I simply couldn’t get an envelope to print correctly after three tries. If I find a solution, I’ll update this article.

This isn’t an ideal office printer; it’s a photo printer. A laser printer will often be a better option than an inkjet if you are looking for speed and reliability when printing documents, labels and envelopes. Overall, despite the envelope problem, print quality and speed were excellent.

Special Features

Despite the compact size, the document feeder is quick and reliable.
The document feeder is fast and reliable despite its compact size. Alan Truly/Digital Trends

Epson Expression Premium XP-7100, an all-in one printer and scanner that also functions as a color copier. It is great for printing and copying, but it’s not so good at scanning, or at least that’s how I use my scanner.

Epson iPrint was required to scan files onto a smartphone. This is an older app, and it only supports up to 300 dots per inch (dpi), which doesn’t provide enough quality if you crop in on a scan. If you scan to a USB thumb drive, an SD card, or a computer, there’s an option for 600 dpi resolution.

The thumb drive and memory card options are important for me since my computer isn’t near the printer. The app does not have high-resolution scans. This seems to be an oversight. Epson is responsible for maintaining the iPrint App, and its latest update occurred just a couple of weeks ago. In a future version, there may be a fix to increase scanning density.

Epson’s Expression Premium XP-7100 is a low-profile printer with a document feeder. The ADF was able to scan several pages, including double-sided ones, with ease and reliability. It can scan up to 30 sheets at once. Flatbed scanners are quick and easy to use. They make it simple to copy documents.

Software compatibility

Don't forget to shake the Expression Premium XP-7100's largest cartridge.
Don’t forget to shake the Expression Premium XP-7100’s largest cartridge. Tracey Truly/Digital trends

Installing ink cartridges, and aligning print heads are the first steps of the Epson Expression premium XP-7100 setup. That’s pretty standard for inkjet printers, though some make use of the scanner to automate and speed up the alignment process.

Epson’s documentation cautions that you should gently shake the largest cartridge, which is black, before installation. It’s a detail that’s easily missed and could cause printing problems.

There are five different types of inks, which include the usual cyan and magenta. There’s also a photo black which works better when printing pictures.

Epson's Expression Premium XP-7100 requires four color cartridges and one black.
Epson’s Expression Premium XP-7100 requires four color cartridges and one black. Tracey Truly/Digital trends

Epson has included a bag in which to store the caps of ink that must be removed. You may get messy so make sure you roll your sleeves up before beginning.

After installation, it takes the printer a couple of minutes to prepare an ink cartridge. The next step involved connecting to WiFi. Epson doesn’t mention a mobile app in its quick start guide, so I connected manually. Since my printer is upstairs, I used my router’s longer-range 2.4GHz band.

It is simple and easy to connect via Mac or Windows PC. You’ll need to install Epson apps to access every feature, but for printing, you can use system software.

You can print from an iPhone without using an app. On Android I installed Epson Print Enabler which is a driver. For the scanner to work, I found that I needed Epson iPrint. This app gives you greater control over your printing. Since the printer can handle documents and images effortlessly, you will only need the app to scan and monitor your ink level from your phone.


Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 retails at $240 but is available for less than $150 from multiple retailers. The upfront cost is very low, especially for a device that can print photos and do all the work.

Inkjet printers that use cartridges are most concerned with the long-term costs of ink. The four color cartridges cost $48.29 and can produce about 300 color documents. Color printing costs as little as 16 cents each page.

Epson claims that four high-capacity cartridges can print 650 pages. It comes to $75.96. That brings the average cost of a colored document down to 12 cents. That’s better, but still expensive.

Black-and-white printing costs between 4 and 5 cents per page, but as a photo printer, I wouldn’t use much black ink.

This printer is for you.

Epson’s Expression Premium XP-7100 can print beautiful photos quickly and handles most monochrome printing tasks well. With the flatbed scanner and document feeder, you can scan and copy with a memory card, thumb drive or computer.

If you need to do medium to high-volume photo printing, the Expression Premium XP-7100 will get expensive in a hurry since Epson’s Premium Claria ink cartridges are relatively costly for low-yield ink cartridges that require four to print in color and one for monochrome.

The printer is well designed and made but there are some flaws when it comes printing envelopes or scanning to mobile devices.

I am impressed with the quality of the prints, but wish that the cost per sheet was lower. It’s a great choice for a photography enthusiast who wants to occasionally print their best pictures to share with friends and family. You might want to choose another photo printer if you need to make color copies or print in color on a daily basis.