While most of my product reviews are very baby specific, I love going beyond pure baby to introduce you to products that make your life easier beyond feeding, diapering, clothing and toys. The Epson XP-820 Small-in-One Printer is one such product. A great addition to any household, the XP-820 packs print, copy, scan and fax capabilities into one sleek and compact unit that measures only 5.4” high x 15.4” wide x 13.4” deep.
Ideal for a family’s home use or for a small home business, the XP-820 produces quality inkjet prints and especially shines when it comes to photos and other graphics. For new parents, this is a perfect way to quickly print off a few photos to send off to friends and family. Photo prints have come a long way, and the XP-820’s are comparable to professionally printed photos, making it a highly attractive alternative to Walgreens. You can even do simple touchups with auto photo correction and red-eye removal right from the printer’s touch screen. It can also restore faded photos. A separate photo paper tray, accommodating both 4” x 6” and 5” x 7” photo paper, makes it easy to switch between paper printing and photo prints, with the printer detecting which tray to use. Note that you can print up to 8” x 10” as well, by putting photo paper into the main tray and being sure to select the right paper type from the touchscreen. You can also use the rear-paper feed if you want to print on specialty papers. A designated CD/DVD tray even lets you print images onto disks.
A huge convenience is this printer’s wireless and mobile connectivity. With the wireless capabilities, we can use one printer with a couple laptops that freely roam from kitchen to living room to bedroom, without the need to connect via cable. With Apple Airprint, Google Cloud Print and Mopria Print Service for Android, you can also print directly from your mobile devices. Add in the capabilities of Epson Connect, and you can now email a file to your printer from anywhere, including when you’re away from home. If the grandparents have an Epson XP-820, you can even send photos directly from your smartphone to their printer, seconds after taking the shot!
With a preschooler in the house, we find ourselves inundated with artwork from our prolific, budding artist, so the scanning function is another great feature, and the XP-820’s ability to upload directly to Facebook or Cloud services such as Dropbox and Picasa make it easier than ever to scan, save and share images. Note that you’ll need to use the included Epson Scan software to upload to Facebook from your computer and that Cloud services must first be set up through Epson Connect. Just like the printer setup itself, initiating all of these programs is very straightforward and generally only needs to be set up once. If you prefer to bypass the extra programs, you can also scan to a memory card or a USB thumbdrive for manual transfer to another device.
As a new parent, you may find that you’ve become even more conscious of time, financial and environmental savings. The XP-820 helps with all three. The 30-page Automatic Document Feeder with auto 2-sided copying, scanning and faxing makes it quick and easy to send through multiple pages. Alternatively, if your documents are digital, send them through with a USB thumb drive that can be inserted directly into the device. We admittedly don’t fax as much these days, but when we do (think insurance forms and maternity leave forms that need to be completed in those short days following your baby’s birth), it’s so great to have the ability to do so without needing to pull out another big device. The XP-820 also has auto 2-sided printing, helping to save paper.
Another feature new parents will appreciate is the ability to customize noise settings. Often trying to get work done when baby is asleep, I love that this printer has a Quiet mode, though note that this can also slow your printing. Alternatively, just turn down the sounds or turn off those that you find extraneous. All adjustments can be made easily from the printer’s touch screen.
Note that this printer really is ideal for home use and isn’t intended for heavy-duty printing, as the paper tray is limited to 100 sheets and the ink replacement costs can be pricey. However, for basic home use, the XP-820 meets all our needs beautifully and at the reasonable cost of $199.99.
Learn more about the Epson XP-820 at www.epson.com.
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