Epson Artisan 835 Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer — Review

© 2012 Peter Free


28 March 2012 (updated 20 February 2014)


Photograph of Epson Artisan 835 computer printer for Peter Free review.


Not recommended — the worst printer we have ever used


We bought the Epson Artisan 835 based on good reviews, but two years light use has proven it to be an increasingly annoying and unreliable design:



After just one year of regular but very light use — perhaps an average 10 pages per month — the Epson began leaving very obvious horizontal lines across the very few photographs we printed.  Cleaning the nozzles didn’t help, although the nozzle diagnostic said everything was fine.


At the same time, the control screen assembly stopped locking in the vertical position, which meant that every time one touched it to change settings, it would move.


The 2-sided printing function quit completely, even though it was still checked in the settings box.


After two years of light use, black text began printing in a variety of colors, ranging from violet and purple to gray to light black.  The colors would change with each line of print.




This multi-color-instead-of-black problem cannot be overcome by setting the (difficult to find software settings) to include gray scale.


Nor can one remove all the colored cartridges from the printer — so as, presumably, to force it to default to the black cartridge.


Instead, the printer lets the user know that it cannot print without the other colors.  Which means that, even with a full black cartridge, one cannot print black text, when one of the other 5 cartridges is empty.



Why does this negative review contradict the much more favorable majority of Internet reviews of the same product?


Most of the reviews of the Artisan 835 seem to have come from people using it either a very short time with exceptionally low output volumes.



General negatives


Surprisingly heavy and flimsy — even by modern throw-away standards.


Occasional inability (with our sample) to program the printer from the computer that it is supposedly wirelessly hooked to.  Most of the routine settings changes have to be done via the touch screen on the printer.


On the other hand, some of the control functions apparently have to be set from the computer (such as color management) and cannot be set from the printer itself.


The printer’s touch screen often requires multiple touches of various strengths to get it to program whatever sequence one is trying to input.  The user also has to explore the on-screen buttons to see where inside the designated area the trigger point actually is.


Crude-feeling movements of paper and output catch trays are disconcerting.


Poor paper tray design prevents the user from easily recognizing when paper has been pushed to the end point where it should be and no further.


The paper tray’s alignment sliders catch, while being adjusted — which aggravates the difficulty in aligning paper properly.


Paper tray capacity is too low for business purposes, but fine for most home uses.


The multiple-segment output catch tray has to be folded and pushed back into the machine, when one wants to refill the paper tray.


The output catch tray capacity is also too low for convenience.  It has to be emptied frequently during even moderate print jobs.


The printer is very slow to respond to print cancellations.


Scans have to be copied onto an SD card that has been placed in the appropriate slot on the printer.  Scans cannot be transmitted wirelessly to the home computer.




The unit very frequently picks up multiple sheets of even 24 pound paper and prints a portion of the page across each one.  I was surprised at how much paper was wasted this way.


Two-sided printing consistently results in jams — unless one stands at the printer and immediately removes each sheet from the output catch tray, once both sides of the page are complete.




Photo quality is acceptable for a multi-function printer.


Printer’s color management system does not stray too egregiously far from that generated by Adobe Photoshop.  But it is certainly not suitable for professional caliber photo printing.


Text print quality is good for an inkjet.


The five-in-one function aspect is helpful and would justify buying the unit (or another Epson printer), if the rest of the unit were not such a piece of trash.


Ink cartridge replacement is exceptionally easy, although expensive.



Not recommended — even for home use


The Epson Artisan 835 was so inferior in design and implementation that I will not buy another Epson printer in the foreseeable future.  The problems we had with ours were not simply those of a lemon.

Some other people seem to agree about Epson.  See here, for example.