I’ve been through a few printers in my time. One I bought to use at the farm which was great but my mother-in-law took ownership of. Then she bought me one for Christmas (joy!) that we didn’t have anywhere to keep it so has been gathering dust (literally) behind my chair in the living room and won’t print. So when I was given the chance to try out and review the Epson EcoTank ET4550 printer I jumped at the chance. No more having to print on the quiet at work (not great when you work in a resource efficiency company who hates paper use).
When I read up about Epson’s new Eco Tank printers I was impressed. The one thing that’s annoying with printers usually is having to replace cartridges all the time, and how expensive it can be. With the EcoTank printers they run for 2 years on the ink that’s included. Mind blowing, yes? So fewer cartridges needing to be refilled, recycled or landfilled, and over the lifetime of the printer it would work out cheaper than a cheaper less substantial printer.
The figures Epson share are that the eco ink tank is equivalent to 72 cartridges worth (up to 11,000 pages printed), and reduces printing costs by 70% on average.
As soon as I took the Epson ecotank ET-4550 out of the box I knew it was a decent bit of kit. There’s everything you could possibly want to do on it. I didn’t set it up, but if you want to go old school and fax, then it does that as well as copy, scan and print. The best bit is that it’s wireless, so no need for cables unless you want to. Perfect for us as we only use a laptop or tablets so I can set it up in the back room (yes, I managed to find somewhere for it to live), and send to print when sitting in the living room.
Setting up the printer was easy enough. I initially just used the set up easy start sheet and CD. I was a little worried about filling the ink tank, but it was easy and mess free. If you’re used to dyeing your hair and using those bottles, then this is a doddle, but really I think N could have done it if I’d risked it! You simply tip in the ink to the relevant colour tanks. Included was 2 sets of inks, so no need to purchase again for a long time.
It was easy enough to set it up to copy. Thankfully because just as I was heading out dancing, the OH wanted something urgent copied for the next day. It did take a while for the inks to set themselves up and calibrate, but otherwise all went smoothly. It was a little harder to set up to print but that was mostly because our internet connection’s not the best. Initially the printer wouldn’t save our internet connection it kept picking up BT openzone. But the next day I tried again and it worked, linking the laptop to printer. Being able to see clearly on the LCD screen what you need to do helps.. If you’re out and about as long as the printer’s on you can even send things to print from your phone via an app although I haven’t given that a go yet.
I was really impressed with the print quality. N loves seeing photos printed out, and although we didn’t have any photo paper, we printed out a few photos on normal printing paper and the quality was really good, and reflected the colours on my laptop screen. I must remember when doing photos that the printer will print both sides – good for saving paper when just printing out documents but not what I want for photos.
Aside from the easy filling of the tank when needed, I love that the paper is all hidden away in a drawer inside the printer. With other printers, you end up feeding the paper in and N would steal it, or it’d get nudged and crumpled.
The Epson EcoTank ET-4550 isn’t cheap, but there are smaller less expensive versions suitable for home rather than office use. I can see it’s definitely going to be a go to for easy printing so next step is for me to get some photo paper to do some good print outs. Or maybe some sticky back paper to create some stickers. And not forgetting I might actually get round to going paper free by scanning using it to scan in all my documentation which I’ve been meaning to do for the last year!
Disclosure: I was sent the Epson printer for the purposes of review. All opinions and words are my own.