If you are looking for an all-in-one print/fax/scan device with wireless, the Epson WorkForce ET-4500 EcoTank may fit the bill. Designed for busy homes and small offices, Epson have provided a device that can help cut printing costs through the use of integrated high capacity ink tanks. These tanks provide a continuous supply of ink to the printer with no consumable ink cartridges to replace. Instead, you simply fill the ink tanks as required with Epson ink bottles.
On the topic of ink bottles, a brand new ET-4500 comes with enough ink to last up to 2 years. Epson base this on printing approximately 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 pages in colour. When talking inkjet printers, that’s a really long time between ink replacements and provides for considerable cost savings.WorkForce ET-4500 EcoTank specifications include:
|Printing Method||On-demand Inkjet (piezoelectric)|
|Nozzle Configuration||180 nozzles Black, 59 nozzles each colour (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta)|
|Minimum Ink Droplet Volume||3 Picolitres|
|Print Resolution||5760 x 1440 optimised dpi with (with Variable Sized Droplet Technology)|
|Print Speed||Black Text A4: 9.2ipm (ISO24734)
Colour Text A4: 4.5ipm (ISO24734)
|Paper Feed Method||Friction feed with paper feeder and automatic document feeder|
|Paper Sizes||A4, A5, A6, B5, 10x15cm(4x6in), 13x18cm(5x7in), 9x13cm(3.5x5in), Letter(8 1/2x11in), Legal(8 1/2x14in), Half Letter(5 1/2x8 1/2in), 13x20cm(5x8in), 20x25cm(8x10in), 16:9 wide size, 100x148mm, Envelopes: #10(4 1/8x9 1/2in), DL(110x220mm), C6(114x162mm)|
|Paper Capacity||100 sheets, A4 Plain paper (75g/m 2 )|
|Scanner Type||A4 Flatbed colour image scanner|
|Document Size||Up to A4|
|Scanning Resolution||1200 x 2400 dpi|
|Mono Scan Speed||A4 1200dpi 8.8msec/line|
|Colour Scan Speed||A4 1200dpi 25.4msec/line|
|Copy Speed||Black Text A4: 7.7ipm (ISO29183)
Colour Text A4: 3.3ipm (ISO29183)
|Automatic Document Feeder||Maximum Document Size: A4
Paper Types Supported: Plain paper 64~95g/m2
Paper Capacity: 30pages (Xerox-P 64g/m2) or 3 mm (Letter, A4) / 10 sheets (Legal)
|Printer Drivers||Windows® XP/XP Professional x64 Edition/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Windows® Server 2003/2003 x64 Edition/2003 R2/2003 R2 x64 Edition/2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2
*Under Windows® Server OS, only printing and scanning are supported.
Mac OS X 10.6.8, 10.7.x, 10.8.x, 10.9.x, 10.10.x
|Noise Level||5.8B (ISO7779 Pattern)
|Connectivity||High Speed USB — Compatible with the USB 2.0 Specification.|
|Mobile Printing||Epson Connect (Epson Email Print + Epson iPrint)
Google Cloud Print
|Networking||802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct ®|
|Lcd Screen||2.2" mono LCD|
|Ink Bottles||Ink Bottles: T664 (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black)
Ink Bottles Bundled With Printer Yields: 4,000 Pages Blk / 6,500 Pages Clr
Replacement Ink Bottles Yields: 4,000 Pages Blk / 6,500 Pages Clr
|Dimensions||490(W) x 377(D) x 229(H)mm|
You can do most of the configuration directly on the printer using the on-board monochrome display. Similarly, you can use a compatible web browser to configure some of the options. You get the choice of using a simple or advanced mode with simple covering most of the things we wanted to configure including AirPrint.
To test printing, the ET-4500 was connected to the network via Ethernet. Clients used for printing was OSX El Captain and iOS 9.3 (beta). The printer was detected on OSX without issue and I was able to print immediately without any further configuration.
Using OSX, printing documents was extremely fast and the quality was crisp and clear. For colour printing I grabbed one of my macro photos and printed a A4 page in full colour. The print time took approximately 1 minute.
Printing from iOS was just as easy. Using the iPhone 6 camera I took a bunch of random photos and selected print. The print time for a A4 sized colour image was under 30 seconds.
The Epson WorkForce ET-4500 not only looks great but is extremely easy to setup and use. Epson have moved away from the traditional printer sales model which relies on profitable consumables and brings us a printer that is more affordable to run.
It’s great to see a large manufacture embrace modern ideas and think beyond the bottom line in providing consumers with what they want – a supported method of running refillable cartridges. Whilst the initial outlay for the printer may be higher, the advantages of not having to use some 3rd party hack to create a refillable solution and cheaper ink costs make it a worthwhile investment.
That said, if your usage is low and not enough to recover the higher price over the life of the printer, you are better off looking at something like its little sibling, the Epson WF-2650 which is significantly cheaper to buy. However, if you are a heavy user and find yourself buying print cartridges often, the return on investment on the Epson ET-4500 EcoTank is quite good.