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Review: Epson EcoTank -- an inkjet printer without cartridges

Brian Nadel | Sept. 30, 2015
Epson is attempting to rewrite printer history with its new line of EcoTank inkjet printers.

After printing more than 1,000 pages of a variety of documents with the ET-4550, the level of the black ink for the test unit had come down about 25%. That translates into about 4,000 pages per set of ink bottles or an economical 1.5 cents per page for ink -- not quite up to Epson's claims, but far better than most competing inkjet printers.

Although the ET-4550 sells for $500, roughly twice what other printers in its class go for, it comes with two sets of bottles, enough ink to produce about 8,000 pages of typical office printing (and, as mentioned before, each additional set will cost about $58). By contrast, HP's Office Jet Pro 8620 costs $150, but its ink (which also costs about $150 per set) comes to about 7.1 cents per page to create general-purpose documents.

At that rate, you'd break even at about 5,000 pages. After that, every time you hit the print button, you save.

At a Glance

WorkForce ET-4550

Epson

Price: $500

Pros: Use of ink tanks rather than cartridges saves costs over the long run; excellent quality printing; two-year warranty

Cons: : Immediate cost higher than competition; filling ink tanks can be messy; blues a little washed out in Standard print mode

 

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