My relationship history with printers hasn’t been very good.
My current printer needs me to hold its paper for it and gently guide it through or it will chew it up or tell me I haven’t given it paper. Hand feeding a printer 20 sheets of paper, praying its stupid little feet will pick the pieces up quickly before it decides to halt work and flash all its clever little lights and tell me I’m doing something wrong is frustrating and tedious.
Dashing to print a document that I need there and then often ends up with the printer deciding to ‘clean’ itself- whatever that means- which takes several minutes of precious time and lots of weird noises that start then stop then start again.
Then, the ink will decide to run out half way through printing a document then I’m really screwed.
Next, I would need to apply for a mortgage to pay for the ink or choose to buy 3rd part ink cartridges which may just decide to splatter all over my lap.
On one occasion the ink wouldn’t come out of the cartridge so I thought I would tempt it out by giving the cartridge a little suck. 2 days later I still had a blue/black tongue. Bad idea.
A few weeks ago, Epson contacted me about there new all-singing-all-dancing-all-in-one printer that promises to cost me less in ink and comes with a three year warranty. Even better, it has wireless printing so I don’t have to be near the thing while it does its job. I welcomed the offer to review the printer and the very next morning I received a text to tell me my printer was to be delivered that same day and also what time to expect the courier to deliver it. It arrived promptly on time. Good service!
Setting up the device took about an hour. After the standard pressing of buttons and managing setting the printer requested about 20 minutes of alone-time to set itself up. The printer recognised my phones and laptops automatically and now all was needed was the ink.
The Epson ET4500 comes with a year’s supply of ink and refillable cartridges. This means that the ink is supplied in bottles that you just poor directly into the cartridges. The advantage being you aren’t paying for the actual cartridge each time- just the ink itself. This is really the only ‘eco’ thing about the printer. I was disappointed with the crazy amount of packaging that the printer came in, most of which isn’t recyclable. I HATE polystyrene. It difficult to recycle and when dumped in a landfill it would take thousands of years to decompose. There’s also a lot of clear plastic bags in the box, too. The only easily recyclable component is the box itself.
I was a little nervous about pouring the ink into the cartridges but my steady hand managed to get the ink in the right place.
According to ExpertReviews.co.uk, the ink is so cheap to buy it’s just 0.49p per page which even the most competitive cartridge-based inkjets will cost about 6x this amount to run. Pretty impressive!
The print quality for standard documents is fine and it throws out the pages quickly. However, I can’t seem to get a good photo print. The images looked dull and dark, almost although the paper has absorbed too much ink. I’ve heard that photo paper may improve the quality and I am yet to test this theory.
It has a fax function but I haven’t used fax since 2004 so haven’t bothered setting it up. Does anyone even fax these days?
The design looks a bit dated and the button sounds remind me of the early 2000s but to be honest, a printer is there to print and not to look good. It’s compact and doesn’t look bulky like many all-in-ones which is more of a concern to me.
As my social media consultancy business, SocialRocks, grows I plan to be as ‘green’ as possible. Adding the EcoTank to my team is my first step in reaching this goal and I’m looking forward to every printing session being a happy one. You know what? I reckon we are going to have a good relationship; the EcoTank and I.