We haven’t had a printer at home for years. So long in fact it could quite easily have been before we were even parents. The print quality was poor and it was expensive to keep topped up with ink so it ended up collecting dust and we got rid. We’ve managed for quite some with printing things out at work or the library or wherever, however it’s a pain having to think ahead when we have tickets which need printing out or when I need to sign a contract and get it back to a client asap. I also found I missed the scanner when I was sending timesheets into my supply agency and had to keep taking photos of them on my mobile phone – so professional! We’ve kept talking about getting a new printer but, as with so many of these things, we’ve never got round to it.
When we were offered the new Epson ET-4500 to try out I jumped at the chance. Being able to print things out at home would feel like something of a luxury! Of course I immediately worried about the cost of upkeep – we all know that printer cartridges can be a pure fortune right? Not so with the Epson EcoTank range. This baby comes with 2 years of ink included. Ah right, so it’s going to cost loads to refill those when they run out then? Wrong again. The easy refill tank system is surprisingly cheap with a new bottle of black ink coming in at under a tenner. I was won over.
|It’s a fairly tidy size considering what it can do!|
The Epson EcoTank series of printers are aimed at homes, home offices and small offices where low-cost printing is top priority however despite the low cost the Micro Piezo technology ensures there’s no drop off in print quality. Even on the super cheap paper I picked up from the supermarket, the quality of a black and white print is pretty sharp.
|Making the most of some colouring sheets|
As an added bonus to the super cheap print costs; the ET-2500, ET-2550 and ET-4500 offer print, copy and scan features. (If you’ve never had a scanner at home, you will find so many uses for it that you hadn’t even thought of before!) The ET-4500 (which is the model we have) also has the option for fax. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had cause to send a fax, in fact I didn’t even really know they still existed, but it’s nice to know the option is there! In order to use the fax capabilities the printer does need to be connected to your phone line which isn’t all that practical in our house as it would leave the printer on the floor behind the TV – not particularly accessible and, erm, rather dusty.
Luckily fax isn’t top of my wish list of features and I was far more excited by the prospect of wireless printing. Being able to print directly from my laptop, mobile phone or ipad without faffing about plugging in extra cables is something of a joy I must admit! In the week or so we’ve had the printer I’ve scanned Ben’s drawing for a blog post, printed, scanned and emailed back a contract to a client, printed colouring sheets for the kids, printed out a diary sheet for Ben’s class teddy and generally got quite excited about how much easier it is to have a printer at home. A printer which isn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg to run! The quality of the black and white prints is great but the colour prints are perhaps a little washed out for my liking – that said I’m not about to use it for printing out photos to frame and if I was I would certainly buy the proper paper. The quality is certainly more than adequate for our home printing needs.
In terms of initial set up I would say it took us (by which I mean mostly Dave) about 45 minutes to unpack it and run the first print. Much of this time was taken up by removing lots of bits of blue sticky tape and updating software etc on my laptop. The actual set up was relatively painless (though Dave did managed to stain his fingers blue which lasted for a few days!) and we haven’t experienced any problems with it since. All the devices in the house have picked it up and printed without issue.
All in all I’m thrilled with our new printer and confident that I can use it freely without fear of having to remortgage my house to buy a new print cartridge in a fortnight’s time! Admittedly it’s a big investment initially compared to your average home printer but over time the savings in ink will more than pay for themselves!
*Disclaimer – We were sent the printer free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own. This post contains affiliate links*