Low Cost Printing with Epson EcoTank – Review

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.

Eposon EcoTank Printer
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.

Little girl colouring in
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.

Child's drawing
Scanned drawing.

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*

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26 Comments

  1. February 9, 2016 / 8:15 am

    This sounds fantastic! Like yourself we don't have a printer, as ink just seems to be crazily expensive. This seems much better xx

  2. February 9, 2016 / 8:15 am

    Looks like a good product. We have a very old large printer which we don't use often as the ink is expensive & I hate setting it up. #triedtested lifeinthemumslane

  3. February 9, 2016 / 8:15 am

    Looks like a good product. We have a very old large printer which we don't use often as the ink is expensive & I hate setting it up. #triedtested lifeinthemumslane

  4. Emma Lofthouse-Burch
    February 9, 2016 / 9:33 am

    Wow this printer looks amazing, I am constantly printing as we home educate, so it would be perfect for us! #triedtested

  5. February 9, 2016 / 9:36 am

    Certainly worth thinking about here with 6 kids all wanting to pint homework in colour for school each day. #TriedTested

  6. February 9, 2016 / 9:55 am

    I hate our printer/scanner – this looks really good, thanks for sharing! #TriedTested

  7. February 9, 2016 / 10:13 am

    Looks great!
    We are always printing things off with home schooling our little one, this certainly sounds like a printer to consider x

  8. mummydaddy mia
    February 9, 2016 / 10:32 am

    This looks great! Our printer is quite similar and is also an Epson however although the printer was about £100, the ink costs about £25-£30 so we end up watching what we print which is silly! I think this printer is expensive but in the long run would save on ink! 🙂

    #TriedTested

  9. Mama Owl
    February 9, 2016 / 11:50 am

    I can't imagine not having a printer now, my husband is self employed and needs it for all of his paperwork and the kids use ours all the time, particularly the two eldest with their coursework for A level and GCSE studies – definitely worth the investment!

  10. February 9, 2016 / 12:14 pm

    We have been testing this too! It's so good I don't know how I lived without it! Wonder if the ink will really last two years!

  11. February 9, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    This looks and sounds great, I love that the ink lasts two years!
    Our printer is awful and the ink doesn't last five minutes. I'm usually emailing hubby things to print off in work. We really do need to invest in a new printer.
    Great review.

    #TriedTested

  12. February 9, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    We so need one of these in our life. The multi machine I have just now is getting on a bit. It does it's job but it's just old and old tech is never great.
    #TriedTested

  13. gina caro
    February 9, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    We were offered one of these to review too but I had to turn it down as we already have a printer. It looks very good though and fantastic that it comes with 2 years worth of ink! #TriedTested

  14. Hannah Smith
    February 9, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Desperately need a new printer.. ours goes through ink like you wouldn't believe, especially with two writers and photographers in the house!

    2 years worth of ink?! Incredible, I'll have to take a look.

    #TriedTested

    Hannah x

  15. February 9, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Sounds like a great printer. We are currently trying out the HP version and I love the idea of not having to buy more ink for 2 years!

  16. February 9, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    Our ink is always running out and much more expensive. Can't remember how much the printer itself cost, so this one sounds much better

  17. February 9, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    We have a printer at home but can't remember the last time we bought ink cartridges for it! They are too expensive! But this looks great vaule for money! #triedtested

  18. mousedogbaby.com
    February 9, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    2 years worth of ink! That's fantastic!

  19. February 9, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    My printer is so old, I could really do with a nice new shiny one like that.

  20. February 12, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    It is the coolest printer and love the savings in the medium to long term

  21. Mummy Melton
    February 14, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    We font have a printer at the moment either, mainly as ink is ridiculously expensive. This one seems reasonable though #triedtested

  22. Victoria MyLittleLBlog
    February 15, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    a good printer is always a bonus, i bought a 3 in 1 printer and never looked back and saved so much money on printing and copying documents at home and not paying for it in library

  23. February 15, 2016 / 11:17 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic buy! Ink is normally so expensive its great that you can get a while bottle of black ink for under £10. Thanks for hosting #Tried Tested xx

  24. February 16, 2016 / 12:37 am

    Sounds great!! I wanted to review this printer too but I didn't get it, 🙁 It is definitely a good printer and the idea of saving money when buying the ink is a bonus. It has a reasonable prize. Thanks for your review and for hosting, 🙂
    #triedtested

  25. Odd Socks and Lollipops
    February 16, 2016 / 10:43 am

    This sounds amazing and how fab that all that ink is included – it's crazy that the ink is so expensive these days! It makes me not want to print anything off!

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