Reviewed by David Savage
We live in a digital age where we use computers, in one form or another, for lots of various things. It doesn’t matter if it is your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer we use them for paying bills, transferring money, taking photos, filling in forms, watching television, and so much more. While they are easy to input data, you need a printer to get the output. There will be times when you need to print out a bank statement, a form to fill in and sign, or even just print your favourite photo. Or worse still, the kids come home with loads of homework that will inevitability need something printing, even if just squares on a page to make maths homework neater! While printing is easy, the cost can be quite expensive, especially when requiring colour – if you have a printer that has four ink cartridges and need replacing at the same time you can spend upwards of £60, sometimes it is cheaper to buy a new printer!
With the environment and eco-friendly products being huge topics, Epson have developed a range of printers that reduce the cost by up to 90%, have no expensive cartridges which in turn creates less waste and less landfill. Welcome to the EcoTank inkjet printers for home and business use. I was delighted to receive the ET-2711 for everyday printing to review.
The Epson EcoTank ET-2711 features:
- 3-in-1 printer (printer, copier and scanner)
- Ultra-low-cost printing, and can save up to 90% on the cost of ink
- Next generation ink filling system which can hold the equivalent of 88 cartridges’ worth of ink
- Comes with enough ink to print up to 4,500 pages in black and 7,500 pages in colour
- Easy mobile printing with WiFi, WiFi Direct, and the Epson iPrint app
Inkjet printers have been around a long, with everybody owning/have owned at some point. Apart from being able to print they all have a common feature – the high cost of ink cartridges. With the Epson EcoTank you can say goodbye to ink cartridges and the high cost of ink as the EcoTank printers have a built-in ink tank and uses bottles of ink to refill it.
Out of the box the printer will need setting up, you should allow 40-50 minutes to complete this task. Firstly, there is lots of tape to be removed that secure flaps etc. Make sure you get them all (some are hidden). There is a Quick Start guide provided but the supplied CD or the online setup video are much easier to follow.
Once unpacked and all the tape removed, it needs to be filled with ink. Unlike other inkjets there are no cartridges to be installed, you are supplied with 4 bottles of ink. The printer has a fixed ink tank compartment at the front of the printer which is accessed by pulling down the lid. Inside are four ink compartments for the different colours. Just lift the flap of the colour tank you want to fill at insert the bottle at an angle first and then move to a vertical position (the bottle nozzle will only fit one way). The ink will stop filling automatically when reaching the right level, so if you do have ink left in the bottle you can just screw back on the cap and use it again when needed. The printer has a clear panel on the ink tank so you can see how much ink is in it. This was a very simple process and left no mess (just be careful, if you spill on clothes on carpet you won’t get it out). With the clear panel showing how much ink is in each tank, it also means that you are in complete control of when it needs to be refilled, so no wastage at all. On first use after filling the ink tanks, it does need to be initialised and this takes approx. 10 minutes to complete.
Once the ink tank is filled you need to install the software, this can be the most time-consuming part depending on what options you select. The CD walks you through it so is quite easy.
The Epson EcoTank ET-2711 has different options to connect to the laptop or phone and you can have cabled or wireless. I chose the wireless option to reduce cabling behind the desk. Wireless printers I have used in the past have always been complicated to set up (and I have always resorted to using a cable) but this one was simple – it can connect via your router or a direct Wi-Fi Direct connection to the printer. It works very well, and is quite a fast connection.
Once setup you can print wirelessly but also remotely as well by emailing your documents to the printer, so you can print from anywhere (you can customise the email address).
Once it is all set up, all that remains is to see how good quality the print is. I’ve printed documents and photos on plain paper and the quality is excellent (documents print very fast). I have also printed photos (easiest using the phone app) on photo paper and these were superb.
As a printer it is superb. The quality and speed of printing is excellent. But it is also a copier and scanner as well. It has a flatbed scanner on top (that can also be used wirelessly). This was a bit fiddly to set up wirelessly and the help wasn’t that helpful but once set up it works perfectly. The speed of scanning is fast (11 seconds for A4 in mono, 28 seconds in colour) with a scanning resolution of 2,400 DPI x 1,200 DPI and the output is excellent (to file or printed).
Now for the cost. The initial cost of the printer isn’t cheap with an RRP of £229.99. Whilst that is a big expense, the ink refill bottles cost around £8.99 each (far cheaper than cartridges), so depending on how much printing you do you will recoup this cost in no time over a standard cartridge inkjet (although the bottled ink does last a lot longer). The reduced ink costs, reduced waste and no cartridges going to landfill make this a much eco-friendlier printer.
I can highly recommend the EcoTank ET-2711; it is massively cheaper to run, easy to use, is fast and has excellent print quality.