Adding to its extensive range of printing devices, Epson has developed the XP-640.
Unlike the previous Epson All-in-One unit that I looked at, the Epson XP-640 is based on the company’s ink cartridge technology using Micro Piezo™ print head technology rather than its innovative Eco Tank range of products. The Epson XP-640 is being targeted at home users looking to product high-quality photos and text documents with a device capable of delivering scan, print and copy functionality as its main remit.
Inkjet printer cartridges from various manufacturers continue to be a popular subject especially when users are expected to purchase regular replacement units at premium prices. One company that has adopted a different approach to the replacement of its ink is Epson with its EcoTank technology.
Originally launched in October 2014, EcoTank offers users a way of reducing the cost and regularity of ink replacement. Instead of using ink cartridges with their limited capacity, the Epson EcoTank technology makes use of ink tanks that can hold a year’s supply of ink. These tanks are filled from bottles which are available priced at £7.99 or £10.99 for higher capacity units.
Just 12cm wider than an A4 unit this six ink inkjet offering might solve problems for those who need the ability to print A3 as well as A4. It can also print direct from a range of cards and memory sticks, connection can be via Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB.
The Epson XP-960 measures 45x37x15cm however if you place this on a shelf you would need a few centimetres more on the last figure the height to add or remove items from the flatbed. You will also require around another 13cm in front for the paper output tray and TFT screen to open so 45x50x28cm should be the overall space requirements.
As its title should indicate, the Work Force Pro WF5690 DWF has been designed to act as a fairly heavy duty device.
Decked out in computer grey, this multi-function, multi-layered device from Epson has dimensions of 461 x 442 x 342 mm (W x D x H) and weighs a fairly substantial 14.3 kg. Due to its size and weight, this is a product that is best suited to having a permanent home rather being moved around to suit various circumstances in an office environment.
This is a three in one unit (no fax) it prints, scans and copies. With recent units this can not only be via a PC but also other devices via the WWW. It is unlikely to pass the lounge police so with Wi-Fi it can sit behind the sofa or even in a cupboard.
The Epson ET-2550 measures 46.5cm wide, 41cm tall (with A4 paper inserted in the rear insert tray) and 42cm deep with input and output trays open, so this is nearly a cube. Apart from Wi-Fi you can also link it via USB. Give yourself plenty of time and some old newspapers – not to read – to place under the unit as however careful you are a few drops of ink will spill and better on old newspaper than the carpet.
It was just over twelve months ago that Epson turned its approach to the printer inkjet market on its head. This change was brought about by the companys EcoTank technology.
For those not familiar with Eco Tank, this technology uses bottles rather than cartridges to store the ink used by the printer. Whereas a standard cartridge will hold approximately 3 or 5ml of ink with a price point of £5.99 for the 3ml of colour ink or £7.19 for 5ml of black ink, an EcoTank bottle has a capacity of 70ml of ink priced at £7.99 for both black and the various colours.
This is of course larger than an A4 unit but not by as much as you may think. It has tanks five that are filled by bottles of ink that reduces the cost per page. You can see the actual ink levels of each colour by looking at the side of the machine.
The Epson EcoTank ET-14000 measures 70cm wide, 36cm deep when the paper output tray is closed and 45cm deep when it is open and 32cm tall. It weights is 12.2kilos. The ink bottles fill the tanks on the right side of the unit in theory this is mess free but while the tipping of the ink into the tank is easy enough removing the foil on the top of the bottle can be tricky so as this is stated to be a once in two year task for ‘average’ use.
I saw this unit at the BETT (Education Show) at the end of January and the quality of its output was the reason I requested it. I knew it would be big and expected the normal review place in my cramped office not to be enough, I was wrong.
The Epson Sure Colour SC600 measires 60x28x22cm when shut. Add 15cm to the last figure the height to put a stack of A4 in the sit up and beg back tray. Add 21cm to the depth to cover the paper output tray, so 60x49x37cm is the total space needed to have an A3+ unit in your office. If you use A3 paper in the tray make the last figure (height) 49.5inches.
I have been using this unit for several months. Mainly because of the claim that the ink tanks should last up to two years. A bold claim but when you examine the minute amount of ink normally supplied in cartridges 70ml is a lot.
First some maths, you could buy a bargain ‘All In One’ for well under £100 the Epson 555 ‘Multi Function’ – including Fax is more than three times that. Normal ink cartridges can contain as little as 3 to 4ml of ink the Epson 555 ink bottles contain 70ml. When the time comes to refill the tanks around £30 should have you full of the four inks again. So a rough – very rough – comparison says 140ml of ink and the Epson 555 around £350.
I understand that Epson claim this to be their smallest printer ever. It runs either on a solid internal battery or by mains power. It can receive data via Wi-Fi, eMail or USB. So will this mobile offering be in place in every sales persons car?
When shut it is 31x15x5cm and weights 1.623 kilos. When ready for use the lid tips back to form the paper input tray and the 15cm depth becomes 25cm, the height with A4 paper in situ is increased from 5 to 29cm. For many reasons you are unlikely to print huge documents as it’s not that fast, the ink cartridges are small and only a few sheets can occupy the input tray at a time.
This is a small inkjet all in one unit. That means not only can it print, but it can also scan, copy and for those who still need it fax. It also has the ability to print from memory stick and even to scan to memory stick if the PC is not available.
The Canon Pixma MX390 measures 42x32x20cm, add 18cm to the second figure the depth when the paper tray is open, you will need to add a few centimetres to the last figure the height to use the flatbed. The external connections power, USB fax lead etc are all back left of the unit.
Described by Epson as the Photographers Best Friend, the Expression Photo XP-950 is an A3 All-In-One device. Predominately lacquered black in colour, with a matte silver band and Epson identifier on the front face, this unit offers scan, copy and print functionality with a choice of Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB connectivity.
With the standard arrangement of an A4 flatbed scanner mounted on top of a six-colour inkjet printer, the Photo XP-950 unit has dimensions of 479 x 358 x 148mm (W x D x H) and weighs in at 8.8 kg. Taking up a prominent position on the front of the unit is an adjustable flap that can be set at an angle to suit the user. This flap containing the on/off button and a touch-sensitive 8.8cm colour LCD screen.
The Epson Expression Photo XP-850 is a multi-function device that is aimed more at the photo enthusiast than a general purpose user.
The Epson Expression Photo XP-850 combines print, copy, scan and fax features with double-sided ADF (Automatic Document Feed) capability. With regards to connectivity, you have the choice of USB, Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The latter option can make use of an automatic set up that can connect direct to other Wi-Fi devices without the need of a wireless access point. Decked out in lacquered black, this unit has dimensions of 390 x 338 x 191mm (W x D x H).
This is a three in one device as it scans copies and prints. Scanning can be done without any intervention once you start the wizard, at the other extreme I have never seen so many choices for copying should you wish to use them.
The Epson Expressions Photo XP-750 measures 38x32x12cm, at printing time you will need another 13cm in front of the unit to deliver the printed page face up on the automatically extending paper output tray. The touchscreen TFT also extends out to horizontal but that is within the extension of the paper output tray.
This is a printer, and this unit has multiple connection types, USB, Ethernet and Wireless, so it can work in the home, SOHO, small office and even larger office settings as a workgroup unit, so it is an all round unit.
It is quite beefy in size at 45x55x44cm with paper output tray extended. You can subtract 18cm from the last figure the height when you do not have thick paper, letterheads or envelopes in the back top 80 sheet capacity paper feed. All the controls are on the sloping front panel, there is no display so you rely on the eight LEDs and seven well marked buttons. The main paper tray at the front base takes 250 sheets so it should work without attention for a reasonable time.
For those who print a little, scan a little and copy not a lot may well fancy a small in size unit that does all those things. Those who have a small place to print from this is certainly a unit that can tick all the requirements.
The Epson "Expression"e; XP-102 All In One is 38x30x14cm but add another 20cm to the last figure to put a stack of A4 sheets in the sit up sheet feed in the rear. 10cm on the 14cm height should be plenty if you are scanning something and wish to locate the unit on a shelf. USB enters back left while the power enters back centre. There are four touch buttons on the front face of the unit just above where the finished page exits face up. The buttons are on/off, mono copy, colour copy and problem.
If you are looking for a budget priced All-in-One inkjet product then maybe this next offering might suit.
Adding to its range of all-in-one inkjet products, Brother has released the DCP-J140W model. This is the company’s lowest priced wireless inkjet product. It has been designed for SOHO users who need to print from a range of devices whether a computer, smartphone or tablet requiring a free download of iPrint&Scan as well as scan and copy documents. This DCP-J140W all-in-one supports both USB and wireless connectivity.
This is a very sleek unit almost flattened so while the height is tiny there is some width and depth increase. It is a six ink offering ideal for those who need to print decent images, however it still scans and copies.
The Epson PX730WD Epson All In One PX730WD measures 43x52x15cm, for those who place things on shelves – it would need to be a wide shelf so maybe the top of a low cupboard would be better - another 5cm should enable things to be slipped under the landscape scanner lid. The power lead enters back left and both USB and or Ethernet cables enter back right of this unit.
The BETT (British Educational Technology Trail) has in the past proved to be a fruitful source of information and products ideal for the small business user, after all a school is certainly a business for those who attend.
This was a little larger than a normal inkjet but it does have something that most home or small office machines do not have that is the ability to receive emails – yes it has its own email address - and print them to be precise you can send items including images from anywhere in the world – now that is a wide network – and it will print them out on receipt. It is 45x44x33cm. The front edge has 26 buttons and three LED’s as well as the ubiquitous joystick around the 5x3.
Continuing my look at various Epson multifunction devices, it is the turn of a model smaller than the other units seen recently.
Rather than the usual “All-in-One” classification, the Epson Stylus SX235W is described as a “Small-in-One” device. The reason for this slight change is that this particular Epson multifunction unit is smaller than some other print, copy and scan devices that are currently available from the company. The SX235W has dimensions of 390 x 300 x 145mm (W x D x H).