WorkForce Pro WF-4720DWF 

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Adding to its range of WorkForce Pro business multifunction products, Epson has released its WF-4720DWF model.

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The WorkForce Pro WF-4720DWF device combines print, scan, copy and fax capabilities along with a built ADF (Automatic Document Feed) and automatic Duplex printing.  This multifunction unit can be integrated into a computer system via a choice of WiFi, Ethernet or USB connectivity.

With rounded corners, this black box-shaped unit has dimensions of 425 x 378 x 249mm, which is the same as those of the WF-3270DWF reviewed earlier, and weighs 9.1kg.  The arrangement of the unit’s various elements follows the usual layer pattern.  Paper input and output trays at the base of the unit supporting an inkjet printer.  Placed on top of the printer is the A4 flatbed scanner which has an ADF feature built into its lid.

Positioned on the front of this multifunction device, located between the paper facility and scanner, is a control panel which can be adjusted to various angles to suit the user’s needs.  Central to the control panel is a 6.8cm colour touch screen which provides access to various menus and messages.  Surrounding the touch screen is a further touch sensitive area that can display context sensitive icons dealing with various features.  Further to the left are buttons for power, NFC-aware smart device scanning and printing plus an indication when received documents are stored in memory,  Also positioned on the front of the unit is a concealed compartment housing a USB port for inputting content.

Capable of holding a range of paper sizes, the combination of input / output trays has a capacity of 250 sheets for input and 80 sheets for output with the latter content being supported by a pull-out arm.  Each time you remove the paper tray for whatever reason, whether refilling or changing its content, you are asked to confirm the content type.  Failure to do so can bring up an error message.

The printer unit, on which this multifunction is built around, has a PrecisionCore™ Print Head.  This feature has a configuration of 800 nozzles for Black and 800 nozzles for Colour.  This configuration can deliver variable-sized droplet technology with a minimum droplet size of 3.8pl.  The printer uses DURABrite™ ultra ink technology supplied from four cartridges (Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow).  When using the greater capacity XL cartridges, Epson estimate you should be able to print up to 2,600 pages in black and 1,900 pages in colour.  Print resolution is 4,800 x 1,200 DPI.

When initially setting up this multifunction device you will need to enter basic details such as language, region, date and time plus insert the four cartridges into the belly of the unit.  You will also need to attach a phone line to the rear of the unit to enable the fax functionality.  Delivering speeds of up to 33.6kbps, the fax feature can handle black and white and colour content.  Features such as speed dials of up to 100 numbers, a page memory of 180 pages, delay sending and broadcasting are supported.  The fax has an approximate transmission speed of 3 seconds per page.  The ADF feature, residing in a depression on top of the scanner unit, can feed its content of up to 35 pages either to the printer for the creation of photocopies or the fax facility for transmission to others.

Epson supplied a CD with this device.  The CD contains relevant software and an illustrated, step-by-step installation process.  The installation process will lake you through stages that include the loading of drivers for the print and scan elements plus software for OCR and PPF features.  You also get the fax software and a PDF version of the product’s User Manual.  The WF-4720DWF can be connected to the computer set-up via WiFi, Ethernet or USB as checks are made for any updates which could include firmware.

The supplied print driver offers a number of pre-set print options plus a choice of Draft, Standard and High print quality.  I ran my usual print tests, involving monochrome and colour documents, with the three different print qualities.  The print speeds obtained are shown in the table below.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4720DWF
Draft 38ppm 19ppm
Standard 33ppm 18ppm
High 6.5ppm 5.5ppm

Draft mode is only really suitable for layout purposes.  Standard mode should suffice for internal documents with High mode being used for important documents.  It was noticeable that mono speeds were similar to those achieved by the WorkForce Pro 3270DWF but there was an increase when colour was involved.  A 12-page document was printed on six double sided pages, in standard mode with Duplex turned on, in 63 seconds.  Using the ADF feature, a 6-page document was scanned and printed in 38 seconds.  A single A4 mono scan was printed in 5 seconds and this increased to 9 seconds when the copy was in colour.

Turning my attention to photo printing, I timed how long it took to print images of various sizes.  In each case I use the Epson Easy Photo Print utility, supplied with the product, to print each borderless image at High quality on glossy paper.  A 10 x 15cm image took 50 seconds with a 13 x 18cm image requiring 68 seconds.  An A4 print took 131 seconds to print.   Image quality was of a reasonable standard.

The WF-4270DWF is a capable performer.  It is currently priced on Epson’s website at £189.99.  The Epson store is listing replacement multipacks of DURABrite Ultra cartridges at £139.99 for the XL capacity or £83.49 for the standard version of the ink cartridges which could put off some users.

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