The Good The Epson EcoTank ET-2550 is a multifunction printer, copier and scanner that can hold enough ink to last two years without a single charge. Subsequent refill bottles are also significantly cheaper than traditional cartridges, offering potential savings in the long run.
The Bad The printer costs four to eight times more than cartridge models. It has a very minimal display and feature set, no Ethernet port, fax functionality, automatic document submission and two-sided printing.
The Bottom Line This clever little Epson EcoTank printer, thanks to its ultra-inexpensive reusable ink cartridge, gets rid of expensive cartridges once and for all, but it will cost you much more.
The Epson EcoTank ET-2550 may look like a standard small-format inkjet printer, but there is one big difference: Instead of the traditional inkjet cartridges that most printers use to place images and text on paper, the EcoTank Series comes with a set of ink bottles that you dip into a large, reusable tank on the side.
The bottles have enough ink to print about 4,000 pages of black ink and 6,500 pages of color, roughly equivalent to a two-year supply of moderate print.
Epson ET-2550 EcoTank printer
With this new ink delivery system, Epson hopes to save users the trouble of running to the stationery store every month to pick up a new set of cartridges: when the tanks run out, you can buy another batch that lasts just as much at less than the cost standard cartridges: $ 13 (convertible, £ 8.59, $ 17.71) for each colored bottle, or $ 52 (£ 34.34, $ 70.84) for a set of all four.
Epson EcoTank ET-2550
HP Envy 4520
Epson Expression Home XP-430
|Price||$298 Amazon||$120 Walmart||$410 Walmart||$100 Amazon||$150 Amazon|
The problem is that you will pay more for these special EcoTank models that accept ink for reuse. The ET-2550 is the least expensive in the line at $ 399 ($ 369.99, $ 499), but it also lacks many of the modern features that you would find in an “ordinary” inkjet printer for the same price: it can “T a fax machine, there is no automatic document feeder for scanning batch jobs, and you do not get a duplexer for two-sided printing.
However, it prints high quality documents and images at a speed that exceeds our expectations. In addition to the EcoTank on the side, the car also has Wi-Fi built in so you can take advantage of the many free printable iOS and Android apps for Epson that let you print your smartphone or tablet.
If you ignore the ink tank on the side, the ET-2550 is very reminiscent Epson Expression XP-320 , a budget inkjet printer for up to $ 100 with a limited set of features. The small design does not take up too much space in the office, even if there is a tank – according to the manufacturer, the machine is 19.3 inches deep, 20.7 deep and 11.6 inches high.
Epson Expression ET-2550 EcoTank
|Price as reviewed||$399 US, £369.99 UK, $499 AU|
|Dimensions in inches (Width x Depth x Height)||19.3 x 20.7 x 11.6 inches|
|Inks||Four-ink refillable EcoTank (Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow)|
|Automatic 2-sided printing (duplexer)||No|
|Automatic Document Feeder||No|
|Memory Card Reader||SD card reader|
|Connectivity||USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Airprint, Google Cloud Print|
|Paper Input Tray Capacity||100 sheets|
|Display||1.44-inch color LCD|
The front has a small 1.44-inch color LCD with a pad and three action buttons side by side, and the entire console swivels up and down mechanically to adjust at adjustable angles depending on your workplace.
The top cover goes up to reveal a 2400 dpi flatbed scanner, but you can only scan one document at a time because there is no document feeder. This also means that the printer can only accept paper from one source: the input tray that folds vertically behind.
It holds 100 sheets of paper, which is typical for a printer that will live at home or in a small office with light printing needs, but you can also pick up an extended model EcoTank ET-4550 this will give you more paper input capacity of 150 sheets, more ink capacity per tank (approximately 11.00 black and 8,500 color pages), Ethernet port and specialized fax.
Finally, on the front side is a small SD card reader for printing photos and documents directly from an external drive.
Epson lets you connect your printer to your computer via USB direct or Wi-Fi via an installation disc, download software, or Wi-Fi Direct if your router supports it. If you do not want to connect wirelessly, you will need to supply your own USB cable as usual.
Setting up a wireless connection between your machine and your computer is a two-part process: turn on your device and click Network Settings, then mark your wireless network and enter its password, and that’s all. The whole setup from start to finish and the connection established in our lab network took us less than 5 minutes.
The installation process also includes a step that asks if you want the system to automatically search for and install firmware updates, and we recommend that you click “yes” when prompted; such an appeal to printers connected to the Internet means that you do not have to wait for Epson to provide you with a software update, so take advantage of this.
Wi-Fi connectivity also means you can take advantage of the many free Epson mobile print applications that allow you to print directly from mobile devices. First, the Epson iPrint app for iOS and Android devices allow you to print web pages, photos, documents, and more on your smartphone directly to your printer.
You can also use remote printing in any Chrome browser window using Google Cloud Print, or connect immediately to any iOS device using Apple AirPrint. Check out our information page learn more about cloud printing .
Filling up your EcoTank tanks may seem like a daunting task when you first do it, but it’s actually a very easy process to follow the instructions that Epson includes in the manual.
In the box you will find four separate ink bottles with printed letters and numbers that match the silo on the device: one each for blue, purple, yellow and black. In this part of the installation, Epson actually includes a pair of plastic gloves that you wear to keep your fingers from getting dirty, but if you are extra careful, this should not be a problem.
When you are ready to fill the containers, all you have to do is unscrew the top cover to break the seal, then just flip the bottle and squeeze all the ink into the tanks until the bottles are empty. When you are finished, it will take about 20 minutes for the printer to load the ink to prepare it for printing.
Thanks to the translucent window on the side of the tanks, you can monitor the ink level at any time, which is very useful to find out when you need to order colors. Alternatively, you can screw the top lid on the bottle to seal it, just in case you want to fill it while traveling.
Cost per page
Epson says that in order to deplete the ink bottles that come in retail packaging, moderate volume printing is required. When you’re ready to refuel, each colored tank (including the black bottle) costs $ 12.99 ($ 8.52, $ 17.70), or about $ 52 ($ 34.35, $ 70.84) the whole set.
Using the profitability of the page provided by Epson (4000 black, 6500 color), I estimated that the cost for both black and full color pages is 0.3 cents and 0.2 cents per page. Both figures are significantly lower than the average cost per page for a typical inkjet printer, and Epson even sells XL-sized ink bottles, which lowers the price even further.
Again, these figures indicate that you have used the printer long enough to compensate for the overpriced equipment. If you only print things a few times a month, you may want to stick with a cheap model like XP-420 (widely available for $ 50 [£ 33.03, $ 68.12 AU]), and pay for new ink cartridges on occasion.
As always, I ran the ET-2550 through internal CNET speed tests, and the results confirm my belief that this printer is a basic inkjet printer with a large ink tank attached to the side. But this does not mean that the printer is lagging behind the output speed: it flew through our text speed test with a striking average of about 8.33 pages of normal black per minute and resolved full-color graphic work at 2.41 pages per minute.
These results are almost identical to the recorded speeds the aforementioned Epson XP-420 . For many years, I have been expecting impressive results from Epson, and these tests prove that the ET-2550 is well-equipped to handle medium to high volumes with minimal delay.
You might be wondering if the new ink supply system affects the overall print quality of traditional ink cartridges. Well, I’m glad to announce that the ET-2550 has also amazed me in this industry by releasing a black text of quality that is almost indistinguishable from cartridge slats.
Overall quality easily competes with the clarity of expensive laser printers, even at smaller sizes. The full-color graphics and presentations went equally well, and the quiet offices certainly benefit from the quiet whisper of the printer’s fast-paced sounds, easily muffled by keyboard clicks and soft conversation.
Compared to annoying voice devices that make scanning, deployment, and printing processes well-known, XP-420 stable operation is a viable alternative.
You can save a lot of money by refilling ink cartridges by choosing the EcoTank brand, but first you’ll have to exceed the cost of the initial retail price, which will probably take several years of consistent printing. If you do not need these third-party features and do not mind holding this printer for a long time, the ET-2550 may be worth the investment.
If you are reading this and understand that you do not want to marry the brand for more than two years, I recommend checking out some traditional Epson cartridges, such as Expression XP-420 which costs only $ 50 (£ 33.03, $ 68.12) now. If you are going this route, just know that you are buying back to the old business model blade and can expect to pay $ 30 (£ 19.81, $ 40.87) for a black refill cartridge and $ 17 ($ 11.23) pounds, $ 23.16) for each color.
On the other hand, if you are thinking of being able to refill EcoTank multiple times but need more features, please upgrade EcoTank ET-4550 it costs an extra $ 100 (£ 66.05. £ 136.24), but you get a lot more for your buck: more paper feed capacity of 150 sheets, more ink capacity per tank (approx. 11.00 black and 8,500 colors) pages), Ethernet port, and dedicated fax.