Recently a lovely email popped into my inbox. Would I like to review a printer that I already had my eye on but couldn’t afford right now? Erm, yes!
Our old printer was old, the software was no longer compatible with our current version of Windows and it was becoming a right nuisance. Worse than that, it had faded from white to some hideous orange-ish beige.
When the Epson EcoTank 4500* arrived I was so happy, I actually danced about the kitchen when I saw the delivery guy. “Pleased to see me love?” “Oh yes. That’s my new baby right there.”
I might have been ridiculously happy to take delivery of this but it is a printer, fax, scanner and copier.
And it is wireless (except the power cable).
And it’s more economical.
And it’s more environmentally friendly.
And it is a trusted brand.
And it’s black.
Okay, now I have killed the word and, I apologise but it really is good.
The set up was easy, but took a bit of time. Straight from the box the printer is dry, no ink has been through it, so it does what I would call priming. This process took around twenty minutes, and involved clunking noises which sounded like the printer was trying to die. Don’t panic! It’s meant to be doing this, so that when you do print you don’t waste 25 sheets of paper waiting for the blue to be deep rather than pastel. It is worth the wait.
Next up you’ll need to install a little App if you want to print straight from your mobile phone. It wasn’t a huge download, and I have printed off a few things whilst in the kitchen and even my garden. To me this is super cool geekery. (I used to have to transfer files from my phone to my laptop then print it via a cable to the old printer.)
So what’s the print quality like? For home use and minor office things great! If you want to print out letters, scan or copy important documents you don’t want to lose, or even printing out colouring in pages to shush the kids up, this is for you. If you Only need it to print photos, this beautiful machine might not be for you. In very colourful images I have noticed that it appears a little grainy or pixelated, but there is probably a setting I have yet to find.
You see I like to blind test things like this… I only read the important stuff in the instructions, setting it up, refilling, how to do the absolute basics. The rest I have been learning as I go and I must say it has so far been extremely user friendly. I have had error messages on the screen, the paper was the wrong size apparently. After a quick look I could see my youngest had snatched plain paper out of the back for scribbling and he had moved the paper size guide. I just poked it back to A4 and the printer was as happy as Larry again.
I can vouch for the printing, scanning and copier (which is just both in sequence really) but I can’t fax. We don’t actually have a phone lead or spare socket. I bet it does work, based on my previous experience of Epson.
Now if you have little people in your home you might have thought, like I did, how do you keep little fingers out of the ink tanks? Simples, there is a little pair of loops you can cable tie or even padlock it shut. According to Epson (and a TNS survey) the ink lasts about 2 years between refills, so if padlocking this do it with a numbered lock, perhaps the model number 4500 as it’s written on the printer.
It doesn’t print each page super fast, but it does print well, and cheaply too. If you are considering getting a new printer, consider the EcoTank range. It might cost a little more upfront, but this is offset by a decent saving on the price of ink.
I’d recommend this to friends for Mumsy stuff and even to small business owners for a home office.
Disclosure : I was gifted this printer by Epson for my honest opinions.