You might not want to admit it, but the printer isn’t dead yet, and chances are when you do want to print, you’re either out of ink or just about to. But with a new range from Epson, that’s very unlikely to happen.
And that’s because this range includes a rather interesting take on the ink cartridge, relying on a special formulation of ink in a specially designed cartridge that more resembles a bottle, which in turn works with some rather nifty technology inside the printer to maximise ink output.
As a result of this combination of technologies, Epson has managed to make this line of printers — called the “EcoTank” models — print up to 4000 pages in black and up to 6500 pages in colour, all before the ink runs out.
That translates roughly into two years of printing, Epson says, though in speaking to the company, we were told that because ink doesn’t necessarily have a use by date, you could theoretically get more than the two years out of that, because this ink use translates into paper rather than time.
The use of bottles also means you only have to top up the tanks when you do eventually run out, and with the ink able to last a good two years, means that a last minute print won’t have you scrambling to the office supply store for a spare cartridge, as is the case with current printers.
Four variants of the printer will be made, and while these will all support WiFi with directing printing form both Android and iOS, as well as supporting multi-function technology for photocopying, scanning, and printing, you’ll find LCD screens on the top-end units, as well as support for more ink and more printing.
How much more ink?
Well, with the Epson ET-2500 and ET-2550 — the beginning models in the EcoTank range — you’ll find the 4000 black and 6500 colour page amounts for the ink bottles supplied in the box, but if you go a little larger and are happy to spend a little more, the top-end ET-4550 bundles in bottles supplying up to 11,000 pages in black and 8,500 pages in colour.
We have one word for this: wow.
Actually, we have two: yikes, followed shortly by wow.
“EcoTank printers and printing are all about convenience and practicality,” said Bruce Bealby, General Manager for Sales and Marketing in the Consumer Division at Epson in Australia.