Epson wants to save the planet – one EcoTank inkjet printer at a time


Epson has joined forces with National Geographic to promote the protection of the world’s permafrost – the frozen ground beneath the earth’s polar regions – in its newly launched ‘Turn Down the Heat’ campaign. It’s advocating we all buy its heat-free EcoTank printers.

It has also committed to being Carbon-negative by 2050 with its products produced from renewable resources. It hopes its ‘Heat-free’ Piezo inkjet technology will be embraced as a replacement for power-hungry thermal inkjets and laser printers.

Epson’s Piezo heads use pressure to fire the ink from the print head. The result is far lower energy use, far faster first page out and fewer parts to fail – more reliability.

Before we overview these, let’s look at the EcoTank concept.

In essence, it has permanent ink tanks and print heads in the printer. Bulk ink bottles fill these. The downside is that EcoTank printers cost more upfront, but the upside is lower print costs. It had a 209% sales increase in Australia last year.

They come in three variants (four if you count commercial models)

  • EcoTank (consumer-oriented ET-1110 ($299) to the ET-4750 ($699)
  • Pro – ET-5150 ($639) to the ET-16600 A3 ($1699) for Small office and home office
  • Photo – using from 5 to 10 ink tanks for archival photograph printing

Epson launched two new EcoTank printers (and two variants)

EcoTank Pro ET-5150 ($639) and ET-5170 ($649)

These are identical multi-function – print, copy, scan, A4 printers bar an ADF, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and fax in the 5170. This is the one to buy, and it is exclusive to Officeworks.

SpeedMono 17.5ppm and colour 9.5 ISO ppm. First page out 7 seconds
Scanner35-page automatic single-sided document feeder
Comms5150 – USB 2.0 and Wi-Di. 5170 add Wi-Fi and Ethernet
Size375 (W) x 347 (D) x 346mm (H) 7.3kg
Warranty12 months ACL extendable to 2-years on registration
Ink bottlesT542 Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow approx. page 13300 mono and 5200 colour
Ink costsFrom $24.99 per bottle
AU Website5150 and 5170

EcoTank Photo ET-8500 (A4 – $999) ET-8550 (A3 – $1149)

These are photo-grade printers with six Epson Claria ET premium EcoTanks (including CMYK and photopigment black and photo grey) capable of 6700 mono or 6200 colour postcard archival quality (300 years in an album) photo prints. These are Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa voice assistant capable.

The best use is for home users and amateur photographers who need to proof with six tanks before final printing on a higher-res printer. But as it has scan, copy and print its fine for general small office use too.

SpeedMono/colour 15.12 ISO. Postcard print (draft) 15 seconds
CommsUSB 2.0, Wi-Di, SD card, Wi-Fi and Ethernet
Paper8500: A4 front cassette 1 and 2,
Size8500: 523 x 758 x 430mm x 11.1kg
Warranty12 months ACL extendable to 2-years on registration
Ink bottles552 Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, photo black and photo grey.
Approx mono/colour page yield 7300/6200
Ink costsFrom $24.99 per bottle
US website8500 and 8550

You can read more GadgetGuy Epson news and reviews here.