Price (RRP): $499
Reviewing the EPSON ET4700 really is a review of all the EcoTank printers. Why? Because they use the same technology – a precision core inkjet head fed by four or more separate refillable ink tanks giving extremely low print costs.
The result is that the EPSON ET4700 (about half-way up the range) will set you back $499, but it includes two years ink. That is approx. 3,600 Pages (Black) and 6,500 Pages (Colour). To put that in perspective, that is seven to thirteen reams of paper! The average family prints way, way, less.
Regular readers will know that we do not sell anything, nor get affiliate commissions, or charge for reviews. They are 100% independent, and we are one of the last Australian owned ‘deep-dive’ review sites. That means we test the Epson ET4200 EcoTank against all product claim as well as measure it against use paradigms.
Why buy an EcoTank like the EPSON ET4700?
EcoTank printers come into their own if you are doing a little more volume than you would on a cheap inkjet – you know the ones where the replacement ink costs more than the printer!
We will come to print costs later but if you print say, more than a ream or two each year you are better buying an EcoTank than a hungry inkjet where ink costs more per millilitre than the finest scotch or most expensive perfume!
And with printers becoming the Work From Home on-and-off-ramp from the internet you will get better reliability and build quality too.
But – as we said, the ET4700 (5/10ppm colour/black) is part of a range. For example, the next model up – the ET-4750 which we reviewed here is (8/15ppm and duplex print) comes with 14,000 pages (black), 11,200 pages (colour) for $50 more – my choice. Or if you print a lot of photos the ET7700 (A4 10/13ppm) and ET7750 (A3) use five ink tanks for superb borderless prints.
- Australian website here
- 215-page Manual here
- Price: $499
- Replacement consumables: Approx $70 for all four bottles (4,500/7500 Black/Colour)
- From: Officeworks, Bing Lee, Epson stockists or online
- Warranty: 12-months return to base with added 12-months if registered online
It is quite small and squat at 375 (W) x 347 (D) x 237mm (H) x 5kg. I don’t know if it is just me, but I am tired of ABS black plastic. Sure, it is sturdy and functional but lacks any design flair. Where is the colour – bright red, yellow, lavender – that is what printers need to come into the 21st century.
It is not just EPSON but the lot although I did review a nice clean HP Tango leather-clad printer recently. Any colour you like as long as it is black or off white. Rant over.
It achieves the small footprint by having a rear feed slot for 100 up to A4 page and a pull-out front tray.
It has single-sided print, single-sided scan, copy and fax.
Wi-Fi N 2.4Ghz, Wi-Fi Direct (a device can connect to it), USB 2.0 (Type B connector) and Ethernet.
It supports Epson Connect (Epson Email Print + Epson iPrint), Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.
Setup is easy – done via the 1.44” LCD although I did not see a WPS Wi-Fi option – type in your password using Alpha/numeric keys.
The Wi-Fi network automatically found it you could print from Windows 10 – no drivers needed.
EPSON claim 5/10ppm colour black. So, we printed a five-page document – mostly text, but two had 50% photos in them.
The first page started at under 10 seconds and then the five pages printed in under 60 seconds. The print speed is entirely accurate.
Photo printing was slow – well over four minutes, but that seems typical of most printers.
This is a review unit and had done about 40 pages elsewhere. When I set it up, I printed a test page, and it was ‘shocking’ (see the left image) but I kind of expected that from a printer with the ink installed. To its credit, after three full head cleans and one alignment, the quality came back to what I expect from an inkjet printer.
The moral of this story is that inkjets famously always need cleaning after transport or powering down, so leave the power on for the best print.
Using sponge-like 80gsm Reflex bond the black text is crisp, and colours are solid (no banding) and accurate, but the ink soaks in, so it is not glossy. You would get better results by using a 100gsm (or more) Burrows gloss or matte coated stock ($19.95 per ream versus $5).
We tested a 4×5 photo print, and it was as good as a bought one.
Not stated but I see no issues with 1000 pages (two reams) a month.
Typically, 50-52dB – almost none at idle.
From under 1W idle to 3.4W printing. This is cheap to run.
Scanner – ADF
It is a single-sided Auto document feeder and a flatbed. It uses dual rubber feed rollers (far better than a single roller) and in our tests holds up to 30 sheets. After pressing ‘go,’ it takes about 10 seconds to initialise the scanner head and then scans five pages in 60 seconds.
It has both phone in and out ports so you can connect a handset or answering machine.
It will fax in colour or mono.
At around $17 per bottle (C,M,Y,K) you can get 4500 black at .4 cents a page (that under half a cent) and $70 for 7500 copies for .9 cents a page (still under 1 cent). That is amazing value if you compare that to a standard Epson printer using four #39 (one each C/M/Y/K) that for $70 prints about 500 sheets – 14 cents a copy.
And don’t get me started on other brands that use a tri-colour single cartridge and a black cartridge that can cost $1.25 a page.
You can assume that EPSON apps are as comprehensive as other brands. If you have a specific need look at the EPSON iPrint app here and EPSON Connect app here. It also has voice activation (not tested)
GadgetGuy’s take – EPSON ET4700 is a no-frills, extremely cheap to run MFP
With the caveat that we test over seven days (so we can’t vouch for long term use) we think it is a great little printer, well made and well-featured. If you expect consumer level and home office use, it should work well for years.
Sure, it does not have duplex print or scanning or print from USB (you can do that via a PC), but these things cost more!