Epson has been marketing its WorkForce business inkjet range as a serious alternative to the colour laser printer for some time and with a certain amount of success. Durable and cheap to run, the WorkForce inkjets have overcome some of the traditional disadvantages of inkjet printers to give smaller businesses a genuine alternative to laser printers. Now, that choice has been extended to include mono, as well as colour, printers.
One of the inkjet's traditional advantages is its ability to produce high quality colour images and graphics, so robbing it of one of its main weapons seems a little bizarre. The rule of thumb has always been that inkjets are for better high-end images whereas laser printers are better for text and large print volumes.
What, then, is the point of a mono inkjet printer – an inkjet printer that can't do the one thing that inkjet printers are good at? Well, quite a lot according to Epson. For a start, the ink cartridge will print up to 10,000 pages at 5% coverage. No, that’s not a typo. 10,000 pages. From an ink cartridge. At just over £100 inc VAT, you don't need a calculator to work out that that equates to 1p per page – slightly less than the 1.08p you get using the OKI B440’s 12,000 page toner.
The high capacity cartridge also means that you can comfortably print large volumes without having to worry about constantly changing the inks – something that would be unthinkable with most other inkjet devices. Unlike laser devices, inkjet printers don't require high temperatures to bond the ink to the paper, greatly reducing energy consumption and further reducing running costs. Without bulky fusers and photoconductors, the mono WorkForce printers have space for a generous 330-sheet paper capacity, further enhancing their claim to be volume printers. Epson also claims that the text output from the new WorkForce printers is as good as that from a laser printer so, it seems, there's no reason not to buy one.
There are three models to choose from – the single function WP-M4015DN and WP-M4095DN and the 3-in-1 WP-M4525DNF. All three machines will print at up to 26ppm in draft mode and come with duplex print and network connectivity as standard. The 4095DN and 4525DNF also feature PostScript 3 emulation and the 4525DNF has built-in copy and scan functions. Cloud Printing capability also comes as standard via Epson Connect and Epson's mobile printing app, Epson iPrint, enables wireless printing from a smartphone or tablet PC.
Do you think that your office would benefit from a mono Epson WorkForce? Check out the product pages, give us a call or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Anthony Morgan