There are many ways to make printing more environmentally friendly, including using recycled paper or printing double-sided. Epson have introduced a way to make the ink more eco-friendly now using the Epson ET-2600 Ecotank All-in-One WiFi Printer. It’s a device that can print, copy and scan using bottles of ink rather than less efficient cartridges. I was given the chance to try one for myself.
This printer’s unique selling point is that it is super-efficient and environmentally friendly. Two years of ink can be stored in the tank and will print up to 4,500 pages of black and 7,500 pages of colour. Since you re-stock the ink less, Epson claim that you will save up to 74% on printing costs. You print using Wi-Fi and apps, so it’s possible to print from a mobile device as well as your laptop or desktop computer. It’s also going to save on space since it’s a printer, copier and scanner in one piece of equipment.
It’s a fairly compact printer, measuring 30.4 x 44.5 x 16.9 cm and weighing just over 4kg. The paper loads from the back and prints from the front and all the controls are at the front of the device. It connects to the mains and the cable is fairly short so it has to be close to the socket or to an adaptor. The ink loads from the side and the printer comes with four bottles of various colours, namely black, cyan, yellow and magenta. It’s stylish in appearance and stores the ink discreetly in four tanks at the side of the printer. It’s impressive that these small tanks can hold two years of ink. The ink only costs around £20 for a pack of five bottles, with four different colours including two bottles of black.
It takes around an hour to set up all in, since it involves unpacking, loading the ink and installing the software. The ink loading itself takes a while but if it only happens once every two years it’s worth it. Then it takes around 20 minutes for the printer to get the ink ready. Meanwhile you can install the software, which is easy enough. The paperwork you get with the CD contains a QR code you can use to download the app to your phone or tablet and it is available in iOS and Android.
The really great thing is that this printer connects using Wi-Fi but if your Wi-Fi connection is unreliable or just not working for some reason, you can use a USB connection as a backup.
Once setup is complete, usage is simple. The print quality is outstanding. It takes A4 paper and the specification states that it prints around ten pages per minute if you print black only and in colour that halves to around five pages per minute. I found that to be quite accurate. The copy feature provides accurate reproductions and neither the copies nor the prints are prone to smudging. The scan feature also provides exceptional accuracy.
This is a device I would definitely invest in since it would drastically cut printing costs. Purchasing two years of ink for £19.99 really appeals to me and although it can get messy and laborious to fill the tanks, the same can happen with cartridges that are more expensive and have to be replaced far more often.