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Epson EcoTank WF-4550 Printer Review

epson workforce printer reviewBack in August, Epson made headlines by introducing new printers that have extra large ink capacities which can keep an average user printing without trouble for up to two years. As we noted then, they have taken what had become the standard model of printing with cartridges purchased as needed and for what some might consider high prices. Previously, we looked at one of the lower-priced new units, the Epson EcoTank T2550. Today we’ll explore the flagship unit of the series, the WorkForce ET-4550. It is a 4-in-1 unit with the ability to print, scan, copy, and fax in one. Reasonably compact considering its functionality, it measures a maximum of 20.3" x 22.0" x 9.5" (W x D x H) and weights under 17lbs. It features a 2.2" LCD interface for using the printer’s various menus and features.

Among the best features undoubtedly is the bevy of wireless and mobile printing options available to users. Standard connectivity includes USB connectivity, Ethernet, Wi-Fi. Additionally, users can take advantage of Wi-Fi Direct connections for mobile devices which allow the two to communicate without the use of a router. As an Epson product, the ET-4550 works with Epson’s own native mobile printing suite, Epson Connect, which includes Epson Email Print, Epson iPrint, and Epson Remote Print. Other compatible solutions include Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, printing from Kindle Fire tablets, and Mopria print service. All of these work in concert to provide the same level of printing from virtually anywhere a user or the printer may be located.

Paper handling on this unit is about average to slightly above when you factor out the amount you will spend on ink if it would not last as long. The setup allows for up to 150 sheets of plain paper to be loaded at any one time. Alternatively, users could put in 10 envelopes or up to 20 sheets of photo paper. Automatic two-sided printing is also included as is a 30-sheet capacity automatic document feeder for unattended scanning, faxing, and copying. The Precision Core printhead allows for extremely accurate placement of ink droplets, resulting in crisp output each and every time. The maximum monthly duty cycle is rated for up to 3,000 pages each month and recommended volume is up to 800 pages.

As is noted above, one of the biggest potential benefits of the ET-4550 is the ink itself. With up to two years of ink for each of the four standard colors—black, cyan, magenta, and yellow included, the user is eating the cost up front with the list price of the unit. Instead of having to replace individual cartridges when the ink runs out, users will have to add ink to the tanks which are located under a cover on the right side of the printer. According to Epson, the ink included is enough to print up to 11,000 black pages and up to 8,500 color pages before any new ink has to be ordered.

The Epson WorkForce ET-4550 is currently available from the company for$499.99 as well as Amazon via the link on the top left. For more information on the unit, visit the product page on the Epson website.

About William Elward

Founder of Castle Ink, William Elward has 20 years experience in the printer industry. He's been featured on CNN Money, Yahoo, PC World, Computer World, and other top publications and frequently blogs about printers and ink cartridges. He's an expert at diagnosing printer issues and has published guides to fixing common printer issues across the internet. A graduate of Bryant University and Columbia's Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program, he's held various leadership positions at The College Board, Bankrate, Zocdoc, and Everyday Health. Follow him on Twitter at William Elward's Twitter Profile