Epson EcoTank ET-2850 put to the test: Print thousands of pages straight out of the box
The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is an update to the Epson ET-2750, and not much has changed. Like its predecessor, the ET-2850 is a multi-function inkjet printer, copier and scanner that stores its ink in tanks that are refilled from bottles and dispenses with single-use plastic cartridges. The result is a printer that is phenomenally cheap to run and comes with enough ink in the box to print literally thousands of pages.
In terms of functions, it is in the middle of the field of Epson ink tanks and therefore has most of the important functions. However, if you have specific needs, you may be missing a few things such as: B. multiple paper trays or a high quality photo print.
Epson EcoTank ET-2850 review: what do you get for the money?
The ET-2850 copies and scans from the flatbed scanner on top of the device and prints from the device below. It doesn’t have a fax mode or an automatic document feeder for the scanner, but for a modest home office it has most of the essentials you need.
The device itself is quite compact at 375 x 347 x 187mm (WDH). A little more space is required at the front so that the output tray can be pulled out, and the scanner lid can be opened on the longest side at the back, so that you also need some space at the back. However, it can rest in an almost vertical position if necessary.
The front control panel has a small 1.5-inch color screen controlled by a series of buttons on the right, and the entire control panel flips up at the top so it can be pulled out for the most convenient angle.
Printouts are produced with a maximum resolution of 5,760 x 1,440 dpi, while the scanner supports resolutions of up to 1,200 x 2,400 ppi. It only has a single paper tray that represents the 100-sheet capacity slot on the back, but it is capable of automatically printing on both sides of a sheet of paper to minimize wasted paper.
In the box you get two bottles of black ink and one bottle each of cyan, magenta and yellow. The supplied black ink is enough for 14,000 pages, the colored ink bottles hold 5,200 pages each – so it takes a long time before you have to refill ink.
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Epson EcoTank ET-2850 in the test: is it easy to use?
If you have a smartphone handy, it is worth using the Epson Smart Panel app to guide you through the setup. The app connects directly to the printer, making it a lot easier to connect the printer to your Wi-Fi network. It also makes sure that you do everything in the correct order, such as: B. Fill the ink tanks before turning on the printer.
The instructions are presented in a conversational format – a bit like a remote session with a support assistant, which is great – and you can scroll through the instructions as needed.
Filling the printer with ink is a relatively foolproof process as the bottle necks are shaped to only fit on the correct tanks. The bottles only empty after they have clicked into place and do not require any further stimulation by squeezing.
After the printer was set up and connected, I was able to print from Windows without installing. However, it can be helpful to install the printer drivers and scanner software to use all of the printing and scanning options. You can also print via USB if you don’t want to use WiFi, but you’ll need to bring your own cable as Epson doesn’t bring a cable.
It is also possible to control the printer via Epsonâs Smart Panel mobile app, which allows you to print photos directly from your smartphone, for example, and bypass the deviceâs control panel to start a copy or scan.
The last option is to simply use the control panel on the front of the machine. The 1.5-inch screen is relatively small, but offers full control over all functions of the ET-2850.
Epson EcoTank ET-2850 review: how fast is it and how much does it cost?
In terms of print speed, the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is a bit mixed up. I found it printed a standard standard quality A4 letter at 9.7 pages per minute (ppm) with the first page failing after 11 seconds. This is a slight improvement over its predecessor, the ET-2750, which produced the same print at a rate of 9.5 pages per minute. It’s about what we’d expect from a four-color ink tank printer, with the Canon Pixma G3051 printing black and white pages only slightly slower.
If you want to print many pages and don’t care about quality, the Epson ET2850’s draft mode is much faster because it outputs the same document at 16.5 pages per minute. Print quality is light and looks pretty rough, but it clearly outperforms the two printers mentioned above.
Color printing slows down to a rate of 2.9 pages per minute on a mixed text and graphic document, although this is still competitive for an ink tank printer. However, printing on photo paper is slow because a 6 by 4 inch photo takes well over 2 minutes and 30 seconds to print.
The Epson ET-2750 made monocopies of A4 documents in 13 seconds and color copies in 34 seconds. The scanning speed to a PC is okay, but it is a bit slower when scanning at higher resolutions.
The printer’s real strength lies in its printing costs. Refill ink comes in large bottles with enough ink to print thousands of pages. This means that the price per page is very low: 0.2p per page for black and white prints and 0.4p per page for color. This makes it one of the cheapest printers ever; It costs roughly the same as Canon’s current ink tank printers.
If you don’t prepay, you can use Epson’s ReadyPrint EcoTank subscription service instead. This means you can get the printer for Â£ 80, which you have to pay for on a monthly basis. There are three subscription levels: 300 prints per month are Â£ 7.99; 500 pages are Â£ 9.99 per month; and unlimited prints are Â£ 14.99 per month.
The 300 and 500 page options aren’t as cheap as printing in your own ink at 2.6 and 2 pages per page, respectively, but that’s still better value than most cartridge printers. The unlimited printing option looks more attractive, but you have to print thousands of pages per month to hit the 0.2p per page cost by simply buying the printer and ink outright.
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Epson EcoTank ET-2850 in the test: How is the print quality?
I was impressed with the quality of the prints the ET-2850 produced. In direct comparison, Epson appears to have made some improvements over the ET-2750, with richer, darker colors in our photo tests. However, it still lags behind six-color ink tank printers like the Canon Pixma G650 and the best cartridge printers like the Canon Pixma TS8350.
When printing normal documents, both black and white and color printouts are clear and sharp. There is some bleeding through on cheap copy paper with double-sided printing, but there is a setting in the printer driver that allows you to change the drying time and reduce the amount of ink that is applied when double-sided printing. This should help you find the best balance depending on the quality of the paper you are using.
Black and white copies were also clear and detailed, but color copies looked like they had lost a touch of richness.
Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Review: Should You Buy One?
If you are looking for an affordable multifunction printer that can print pages and pages at the lowest possible price, the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is a good choice. You could certainly spend less on a cartridge-based printer, but investing in an ink tank printer like this will save you later expenses.
Indeed, with enough ink to print thousands of pages in the box, it should be some time before you have to spend additional money on anything other than paper.
For those who want to stick with ink tanks but want to get the most out of photos, you’re better off with the Canon Pixma G650, which uses six inks instead of the four on the ET-2850. This provides richer prints on photo paper, but the running costs of color printing are higher as a result.
If you prefer a printer that can output pages faster, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e with print speeds of over 20 pages per minute is the right device for you. The cost is higher because it uses cartridges, but you can get cheaper prints by using HP’s subscription service.