Ep­son EcoTank L355

A printer with no car­tridges? We dis­cover more…

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - Man­u­fac­turer Ep­son, ep­son.co.uk Print­ing res­o­lu­tion 5760x1440 DPI Pages per minute 9 (mono­chrome), 4.5 (colour) Di­men­sions 472x300x145mm Weight 4.4kg Con­nec­tion USB Value for money Limited cloud print­ing

Man­u­fac­tur­ers make a lot of money out of our pen­chant for print­ing, but the new EcoTank range is dif­fer­ent – this all-in-one printer and scan­ner in­cludes a four­tank silo into which you can squirt enough ink for (ac­cord­ing to Ep­son) two years’ worth of print­ing.

Ep­son makes up for the lack of on­go­ing car­tridge sales with a sig­nif­i­cant price pre­mium. The sim­i­lar-look­ing £70 Ep­son Ex­pres­sion Home XP-225 isn’t as good as the L355 when you get deep into the spec sheet, but is sim­i­lar in look and func­tion. The XP-355 – which fea­tures an LCD screen that the L355 doesn’t – is £80. So be­ing gen­er­ous, we’re look­ing at around a £170 price pre­mium for the ink sup­plied with the L355. Is that good value? Us­ing the ISO/IEC 24711 fig­ures quoted by Ep­son, you’ll get up to 6,500 pages from the L355’s 70ml ink tanks, which equates to about 2.6p per page for that ex­tra out­lay.

For the Ex­pres­sion Home XP-322 you’re look­ing at £54 for four XL tanks which, ac­cord­ing to the ISO/ IEC 24711 fig­ures will print 450 pages (12p per page), so al­ready you can see the ex­tra out­lay is worth it. (The equiv­a­lent ink would cost you well over £700!)

Filling the tanks isn’t dif­fi­cult but you do need to squeeze the bot­tle to get the ink into the tank… too hard and you’ll end up, as we did, with ink spit­ting out across the top of the other tanks. Be care­ful!

It’s rel­a­tively easy to set up the printer over Wi-Fi – the soft­ware takes you through the process and au­to­mat­i­cally ac­quires the net­work name and pass­word. How­ever, it falls down a lit­tle when it asks you whether you want to use DHCP to as­sign the IP ad­dress; this is the kind of ter­mi­nol­ogy that most users just don’t want to be bom­barded with. You can use the Ep­son iPrint app, but we’d like to see pro­vi­sion for AirPrint, too.

For us, the key ques­tion is not whether the printer is worth the out­lay – it is – but you def­i­nitely need to be sure you print enough pages to make it worth it for you. If you only print a few hun­dred pages per year, you could be buy­ing a sur­plus of ink that will out­live the printer. Dan Grab­ham

Not the most pol­ished printer around, but, if you print enough, the L355 pro­vides ter­rific value.

Pre­pare for spills when filling the ink tanks from the

four 70ml bot­tles pro­vided.

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