Epson Ramps Up EcoTank Printer Positives
As part of a global effort to be pro-active about climate change issues, Epson has launched a new range of EcoTank inkjet printers. Epson is promoting the lower energy requirements of inkjet printers in general (compared to laser-type models) and the reduced wastage associated with the EcoTank printers in particular. Epson’s EcoTank printers use refillable ink reservoirs rather than disposable cartridges, and the company has developed the technology to now include photo models.
While the printers themselves are more expensive to purchase initially, the long-term savings on ink costs are significant. The new EcoTank Photo ET-8500 and ET-8550 use a six-colour ink set and can print up to 2,300 postcard-size photo prints or 6,200 colour document pages on one set of ink bottles. An estimate of the cost-per-print reduction (for a 4x6-inch postcard print) is from 40 cents to just four cents.
The ET-8500 is an A4 format model and the ET-8550 prints up to A3+ size. Both use the Epson Claria ET Premium and the six colours are cyan, magenta, yellow, dye black (for document printing), pigment black (for photo prints) and photo grey that's designed to give smoother tonal gradations when printing in B&W. Except for the photo black ink, all the others are dye-based inks. Epson claims a 300-year life for the prints provided they’re stored in an album. The new 552 series inks are supplied in 70ml bottles.
Epson estimates that the supplied set of ink bottles is the equivalent of 185 individual cartridges. The new generation of ‘Auto Stop’ ink bottles are designed to make for easier refilling of the printer’s tanks (previously a task with the potential for messy spillages). Both the new EcoTank Photo models allow for borderless printing at their maximum sheet sizes and can accept fine-art media up to 1.3mm in thickness. You can also print on DVDs and CDs.
Interestingly, both models are multifunctional rather than being dedicated photo printers only, so they incorporate a flatbed scanner (sized at 21.5x35.5 cm for the ET-8550) and a photocopier. Other features include a 10.9cm colour touchscreen control panel, built-in SD card reader, USB port, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet connectivity.
The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 sells for $999 and the ET-8550 for $1,149. The
552 series replacement bottles are priced at $29.99 each, but it’ll likely be a long time before you need a new set.