New Epson all-in-one puts an end to expensive ink

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New Epson all-in-one puts an end to expensive ink

Epson's new home office inkjet all-in-one "never" needs replacement ink cartridges. Of course, that's marketing-speak and the reality is subtly different...

The new Epson WorkForce ET-4550 all-in-one has eliminated those expensive ink cartridges in favour of large ink tanks that can be refilled from inexpensive bottles of ink.

There's enough ink included with the $699 ET-4550 to print 11,000 pages in black and 8500 in colour, according to Epson, which estimates this would last about two years.

Replacement bottles of ink have nominal yields of 6000 pages for black ($24.99), and 8,500 pages for colour ($16.99 each).

It's not a cheap device, and you can find other models with broadly similar specifications for less that half as much. But to print that many pages you could spend well over $1000 on ink cartridges. If you make very light use of a printer, the traditional cartridge approach may offer better value thanks to the low upfront cost, and Epson has not left that part of the market.

This is a print/copy/scan/fax multifunction, so most bases are covered except that computer-based faxing only works with Windows.

Ethernet and Wi-Fi (802.11n) interfaces are standard, with Wi-Fi Direct so the ET-4550 can run its own wireless network independent of your router. It supports AirPrint for iOS devices, as well as Google Cloud Print and Epson's apps for iOS and Android.

An automatic document feeder makes longer scanning, copying and faxing jobs less of a chore (like other recent MFDs, the ET-4550 has a scan-to-cloud capability), and automatic double-sided printing helps save paper, further reducing running costs.

The ET-4550 is only available from Harvey Norman.


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