Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4595DNF review
Cheaper to buy and run than a colour laser MFP, but print speeds are slow and output quality is average
Review Date: 2 Oct 2012
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £315 (£378 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Epson's latest inkjet all-in-one may look like a laser, but it's actually an inkjet in disguise. The aim is to offer lower running costs to workgroups needing to print in colour, and on this front the WorkForce Pro WP-4595DNF appears to have succeeded.
Its extra high-capacity cartridges deliver mono and colour pages for only 0.8p and 3.4p, much lower than the A-Listed HP LaserJet Pro 400 MFP M475dw, whose prints cost 2p per mono and 12p per colour page.
It also claims an 80% reduction in power usage over lasers. With no fusers to suck up the juice, we didn't expect this to be a problem, and so it proved: our power meter recorded only 24W when printing and 6W while idle. The quoted print 26ppm and 24ppm speeds (for mono and colour respectively) look good for an inkjet, too, but we couldnÕt get close to them. A simple ten-page mono Word document printed in 'economy' mode returned 14.5ppm, which dropped to 2.2ppm for fine and only 1ppm in high quality.
Colour prints fared even worse: our challenging 24-page DTP document returned 10.5ppm in 'fast' mode and a sluggish 0.8ppm while printing in the highest quality mode. Naturally, this indolence hits copy speeds with a ten-page test print scanned and copied in standard quality at 6ppm.
Print quality isn't up with Epson's photo printers, but it's good enough for business use. Our test prints revealed smooth colour fades with no stepping, and banding was virtually non-existent. Unlike the Ricoh Aficio gel printer, graphics and photos printed on plain paper dried quickly and didn't suffer from wrinkling.
Text was pin-sharp even with the driver set to 'standard' quality, although the printer couldn't handle the 0.1pt and 0.2pt gaps in our colour performance chart. We used the rear MFP tray to print on glossy photo paper and found the default driver settings produced prints with too much contrast, reducing the level of detail.
The printer's scan, copy and fax functions are simple to use from the front panel. With Epson's software tools loaded on a Windows 7 client, we also found these functions could be easily accessed over the network from our desktop. For fax operations you can maintain a local phone book and create a separate speed-dial list. This can be uploaded to the printer and accessed from the dedicated speed-dial button on the front panel. The printer's web interface is minimalist, but it does provide a handy registration tool for Google Cloud Print. We had no problems with this when printing from Google Chrome.
The cloud features don't end there, though. Remote users can also email print jobs as attachments to the printer. After registering with the Epson Connect service, we were provided with a unique email address for the printer, and from the web portal we could create approved sender lists and decide whether they could print on photo paper.
Walk-up features are more limited: you can't scan to FTP, and although documents can be scanned to a USB stick loaded in the front port, you can't print files from that stick. The printer can scan to email, but doesn't send them directly to a mail server. Instead, it sends them to a PC running the Epson software, which loads its own email client, creates a new message and attaches the scanned file.
Running costs for this inkjet all-in-one are much lower than lasers, but its print speeds make it suited to offices with only an occasional need for colour. If demand is much higher, we recommend the A-Listed HP LaserJet M475dw since this delivers faster speeds, top quality and an abundance of printing features.
Author: Dave Mitchell
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