Epson WorkForce WF-3530DTWF review

10 Jun 2013

A feature-packed office workhorse that sacrifices quality for low running costs and speed

Price when reviewed: 
112(£112 inc VAT)
5

Epson’s giant WorkForce WF-3530DTWF looks every inch the business printer. The sturdy chassis has room for dual paper trays, each capable of holding 250 sheets.

There’s a built-in fax modem, Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, automatic duplexing and a 30-sheet ADF. The only thing lacking is a touchscreen, which makes navigating the menus and entering wireless keys a bit of a faff. The 6.3cm colour LCD is clear and bright, however.

The Epson claims to rival laser devices for both running costs and speed. Affordable high-yield ink cartridges take care of the former claim, providing mono prints for 2p – less than even the most affordable laser printers we've seen. At 7.1p, colour prints are also competitive, but 6 x 4in photos cost a pricey 20p each.

Epson WorkForce WF-3530DTWF

Not surprisingly, quality takes a back seat in favour of speed. Draft prints emerged at a nippy 18.8ppm, but the results were akin to that of an aged dot-matrix printer. Upping quality to normal settings improved matters, but output dropped to 14.6ppm, and still lacked clarity.

Copying is spritely, with acceptable draft-quality copies flung out in nine seconds, but scanning is the Epson’s strongest suit. Here it combines speed and quality, with 200ppi colour A4 scans taking only 16 seconds each.

As you might expect, photo printing isn’t one of the Epson’s hidden talents. Contrast is good, but prints lack the rich colours of the best consumer inkjets, and a thick grain obscures fine detail. Prints are slow, too, with 6 x 4in photos taking 2mins 9secs.

It’s no photo specialist, and it can’t produce the best-quality documents, but the WorkForce WF-3530DTWF’s priorities lie elsewhere. It’s quick, feature-packed and running costs are low. That makes the Epson a great choice for a small office.

Details

Price ex VAT £93
Price inc VAT £112
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 5
Speed rating 4

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 5760 x 1440dpi
Integrated TFT screen? yes
Rated/quoted print speed 38PPM
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function yes

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page 2.0p
Cost per A4 colour page 7.1p

Power and noise

Dimensions 449 x 427 x 308mm (WDH)

Media Handling

Input tray capacity 500 sheets

Connectivity

USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? yes
Bluetooth connection? no
Other connections RJ11

Flash media

SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
Other memory media support MMC

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported? yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported? yes
Other operating system support Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.4.11+
Software supplied EpsonNet Config, Photo Printing Software