This printer’s predecessor, the ET -2500, looked as if its big selling point – four refillable reservoirs of color – had been stuck on the side as an afterthought. Now Epson has redesigned this printer/ scanner/copier to integrate the ink tank system more neatly (see ringed area in main image). Read our Epson EcoTank ET-2600 Review.
Compared with the hassle and expense of installing new cartridges every few weeks, the concept is very appealing.
Epson has solved the cartridge problem with a printer that is compromised in other respects and costs a lot more up front
Instead of having to decide how patchy you let printed pages become before you give up and replace a color, here you can see how much ink is left. For about a tenner you can buy a new bottle of any of Text looked crisp, although it could have been a little blacker on the default setting, and color business graphics were solid and vibrant. Photos didn’t look great, but few color laser printers excel here. At 16.4 pages per minute (ppm) in black or 10 ppm in color, this isn’t an especially fast printer for its price bracket, but if speed isn’t your priority you might like the Quiet mode, which slows it even further to avoid noise. It ’s still faster than most inkjets.
Running costs work out at about 7.6p per color page and 1.3p for mono, and you can save more using the Eco mode, which came out noticeably faint. Those are reasonable costs, but a full set of toners. Unless you really need the volume , speed and solid colors of an office laser printer , an inkjet will be the better choice for most users.
The four inks that should last – wait for it – 7,500 pages (4,500 for black).
As always, the industry definition of a page assumes there’s not much on it, but even so, Epson ’s guess that this could last you a couple of years isn’t unreasonable. And the printer arrives nearly full, offsetting its high price.
Is there a catch? Well, several. Filling the tanks is potentially messy, and the printer needs 20 minutes to restart afterwards. At just under 10 pages per minute (ppm) for black and less than half that speed for color, this isn’t a very fast printer , and output is on the fuzzy side, although photos on glossy paper looked OK.
The scanner is decent, but has no automatic feeder , and the print feed mechanism is clunky . And while Wi-Fi is built in, it only works with Epson’s iPrint app and Connect service, not directly via Apple AirPrint or Mopria (for Android).
With AirPrint and an ADF for quick scanning, this isn’t too pricey to run and costs a lot less to buy, with good print quality