Inky fingers did not stop our reviewer from testing a new multifunction printer
The Epson ET-2550 is a multi-function printer from the company’s Eco Tank range. Rather than using ink cartridges containing 4ml or 5ml of ink, Eco Tank products use ink supplied from bottles holding 70ml of appropriately coloured ink. These bottles should give the user up to two years of printing activity based on an image rate of 200 pages per month.
Pricewise, Eco Tank can offer a considerable savings with regards to running costs. Whereas each 70ml bottle is priced at £7.99, cartridges, often lasting less than a month, can cost around a pound less. Over a two-year period, the saving should work out in excess of £200. There is a downside, as Eco Tank printers have a price premium.
The ET-2550 is currently priced at £259.69 on Amazon.
The ink tank container is attached to the side of the standard arrangement of an A4 flatbed scanner mounted on top of the inkjet printer. The presence of this ink tank does add to the footprint required by this device. The ET-2550 has dimensions of 489 x 300 x 169mm (W x D x H).
Filling the ink bottles is not as easy as inserting ink cartridges. You could, as I did, finish up with a couple of inky fingers. But even so, the task could hardly be called difficult and it only needs to be carried out every two years or so.
The printer is fed paper from an input slot on the top rear of the unit with printed documents ejected from an opening at the front of the box. In both cases, pull-out support arms are available to help with paper management. An adjustable control panel, located on the front of the printer, features a 3.7cm colour LCD screen providing menu options plus feedback regarding status. Buttons for navigation, home, cancel and start are arranged around the screen. Located in the lower-left corner of the printer is a memory card slot for SD cards.
The ET-2550 is not the quickest device with its initial setup process. Including one occasion taking a full 20 minutes, there are a number of interludes where you’re kept waiting while checks are carried out. A decision will need to be made regarding a wi-fi or USB connection, with the former supporting WPS for an automatic linking.
The software package supplied with the ET-2550 includes drivers for scan and print plus utilities covering network, Net Print and Easy Photo Print. The A4 flatbed scanner delivers a resolution of 1200 x 2400dpi with images sent to a connected computer or the printer in photocopy mode with an A4 monochrome document taking eight seconds to print, while a colour version required 30 seconds.
The print driver offers Fast, Standard and High modes plus an option to use a slider bar to adjust the balance between speed and quality. Fast mode is only really suitable for internal draft documents, but Standard and High modes produce reasonable quality prints.
Offers greater savings the more you use it.