An inkjet printer pretending to be a laser
We see lots of stylish, compact printers these days, but the chunky WF-6090DW is the epitome of a bog-standard office laser model. It looks heavy-duty, and it is, but it’s not a laser printer: it ’s an inkjet, using Epson’s ink-tank system to print far more pages per refill. That means less waste and fuss, with lower running costs than a typical laser printer. And Epson promises it ’ll be just as fast – 34 pages per minute (ppm).
The WF-6090DW is not quite cheap or fast enough to persuade us
It disn’t live up to that in our tests, though. Try as we might, even using the unacceptably faint Draft text setting, we couldn’t coax the WF-6090DW to print more than 24 pages in a minute. This fell to 15ppm on our tough color graphics test, and duplex (printing both sides of the paper) slowed it down further . Still, it ’s quick for an inkjet printer.
One advantage it has over most laser printers is that it starts up quickly, so if you print just one or two pages at intervals as well as the bigger jobs it ’s really aimed at, you’ll save some time.
Black text equalled the quality of an average laser printer , though not the best, and we found Epson ’s inks resisted smudging, even when mark ed up with highlighter pens. Photos were slightly grainy but accurate in color and free of banding, and business graphics were solid, although they lacked that laser toner shine.
The supplied inks should last 2,500 black pages and 1,500 color, although as always you’ll get less with heavily filled pages. You can replace each color as required, but a full set of refills costs – you may want to sit down – around £200 for 5,000 pages of black and 4,000 color, or £325 for 10,000/7,000. That’s a big outlay, but cuts your running costs by a third to a half compared with most inkjets.
Despite its size, the WF-6090DW is lighter, quieter and less mechanically aggressive than a laser, making a better neighbor in a small office, although ideally not on the same desk where you work. Epson includes an onsite swap warranty , so if the printer goes wrong within 12 months, someone will come out to replace it. A free offer currently lets you extend this to three years. It ’s worth shopping around for the WF-6090DW: we’ve spotted it for as little as £270 from Amazon sellers. Even so, it ’s not quite cheap or fast enough to persuade us.
4800x1200dpi maximum print resolution • 500-sheet paper tray • Duplex • USB • Gigabit Ethernet • 802.11n Wi-Fi (supports AirPrint) • 404x478x522mm
(HxWxD) • 28kg • One-year warranty
We’re all for ink jet printers getting faster and costing less to run, but this one will only appeal to high-volume users who aren’t in a hurry
Full-width print head gets you 40ppm speeds at similar running costs, scanner included.