Review: Epson WorkForce WF-7015

Never thought an inkjet printer could replace a laser printer in terms of performance and comfort. After having worked with an Epson WorkForce WF-7015 for a week I’ve changed my mind about inkjet printers. They’re almost as good as laser printers for office work. Almost.

The Epson WF-7015 is an A3 printer. It has 4 ink cartridges — it’s a colour printer. The inks are DuraBrite Ultra inks, and they’re known for their vivid quality and good light fastness. The WF-7015 has WiFi built-in, but also comes with a USB and Ethernet interface. It can handle 500 sheets of 80g paper divided over two paper cassettes. It’s black and not very big for an A3 printer.

IT Enquirer rating

9.5/10
URL: epson.com

Pros
  • performance
  • design
  • yield of ink cartridges
  • bright colours
Cons
  • highlighting does make the ink run out a little bit/li>
Price (approx.): €199.00

After having used a HP LaserJet 2200DTN monochrome printer for the past 10 years, I was all set to find the WF-7015 under-performing. After all, inkjets are for photo printing, not office documents at full speed. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The WF-7015 is superior in the following areas:

  • Sound levels. The WF-7015 is quiet, even when I don’t activate “Quiet Mode”.
  • Printing speed. The Epson printer can print at roughly 30 pages per minute in draft mode. The HP had a maximum of 22 pages. Granted, there are faster laser printers, but they’re monochrome.
  • Colour. I never missed it, but now that I have it, I can see why people can’t live without. It’s true: colour makes it easier to understand a document’s content.
  • A3. The bigger, the better. Tabular data looks much better when you can actually read the figures.
  • No ozone. Better for your health.
  • Power consumption. The HP LaserJet consumed over 100 Watts when printing and 20 W in idle mode. The Epson’s maximum power consumption is 20 Watts, with 4 W in idle mode.

There are disadvantages too:

  • Draft mode. It depends on the document type whether you can read it or not.
  • Speed. Of course it’s slower in Normal mode than my LaserJet. But it’s not slower than an average colour laser printer.
  • Stamina. Monochrome laser costs less and goes a long way. The extra large ink cartridges are good for about 900 pages. They cost 24.00 Euros per cartridge. I doubt if it’s much more expensive than colour laser toner, though.

If you’re a paper and ink guzzler like myself — I have had the printer for a week and already printed 500 sheets — you’ll find that Epson’s yield reports are spot-on. In my case, the yield of the included cartridge was even slightly better than what I could expect. I managed to print 400 pages with the black cartridge, while the first cartridge you install always serves to prime the print heads, thereby losing some ink and page capacity as a result.

I did a calculation based on my normal printing pattern (approx. 700 pages per month; most of them user guides) and the cost for ink versus laser toner was about 12 Euros higher per 1000 sheets.

The Epson WF-7015 has four individual colour cartridges, which is preferable above the one-in-all approach some inkjet printer manufacturers seem to like more. Cartridges that hold the three colours in one filling will make you spill ink. It’s unavoidable. My own tests revealed I was consuming magenta at a rate of 3 to 1 compared with cyan and 5 to 1 compared with yellow.

With the WF-7015 that doesn’t matter, as I can replace colour cartridges individually — as they become empty.

Much contrary to my initial beliefs and ideas, I’ve been positively surprised by this Epson inkjet printer. Certainly after reading several horror stories about the current flock of monochrome HP laser printers, I am won over by the WF-7015.

Comments

  1. Donna says

    I just bought this printer so I could print out some scrapbook papers, got it all set up, it printed it’s test print page and that was the end of printing…..since then all it’s done is say it has a paper jam of which I only put in three pieces to begin with, and there are still three sheets in there, no mater what I try, it will not print as it just remains at paper jam and there is NO PAPER JAM. Very frustrating and as it was a bank holiday weekend, NO HELP whatsoever. First Epson I’ve not been happy with.

      • Donna says

        yes as it turns out it was a DOA, and after spending half an hour chatting to an Epson advisor he advised me to contact the retailer and have it exchanged which I did, and I must say they were far more courteous than the eejit I got to speak to from Epson.
        Anyhow got the replacement and so far so good.

  2. says

    Thank you for the nice review. I am also going to buy this printer and your review helped a lot. Have you ever printed photos on photopaper? HINT: And of course the cost of printing can be reduced a lot. I have never printed with anything other than a CISS on my previous inkjets, never even installed the original cartridges.

    • Erik Vlietinck says

      No, Sergey, I haven’t printed photos with it. For IT Enquirer I tend to keep reviews “clean”, meaning that if Epson thinks this is an office printer, I review it as such. This prevents a manufacturer arguing test results on the basis that one is testing the device for purposes which it isn’t intended for.

      With regards to CISS; more or less same argument. A serious reviewer/analyst will never test and opine based on usage scenarios the manufacturer doesn’t support. Additionally, most businesses users will not involve in the replacement of the ink cartridges with third party bottles for a number of reasons. The first undoubtedly being that in many countries they can deduct running costs from their taxes, and the more expensive the ink, the higher the deduction rate. Other reasons may include guarantee and the mess ink replacement with unsupported systems may involve.

      Having said that, I did search for CISS systems for this particular printer and haven’t found any, but I did not search for it extensively. Finally, my personal take on this is that there are better inks (Epson’s own UltraChrome for example) to print photos with better gradients, better longevity, etc. Unfortunately, you can’t use UltraChrome inks with these office printers, but would need a dedicated photo printer for that.

      • kkc says

        You can get CISS for this printer on ebay – atleast you can on ebay.co.uk and this should be fine if the printer is bought in Europe. Not sure about North America – the chips may be different. Just bear in mind that CISS inks tend to be dye based i.e. water based so they can smudge and the colour does not dry rapidly – important if you will be printing heavy images or double sided.

        Whilst I like this printer design a lot, I decided not to buy it because I need to print business cards and as such, I miss not have a straight paper path.

        Erik, can you tell if it’s possible to print straight i.e. paper in from the top tray and out at the back with the flap that one normally opens for removing jams in an open position? This would be an interesting test … I think…!! Cheers. btw, I really appreciate your review – thanks.

      • Erik Vlietinck says

        As I said in a reply to another comment: there’s no straight path, but as one of the other people pointed out: you can use up to 255grams paper with it.

  3. kkc says

    Hello Erik

    Thanks for the review. I’d like to buy this model and wonder if you can help with a question. I plan on printing on card stock too… does this printer have a straight paper path … i’e. take paper in from the front and the printed sheet pops up at the back rather than doubling back to exit at the front?

    Thanks, kkc.

    • Erik Vlietinck says

      I’m afraid it doesn’t have a straight paper path, no. I’ve tried printing on 120gr A4, and that was not a problem, but I’m not sure if that is the limit. Epson doesn’t say on its technical page…

      • kkc says

        hey.. thanks for the fast response. I just chatted with an epson rep and he stated that the max weight is 255gsm (epson genuine media….!!!); no straight paper feed or MP Tray.

      • Erik Vlietinck says

        My local Epson office — a sales office only; perhaps that explains a lot — hasn’t answered any of my questions, including the weight issue. Great that you managed to find someone who took his/her job seriously… And thanks for sharing!