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.
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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.