Earlier in 2021, EPSON launched the Professional Range of Eco Tank printers that showed just how much sense reversing the common logic to printer toner ink made. The quality of the prints was amazing and many of us in the room that day asked “…when can we get Eco Tank for the home?”

The Gospel of Matthew in the Bible states; “Ask and ye shall receive…” and indeed we did with EPSON this month launching ten Eco Tank printers ranging from a small unit for the kids to have on their desk at home, right up to a small office workhorse with a document feeder, Ethernet and WiFi connectivity, and ink capacity for up to 14,000 blank and white pages and 5,200 full-colour pages.

We’ve been testing the EcoTank ET-2850 unit which sits in the middle of the range with an impressive list of features and a price tag of $499.

  • Print / Copy / Scan
  • Wireless and Wi-Fi Direct®
  • Enough Ink to Print up to 6,500 pages black / 5,200 colour
  • 1.44″ Colour LCD
  • Auto 2-sided printing
  • Borderless A4 printing
  • 100 sheet capacity

I was keen to try to the new home/office Eco Tank printers after the pin-sharp results I saw with the Professional range earlier in the year. My wife is an interior designer and she has spent many hours and thousands of dollars looking for printers that can deliver high-quality prints that help her clients visualise the spectacular results of her vision for their home.

The ET-2850 also includes a full-size flat-bed scanner which is great for the occasional scan of a document or photo. If you’re looking for Auto Document Feeder (ADF) features then you need to go a little further up the Eco Tank range.

Unboxing & Setting Up

Like most printers today, the unboxing is fairly uneventful. Unlike most printers, however, the EPSON ET-2850 (and the whole range for that matter) is now configured using the new EPSON Smart Panel app.

The Smart Panel app replaces touch-screen panels on the printer and provides a wide range of features such as product set-up, WiFi configuration, and printing from your device. The app is available for both iOS and Android.

Where EPSON has been very clever with the Smart Panel app is in the printer set-up. Each step is prompted like a chat session (see above) and you know exactly what step the printer is on and what’s coming next. Setting up the WiFi connection is so much easier if you have a password littered with upper and lower case numbers and special characters.

Topping Up The Ink

Whilst the Professional range of Eco Tank printers come with up to six ink colours, the new Home/Office ET range comes with just four.

The process of topping up the ink tanks is a doddle. Simply open the top of the printer, flip open the top of the tank cover and the top of each of the four tanks is right there. Each blue ‘lid’ exposes a nozzle that the Eco Tank bottles invert onto. An automatic valve in the top of the bottle ensures no mess and no fuss. All you need to do is remove the bottle as the ink approaches the top of the tank window for each colour – a super-easy way to stay on top of your ink levels!

The Moment of Truth – How Does it Print?

The first thing you notice about the Eco Tank printers is that the quality of the paper greatly improves the quality of the print. The second is that the ‘lines’ that are usually associated with ink-jet style printers are a thing of the past with the new Eco Tank range from EPSON.

I always find that printing anything with a shiny, mirror-like surface – such as a nickel door handle – is a good test of any printer. So too is timber flooring – you need to see the grain – as well as marble in a bathroom.

The ET-2850 passes this test with flying colours!

As you can see from these photos of a print out on plain A4 paper, the door handle, and the timber flooring photos are reproduced extremely well. Being able to see the pattern in the marble as well as the grout is a big step-up from traditional ink-jet printing.

The ET-2850 printer is not built for speed – but that’s OK, this is a quality performer. 10 pages per minute (B&W) and 5 pages per minute (Colour) are not shabby for the home. The top of the range Eco Tank printer by comparison does 15.5 and 8.5 ppm respectively.

Pricing is very competitive too. Starting at $299 for the ET-1110 and going all the way up to $649 for the ET-4850.

However, it’s the consumables where the Eco Tank ranges really come into its own. The bottles contain enough ink for thousands of pages which in turn translates to over 160 cartridges for the ET-2850. That reduction in hard plastic is better for the environment and your wallet. The larger Black bottle is just $29.99 and the smaller Yellow, Magenta, and Blue bottles cost $14.99.

Specifications

PRICE$499 from JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys
DIMENSIONSPrinting: 375mm x 567mm x 259mm (W x D x H)
Storage: 375mm x 347mm x 187mm (W x D x H)

WEIGHT
5.5kg
MAXIMUM PRINT RESOLUTION5,760 x 1,440 dpi
ISO PRINT SPEEDBlack: 10.5 ISO ppm1
Colour: 5 ISO ppm1
AUTO 2-SIDED ISO PRINT SPEEDBlack: 6 ISO ppm1
Colour: 4 ISO ppm1
MINIMUM INK DROPLET SIZEAs small as 3 picoliters
PRINTING TECHNOLOGY4-Colour (CMYK), drop-on demand MicroPiezo® inkjet technology
CONNECTIVITYHi-Speed USB
Wireless (802.11 b/g/n)6
Wi-Fi Direct6
PAPER SIZESLegal, Letter, 8.5″ x 13″, A4, B5, A5, A6, B6, user definable (182mm x 257mm – 215.9mm x 297mm”)
MAXIMUM PAPER SIZES215.9mm x 355.6mm
PAPER TYPESPlain Paper
Photo Quality Inkjet Paper
Epson Matte Paper
Epson Glossy Photo Paper
INPUT PAPER CAPACITY100 sheets

Notes

1 Black and colour print speeds are measured in accordance with ISO/IEC 24734. Actual print times will vary based on system configuration, software, and page complexity. For more information, visit www.epson.com/iso-print-speeds

6 Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™; level of performance subject to the range of the router being used. Wi-Fi Direct may require printer software.