Inexpensive printer that scans decently

Started Sep 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
jeffsw6
New MemberPosts: 24
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Re: Inexpensive printer that scans decently
In reply to vdubreeze, Sep 20, 2012

I read your message and thought I would mention my experiences with the Epson WorkForce series. I own the WP-4540 and am very pleased with it. In fact, the only document printer I've used which I liked better was an HP Color LaserJet (which I broke, and it was entirely my fault.)

Anyway, the WP-4540 is a two-tray model all-in-one, but there is a less expensive model that only has one paper tray. I bought mine during one of Epson's promotions and saved nearly $100.

This is much more user-friendly than any other "all-in-one" printers I've owned. It seems they have got the software all worked out. The fax and copy work well. To scan, simply load a document, push the scan button on the printer, and it will ask if you want to scan the document to USB or PC (on your LAN) and if you would like a JPG or PDF. Then it just works. If you scan to the PC it even opens up the folder where it stored the file.

One thing, though, the scanner is not what I imagine you would want for scanning photographs or anything else where color/brightness accuracy is very important. I happen to have a drawing I made with pencil on graph paper, so I scanned it using the Epson and uploaded it.

You can see that there are places where the lines on the graph paper appear faded. While I have certainly used the eraser in some places on the original drawing, I didn't use it outside of where I drew anything. So the scanner on the WP-4540 is okay for documents, but I do not imagine it would be very good for photographs.

To continue, this printer has wired LAN, wireless LAN, and USB. I used the wired LAN and it was very easy to configure. Also the software installed easily on my PCs. The Epson software sometimes asks to update the firmware on the printer, and I have allowed it to do so several times without any trouble.

To say I am satisfied with this printer would be an understatement. For its use, as an all-in-one small / home office printer, I think it is a good value. To my surprise, it even seems to be okay on ink. It says I've printed 1840 B&W pages and 470 color, almost all documents. I have used up the initial black cartridge and it appears to indicate 75% remaining in the new black. The colors are still nearly full, but remember that my use is mostly documents. It gave me PLENTY of warning before the black "ran out" and it refused to print any longer, so I had already purchased another. In fact, I printed over 500 pages before it finally ran out -- so I feel no need to keep a spare set of inks on-hand. Also they are stocked at the local office supply store for the same price I could find them online.

This printer is not small. It takes up some desk space. I do a lot of printing on three-hole-punched paper, and if I print more than a few dozen pages at once, I will spend a while lining the pages up before putting them into a binder, because they get pushed around a little on the output holder. The generous paper trays are nice, though; and I would never go back to a printer that only had one input tray.

I've never really used the duplexer, so I can't comment on that.

I hope this helps you make your decision. I am about to do the opposite of you -- I believe I need a photo-quality printer now, in addition to my document printer. I would never expect one printer to do both jobs economically, but I think this 4540 does documents well and cheap.

Finally, this is my very first Epson printer. I've owned some HP and Lexmark and I have to say, I really feel like the Epson software is less hassle. The only printer I liked better from a software-perspective was one that had PostScript, so it did not need any software. And that is the only thing I wish this 4540 had, if it included PostScript, it would be really nice.

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