That inkjet printer ink costs more than champagne is the frequent moan of anyone who has to replace their cartridges. Take heart though, as Epson though has launched a range of printers called EcoTank that it claims will help users save 70% on home printing. The five new machines come with what Epson says is enough ink to last the average person two years, and once empty the tanks can be refilled from a bottle instead of being replaced.

Although the EcoTank range does not contain any printers specifically for photographers, the move is promising and may perhaps be adopted at some point for the company’s higher end models. The ET-2500, ET-2550, ET-4500, ET-4550 and ET-14000 use 3 dye-based colors and pigment black inks, and are mostly multifunction home and office devices – though the ET-14000 is print-only and can work with A3+ media. The printers are quite a bit more costly to buy, but Epson claims users will still be better off.

Pricing:

  • ET-2500 - £229.99/$379.99
  • ET-2550 - £229.99/$399.99
  • ET-4500 - £299.99/$429.99
  • ET-4550 - £369.99/$499.99
  • ET-14000 - £499.00

Refill bottles contain 70ml and cost £7.66/$12.99, and there is a larger black bottle available that contains 140ml and costs £10.99. Unfortunately, even at these much reduced costs printer ink is still much more expensive than (normal) champagne. The ET-14000 and the larger black bottle do not appear on the Epson USA website.

For more information see the Epson website.


Press release:

Say goodbye to cartridges with Epson

No need for ink cartridges, 2 years of ink included and ultra-low-cost printing, EcoTank printers are the most economical yet

With two years' worth of ink1 included in the box and no hidden costs, Epson's new EcoTank series of printers break new ground with their ultra-low cost per page and ease of use. Designed for homes, home offices and small offices where low-cost printing is the number one priority, these five new printers use a new design of refillable ink tank that does away with the need for ink cartridges. Even though they focus on low-cost printing, all five models use Epson's Micro Piezo technology for clear, sharp and precise printing.
Simon Hanly, product manager at Epson UK says: “There are no surprises with these new EcoTank printers.

The large amount of ink included with each model means that they will need little attention for the first two years, by which time users will have fallen for their high-capacity and ultra-low cost printing, saving them an average of 70% of their printing costs2. The ET-4550 in particular offers duplex printing and can print up to an impressive 11,000 pages right out of the box. Additional ink bottles are also low cost, so further printing is even cheaper.”

Throughout the EcoTank range there are advanced features including duplex printing, A3 printing, SD card slots, faxing, scanning, Wi-Fi, and LCD screens. The ET-2500 and ET-2550 offer print, copy and scan features, with the ET-4500 adding fax for 4-in-1 capabilities. All three offer up to an impressive 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 pages in colour3. The ET-4550 increases that up to 11,000 pages in black and colour3. It's possible to print wirelessly on all of these printers using the Epson iPrint app for smartphones, while all have Epson Connect support, meaning that they can be used with a range of Epson printing applications for functions such as remote and email printing.

The final model in the EcoTank series is the more specialist ET-14000, which concentrates on low-cost A3 printing, managing an impressive 7,100 pages in black and 5,700 pages in colour3.

The ET-2500, ET-2550, ET-4500, ET-4550 and the ET-14000 are available from September 2015, priced at £229.99, £229.99, £299.99, £369.99 and £499.00 respectively (All GBP Inc. VAT) Additional ink bottles are available, priced at £7.66 and £10.99 for the 140ml Pigment Black.

1 2 years of ink based upon user’s average monthly print volume (TNS Research –June 2013)
2 Average saving for printing the number of pages using the bundled ink bottles with the EcoTank range, including hardware price. Comparison made on the average of the A4 EcoTank range versus the average of the top 10 best-selling models in Western Europe, in the period May 2014 - April 2015, as tracked by GfK. Printing costs calculated on the proportion of Standard and XL cartridges as tracked by GfK for the same reference period for the Western European market, using average retail prices. Ink cartridge yields as communicated by the manufacturer's websites
3 Quoted yields/CPP are extrapolated based on Epson original methodology from the print simulation of Test Patterns provided in ISO/IEC24712. Quoted yields/CPP are NOT based on ISO/IEC24711. Quoted yields/CPP may vary depending on the images that you are printing, the paper type that you are using, the frequency of your prints and environmental conditions such as temperature