Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4595DNF review
Epson's WorkForce Pro range of inkjet printers and multifunction peripherals (MFPs) provides an alternative to a laser device for small and growing businesses. We're big fans of the models we've reviewed previously, which are designed with the features, durability and low running costs that a company needs, but until now the range has only supported host-based printing.
The WP-4595DNF is one of two new models that bring PCL5c, PCL6 and PostScript 3 emulation to the range. It's an MFP supporting duplex (double-sided) printing, scanning, copying and faxing, while the alternative WP-4095DN model caters for those who just need a printer. In most other respects the new models are little different to previous high-end models, which is no bad thing.
This MFP may look bland, but it's built to take the knocks of long-term business use. Plastics are thick, and the various panels and trays are chunky and flex-free. There's a front access hatch for inserting the four large ink tanks, below which is the 150-sheet output tray and the main 250-sheet input tray. At the rear is a second, 80-page input for thick and other special media that, when not in use, folds away with an integral dust lid.
Epson says that the WorkForce Pro range competes with a laser when it comes to running costs and print performance, and the former is demonstrably true. The WP-4595DNF accepts an XXL range of consumables, each of which has a 3,400-page yield. Even allowing for replacing a 50,000-page 'maintenance box', running costs are just a penny per black page, and 3.2p for colour – much lower than a competing colour laser. There are further savings when it comes to power use; we measured a peak of just 28 watts when copying, whereas a comparable colour laser might average several hundred watts.
Things are less clear-cut when it comes to printing. With no fuser to heat up, the Epson's 9-second first page out time is faster than all but the quickest lasers, and is available even when the printer has entered sleep mode. We timed black text at a reasonable 13.3 pages per minute (ppm), but graphics-rich colour pages were slower at just 5.8ppm. In practice, the WP-4595DNF is likely to prove quicker than an equivalent laser for infrequent everyday jobs, but it will lag behind if you mostly print longer graphical jobs such as PowerPoint presentations.
The WP-4595DNF's print quality is generally excellent, producing quality black text and colour graphics on plain paper, with the ability to turn out surprisingly competent photos on coated papers. Its prints do lack the sheen of a laser's toner, however. Copies are equally impressive, thanks in part to a superb scanner that's as good as any we've seen on a business-class device.
The scanner produces excellent quick copies, or you can use the scan interface for more precise jobs
Unfortunately, our one significant criticism of this MFP is a big one: at £360 it's twice the price of the WorkForce Pro WP-4525DNF, which lacks print language emulations but is otherwise practically identical. It's a heavy premium, only worth paying if you really must have page description languages.
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