Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4535 DWF review
16ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 801.11n wireless, 341x460x420mm
Epson's new WorkForce Pro WP-4535 doesn't simply look like a laser printer - it's built to perform like one, too. It has a full set of business-friendly features including a scanner, fax and copier. In our tests, it produced a mono text document at 15.5ppm and a heavily illustrated colour business document at 6.1ppm. This slowed to 3.2ppm when we enabled duplex printing - still faster than most comparably priced inkjet or laser printers can produce one-sided colour documents.
The second of Epson's claims for this laser-equivalent is that you can expect laser-like sharpness and colour, even on double-sided prints. Text and colour looked stunning even on poor-quality 75gsm paper stock. However, if you use cheap, thin paper, prints will inevitably suffer from wrinkling in areas - such as images - where lots of ink is laid down. For top-quality presentation documents, we prefer 100gsm paper for heavily illustrated colour, particularly if you're going to print on both sides of the paper.
The printer has an automatic duplexer and duplex ADF scanner, so you can scan, print and copy two-sided documents with ease. There are also two 150-sheet paper trays and a PictBridge port that allows you to scan to and print from USB flash drives. A 2.5in colour screen makes it easy to configure settings, send faxes and scan to a variety of locations including a connected PC or via email.
Scan quality from the 4,800x1,200dpi CIS scanner is remarkably good, with excellent colour reproduction and plenty of fine detail. Copy quality is similarly excellent for both colour and mono copes. Better yet, a mono A4 copy takes just ten seconds.
As this is a business printer, it's not entirely surprising that it doesn't have a borderless photo printing option. Despite this, it can handle photo paper if you use the rear tray, and the photos it turns out are decent, even though it uses pigmented ink. We noticed a slight pink tint in pale areas and bright colours were a little less vivid than usual, but we were generally satisfied. It's no substitute for a dedicated photo printer, but if you need to print off a glossy snap in a hurry, it's up to the task.
The WP-4535 is designed with small businesses in mind but, with a 20,000 page maximum duty cycle, it could also serve as a workgroup printer. This model also has integrated Wi-Fi, as well as USB and Ethernet ports. All available cartridges have huge page yields, including the 'Big Ben' versions that come with the printer and last for 1,200 black pages and 800 pages for each colour. Although Epson's cartridges have model numbers, they're easily identified by the picture on the boxes of each range. We recommend using the higher yield Eiffel Tower range, which produces 2,400 black pages and 2,000 pages of each colour. It's these we've used to calculate the WP-4530's print costs, which work out at 1p per mono page and 4.2p per page of mixed black and colour printing. These are some of the lowest print costs you'll get from any MFP, no matter whether inkjet or laser.
The WP-4535 is Epson's most attractive and capable business inkjet yet. It's fast, cheap to run and packed with features. At £260, it may cost nearly as much as a similarly specified colour laser printer, but costs significantly less to run. It wins a Business Buy award.