Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4595DNF review

An excellent business multifunction, but its support for print languages adds hugely to the price

19 May 2012
Our Rating 
3/5
Price when reviewed 
359.64
inc VAT

Specifications

26ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 341x460x420mm

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.

Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4595DNF

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.

Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4595DNF

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.

WP-4595DNF scan interface

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.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Maximum native print resolution 4,800x1,200dpi
Max optical resolution 1,200dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 26ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 24ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 5m 4s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 6m 45s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 10/100 Ethernet
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 341x460x420mm
Weight 13.8kg
Noise (in normal use) 48dB(A)
Duty cycle 30,000 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal, custom length up to 1,117mm
Maximum paper weight 256gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 330
Maximum paper inputs 3
Maximum paper input capacity 580
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes

General

Printer technology piezo inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista/7, Windows Server 2003/2008, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Other inkjet features 6.3cm colour screen
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £360
Consumable parts and prices £18
Price per colour A4 page 3.2p
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty one-year RTB
Supplier http://www.lambda-tek.com
Details www.epson.co.uk

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 4
Number of ink cartridges 4
Maximum number of ink colours 4
Maximum number of cartridges 4
Quoted photo durability 105 years
Quoted photo durability source Wilhelm Imaging Research

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 9s
A4 document at 150dpi 11s
A4 document at 300dpi 19s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 21s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 1m 45s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 10s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 24s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 3m 3s

Photo Features

PictBridge support No
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards none
CD printing No

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max mono copy resolution 1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution 1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution 200x200dpi