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Epson B-510DN review

Kat Orphanides
9 Jun 2010
Epson B-510DN
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
417
inc VAT

Phenomenally low print costs make this heavy duty inkjet a good choice for business users

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Specifications

piezo inkjet, 37ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 312x480x489mm

Epson's B-510DN inkjet is designed compete with serious colour laser printers, with a 10/100 Ethernet port, automatic duplexer and maximum duty cycle of 20,000 pages in a month. At just 0.5p per mono page and 2.5p per page of mixed black and colour printing using high yield cartridges, it costs less to run than any other colour printer we've reviewed in recent memory. Print speeds are also quicker than most inkjets at 19.7ppm for draft text, 14.3ppm for standard quality text and 10.7ppm for colour documents.

A mono LCD screen allows you to adjust network and paper handling settings. A web interface reproduces some of the functions from its unwieldy menus, along with consumable monitoring and the ability to restrict printing rights by IP address. The built-in menu's nozzle cleaning and head alignment settings are reproduced in the only in the printer driver installed on your PC.

It has a 500 sheet paper cassette, designed to handle plain paper, plus a 150-sheet rear tray hidden under a flap at the top of the printer. This can handle specialist media like envelopes, card stock and photo paper of thicknesses up to 256gsm. Photo printing, although a secondary feature to fast, cheap text, is surprisingly good, with accurate colour and only a very slight gritty quality visible on closer examination.

Print quality is generally good, but is more dependent on paper quality than laser printers, which can produce sharp, glossy looking text and images on almost anything. We tested the B-510DN on a variety of settings and with a range of papers. Mono prints were excellent in both Draft and the default Text quality modes, even when printed on 80gsm paper. Making the most of our illustrated business documents took a bit more effort. Switching from Text to Text & Graphics mode made a difference of just three seconds to the time it took to print 24 pages, and is well worth doing as it visibly reduced the marks left by the passage of the print head.

The biggest improvement came when we switched from 80gsm copier paper to 100gsm inkjet paper – both text and graphics were visibly sharper. 100gsm paper costs around four times as much as 80gsm, which adds a hidden cost to your prints, but is essential if you want to make the most of this printer. Inexpensive ink costs help to offset this.

We calculated our print costs using an 8,000 page extra high-yield black cartridge, which costs £42, and 7,000 page high-yield colour cartridges at around £46 each. Lower capacity cartridges are available if you don't have such high printing requirements. The printer comes with standard capacity cartridges: enough for 3,000 black and 3,500 colour pages.

Total Cost of Ownership is phenomenally low for users with heavy printing requirements. Three years' medium use, averaging 500 mono and 250 colour pages every month, will cost a total of £586, while three years' heavy use (2,000 mono and 1,000 colour pages monthly) comes to an unbelievably low £1,421.

B-510DN is a fantastic business printer, despite needing 100gsm paper for the best results, but don’t rush out and buy one. At present it’s worth shopping around for a bargain on its largely-identical predecessor, the B-500DN. In addition, a cheaper version, the B-310N, is also available, and only lacks the automatic duplexer. Finally, most home and small office users will do better with our favourite £60 budget business inkjet, HP's Officejet 6000.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Maximum native print resolution5,760x1,440dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A437ppm
Quoted speed, colour A437ppm

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.03m 6s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.04m 49s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges4
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges4

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet
Optional printer interfacesnone
Size312x480x489mm
Weight10.7kg
Noise (in normal use)55dB(A)
Duty cycle20,000 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4
Maximum paper weight256gsm
Standard paper inputs2
Standard paper input capacity650
Maximum paper inputs2
Maximum paper input capacity650
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes

Photo Features

PictBridge supportNo
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingNo
Supported memory cardsnone
CD printingNo

General

Printer technologypiezo inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows 98/ME/2000/XP/XP 64-bit/Vista/Vista 64-bit/7 32-bit/7 64-bit, Mac OSX 10.3.9+, Linux
Other inkjet featuresnone
Other inkjet options£86

Buying Information

Price£417
Consumable parts and prices£46, Extra-high ca
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge3,000 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)3,500 cyan, magenta and yellow pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Price per colour A4 page2.0p
Price per mono A4 page0.5p
Warrantyone year onsite
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.epson.co.uk

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.03m 6s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.04m 49s