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Epson WorkForce WF-2860DWF review: Good features, high costs

Simon Handby
26 Oct 2018
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
80
inc VAT

An affordable home office MFP that's ruined by high running costs

Pros 
Fax modem
Duplex printing
Wired and wireless networking
Cons 
Slow performance speeds
Absurdly high running costs
Noticeable deterioration in print quality over time
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At first glance, Epson’s WorkForce WF-2860DWF could be the perfect multifunction printer for a home office. It’s compact and smart, but also loaded with useful office features: think duplex printing, wired and wireless networking, and a 30-page automatic document feeder (ADF).

Unlike Epson’s similar Expression Home XP-5105 there’s touchscreen control, and even a fax modem in case you need to send messages back to the 1990s.

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Epson WorkForce WF-2860DWF review: Performance

However, that’s where the fun ends. This MFP supports the same ink range as the XP-5105 and comes with the same vacuous setup cartridges.

Forewarned by experience with this printer, and given the WorkForce’s office bias, we prioritised our plain paper tests, which with an ADF involve two additional ten-page copies compared to the Expression. After about 80 pages, we noticed a deterioration in print quality, followed by a low ink warning for the black, cyan and magenta cartridges. About 25 pages later, midway through our ten-page colour photocopy test, we ran out of black ink.

As with the XP-5105, ongoing running costs are high – even using the XL cartridges. Here, the high costs are even more of a shame as the WF-2860DWF is otherwise quite a likeable device. Tested over wired Ethernet, it managed 16.1ppm on our text test, and delivered 5.1 pages of colour graphics every minute.

At 14 seconds, a single-page black copy was quick, but the ten-page mono job took more than two-and-a-half minutes. The only compensation is that print quality was generally fairly high, while scans were excellent for an office-focused device.

The WF-2860DWF and XP-5105 provide a useful demonstration that a wireless connection needn’t be a bottleneck, even in data-intensive jobs. The WF-2860DWF was three seconds slower than the XP-5105 in all five of our timed scan tests, despite the latter relying on Wi-Fi. At 28 seconds to scan an A4 page at 150 or 300dpi, it’s a touch slow.

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Epson WorkForce WF-2860DWF review: Verdict

We’ve generally been impressed with Epson’s WorkForce and WorkForce Pro printers over the years, but the WF-2860DWF is an unfortunate misfire. While on the surface it offers excellent value for money (all those features for £80!) even moderate users will quickly run up big ink bills.