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Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5690DWF review

Front, side view, WorkForce Pro WF-5690DWF
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £342
inc VAT

The WorkForce Pro WF-5690DWF is a great office MFP, but at this price it isn't the one we'd choose

Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-5690DWF is an inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP) for a busy small office. It’s extremely well specified, with gigabit Ethernet and wireless networking fitted as standard, along with a huge 10.9cm colour touchscreen.

Not only can it print automatically on both sides of a sheet of paper, but its 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF) can pull off the same trick: you can make a double-sided copy or fax of a double-sided original without having to manually feed the sheets. The main difference between this and the cheaper WF-5620DWF is that this model supports print languages including PCL6 and Adobe PostScript 3.

Screenshot of the web admin interface, showing the LDAP configuration page, WorkForce Pro WF-5690DWF

^ There are advanced admin features, such as LDAP for sharing directory information across a company

A 250-page paper cassette sits at the base of the printer, while a specialty feed at the back handles another 80 sheets when needed. The WF-5690DWF seems built to last: Epson says it’s good for a one-time maximum print duty of 35,000 pages in a month, which is comparable to the small colour laser devices it’s competing with. There’s a free three-year onsite warranty upgrade for units bought before March 2016 too.

This is an easy MFP to use from a PC or mobile device, with Epson’s software managing to combine advanced options with ease of use. We’re not exactly enamoured with the touchscreen, however. Although the picture is clear it isn’t always perfectly responsive, and the menu system is more complex than strictly necessary.

Screenshot of the print driver, WorkForce Pro WF-5690DWF

^ The print driver combines shortcuts with common options. Like many office inkjets, there’s no borderless printing

Android app screenshot, WorkForce Pro WF-5690DWF

^ Epson’s Android app is as easy to use as its PC software

When it comes to speed, there’s not much between this and a comparable laser printer. The WF-5690DWF delivered our 25-page letter tests at 19.2 pages per minute (ppm), and managed 13.1ppm on our graphics-heavy colour test. Duplexing 10 colour sides onto five pages took 99 seconds. It was particularly quick on our scan tests, completing an A4 preview in just six seconds, capturing a page at 300dpi in 14 seconds, and needing only 37 seconds to scan a 6×4″ colour photo at 1,200dpi. Single page photocopies took just nine seconds in black or 14 seconds in colour, although multi-page copies weren’t quite as competitive, with 10 sheets needing around a minute and three-quarters in black or colour.

Scan, print and copy quality was uniformly good. While black text wasn’t quite laser-sharp, it was as good as we’ve seen from an inkjet. Colour graphics had more impact on plain paper than most rivals’ efforts, although there was just a trace of bleed through with duplex prints on 80gsm paper.

Screenshot of Professional Mode in the TWAIN scan interface, WorkForce Pro WF-5690DWF

^ Epson’s TWAIN scan interface is our favourite: in Professional Mode it’s comprehensive without being daunting

This printer has a cheap ‘maintenance box’ rated for 50,000 pages, and its consumables are available in several sizes up to 4,000-page ‘XXL’ items. Overall costs of 3.8p per A4 page are cheaper than any directly competing laser, but ink prices have been falling, and running costs of the WorkForce ranges are no longer exceptional among office inkjets.

With low running costs and great all-round performance, this MFP makes more sense than an equivalent colour laser, but it’s too expensive. If you can do without PostScript 3 support choose the excellent and much cheaper WF-5620DWF. If you do need it, buy HP’s Officejet Pro X476dw, which is even quicker to print and cheaper to run.

TechnologyPiezo inkjet
Maximum print resolution1,200×4,800dpi
Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth)1,200×2,400dpi (24-bit)
Number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Maximum number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Quoted photo durability (source)Not stated
Standard interfacesUSB, USB host, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional interfacesNone
Dimensions (HxWxD)342x461x422mm
Duty cycle (pages per month)35,000 maximum
Paper handling
Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
Maximum paper weight256gsm
Standard paper trays (capacity)2 (330)
Maximum paper trays (capacity)3 (580)
Automatic Document Feeder capacity35
Photo features
Borderless printingNo
Direct (PC-less) printingUSB
Memory card supportNone
Supported operating systemsWindows XP or later, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, Android, iOS
Other features10.9cm colour touchscreen
Buying information
WarrantyThree year onsite swap
Price£342 inc VAT
Consumable parts and pricesT789 black 4,000 pages (ISO/IEC 24712) £36. T789 cyan 4,000 pages (ISO/IEC 24712) £39, T789 magenta, yellow, 4,000 pages each (ISO/IEC 24712), £40 each. 79XL black 2,600 pages (ISO/IEC 24712) £22. 79XL cyan, magenta, yellow, 2,000 pages each (ISO/IEC 24712), £20 each. Maintenance box C13T671000, 50,000 pages, £16.
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge(s)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT3.9p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (colour part)3.1p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (mono part)0.9p
Part codeC11CD14301BY