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Epson EcoTank ET-14000 review

Epson ET-14000 with paper
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £454
inc VAT

Fantastic running costs aside, the Epson EcoTank ET-14000 is an underwhelming A3 inkjet

Epson’s EcoTank printers do away with conventional ink cartridges in favour of large fixed tanks which you fill up with big bottles of ink. It’s a great way to reduce packaging and lower running costs, particularly if you need to print often, or print out lots of graphics – usually an expensive undertaking on an inkjet. These are exactly the kind of jobs Epson has in mind for the EcoTank ET-14000, an A3 inkjet aimed at moderate office and home office use.

At more than 70cm, this is one of the widest consumer printers I’ve seen – partly thanks to those ink tanks, which are contained in a small unit which hooks on to the right-hand side. Filling these up still makes me nervous. The ET-14000 comes with five bottles of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow and two bottles of black), and for each you must twist off a cap, remove a seal, refit the cap and carefully squeeze out the contents into the correct tank. Perhaps a bit blasé, I squeezed too hard, and managed to spill a small amount of magenta ink.

At least it’s not something you’ll do often: the printer arrives with 7,100 pages of black ink and 5,700 of colour ink. Replacement bottles are good for 3,550 black pages or 5,700 for each colour, and they’re about £6 each. Once the supplied ink runs out, printing an A4 page of text and graphics should cost less than half a penny, which is around eight times as cheap as I’d expect from an equivalent inkjet using cartridges.

In most other respects, however, the ET-14000 is unremarkable. Epson says that its dual black ink tanks help it reach fast mono speeds, and it was swift enough in our tests. Our 25-page text test arrived at a decent 14.6 pages per minute (ppm), while dropping to draft quality boosted this to 17.4ppm. Unfortunately, colour printing was far slower, with our 24-page graphics test inching out at just 2.5ppm. There was a similar disparity on A3 paper, with the ET-14000 producing more than six mono prints per minute, but managing only about 1.3 pages of colour.

Photo prints were slow, with each postcard print needing almost four minutes, but this isn’t a photo printer – borderless prints aren’t even available. Accordingly, I wasn’t expecting great glossy prints, but even on plain paper print quality was mixed. Text was excellent, with even draft quality prints being bold and reasonably crisp. Graphics showed good shading and were free of inkjet vices like grain or streaking, but their colours were a little drab on our regular test paper, and switching to a better one didn’t seem to improve them.Epson ET-14000 front

Like other models in the range, the ET-14000 is significantly more expensive than an equivalent, cartridge-based inkjet: for about a fifth of its price you could buy Brother’s MFC-J5320DW, for example, which also throws in A4 scanning, faxing and photocopying. That said, the ET-14000 comes with a huge amount of free ink, and promises much cheaper running costs thereafter. By my calculations, it should work out cheaper than a conventional inkjet if you’ll print more than 10,000 pages or so during its lifetime, and the target market probably will. It’s a shame, then, that in other regards it’s still a rather ordinary printer.

TechnologyPiezo electric
Maximum print resolution5,760×1,440dpi
Number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Maximum number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Quoted photo durability (source)Not stated
Standard interfacesUSB
Optional interfacesNone
Dimensions (HxWxD)215x705x322mm
Duty cycle (pages per month)Not stated
Paper handling
Maximum paper sizeA3+
Maximum paper weight255gsm
Standard paper trays (capacity)1 (100)
Maximum paper trays (capacity)1 (100)
Photo features
Borderless printingNo
Direct (PC-less) printingNo
Memory card supportNone
Supported operating systemsWindows XP or later, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later
Other featuresNone
Buying information
WarrantyThree years RTB
Price£454 inc VAT
Consumable parts and pricesT6641 black ink, (3,550 pages ISO/IEC24712). T6642 cyan, T6643 magenta and T6644 yellow ink (5,700 pages ISO/IEC 24712 each), all £6 each
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge(s)7,100 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)5,700 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT0.5p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (colour part)0.3p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (mono part)0.2p
Part codeC11CD81404BY

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