Many of our play activities use printed resources. As I can not draw to save my life, I rely on Twinkl to create wonderful images to enhance Adam’s play. However, I haven’t been able to find a printer that does the Twinkl resources justice or is cost effective for us to run.
I have a love hate relationship with printers. I love that I can print something in an instant but hate the cost of replacing ink cartridges, having to connect my laptop to the printer whenever I want to use it and despite being IT competent, I seem to struggle installing printers. In fact we have a printer that has been in the garage for two years because I have been unable to get it to work.
Epson has released new EcoTank printers. Their printers can save you up to 70% of your printing costs due to its integrated high capacity ink tanks. As they contain refillable high volume tanks, the ink will last much longer. Epson states that after buying the printer you will not have to worry about replacing the ink for 2 years. This sounds incredible to me! They asked us to put the Epson ET-4500 printer to the test. I knew immediately what criteria I would be basing our review on:
1) How easy is the printer to install?
2) What functions does the printer have?
3) How expensive is the ink?
Our Epson ET-4500 arrived neatly packaged in a huge box. The printer was bigger than I had expected but I immediately liked the design. I love how you can visibly see how much ink you have left at the side of the printer.
1) How easy is the Epson ET-4500 to install?
From start to finish it took an hour to install the printer. Bare in mind I was entertaining Adam at the time and I am hopeless at setting up technology. However, the process was straightforward. The instructions were clear and I managed to use ink bottles for the first time ever. It felt strange pouring ink from the bottle into the tank but it wasn’t too messy or time consuming.
The Wi-Fi in our house is temperamental and most Wi-Fi devices struggle to get enough signal in order for them to work. Part of me didn’t expect the Wi-Fi capability to work, as other printers had refused to in the past. However, the Wi-Fi worked immediately. No more carting the laptop upstairs in order to print something!
I was able to print two Twinkl resources that Adam has wanted for some time. He was extremely happy with his Road Themed Numbers.
2) What functions does the Epson ET-4500 have?
The printer itself is able to print, copy, scan, fax and has an automatic document feeder. I haven’t set the printer up to be a fax machine because I have never actually ever sent a fax.
I was very excited by the scan feature. I no longer have to ask my parents to scan something for us. The functions on the printer are all easy to use and the buttons on the front panel are all self explanatory.
As the printer is equipped with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi direct, it can take advantage of all Epson Connect5 features. This means it can print quickly and easily over Wi-Fi from a smartphone using the free Epson iPrint app, print remotely or email across a print job. This is pure magic in my eyes!
The printer is also fast. It can print at a rate of 9.2 pages per minute or 4.5 colour pages. A combination of Wi-Fi and print speed means that all my printing has finished by the time I walk up stairs to get it.
3) How expensive is the Epson ET-4500 ink?
My immediate reaction to the fact that the ink lasts for 2 years was that the ink must be incredibly expensive to replace. In the past, I have bought a new printer just because it was cheaper than purchasing ink cartridges for the old one. I was amazed to find out how cost effective the ink bottles are. You also don’t need to buy the cartridges all in one go. If you have a sudden desire to print many pictures of the sea you would only need to replenish the blue ink. I got frustrated with previous printers because I would have to replace the entire colour ink cartridge if I had used lots of one colour.
It is nice being able to print without worrying about how much it costs or that the ink will run out mid project. No more printer panic!
Epson claims that the ink provided in the box will enable you to print up to 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 pages in colour. That is a lot of printing!
We have only been using the printer for less than a week but already it has revolutionised our printing. The Epson ET-4500 has restored my faith back into printers and I am extremely excited about the future play and craft opportunities the printer will bring.
Disclaimer: We were given an Epson ET-4500 Printer to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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