February 29, 2016 by Dadinator
This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and Epson. While I was not paid for this review I was sent the product at no cost.
Before I sat down to write this post I had to close a few tabs. Tabs of pictures, colouring-in sheets, mazes (my god The Lad loves mazes), and other things because, as you’ll have guessed, I’ve been playing with my new toy.
I remember our first printer. It was a dot matrix printer, had the paper with the holes at the side, and when it printed it was noise. It sounded a bit like I imagine a cat would if it was being ironed…. And it had a ribbon in it for printing that cost stuff all to replace when it went once every 18 months or so. It was cheap, it was easy and it was remarkably long-lived.
I was still using it (hooked up to my Commodore 64) when I was in high school in the 90s, before we upgraded computer and printer, and I had my first brush with printer cartridges, which have over the years seem to have shorter lifespans, higher prices and are much much harder to hack.
I’ve tried all the tricks to extend the life of cartridges. I’ve pulled them out and put them in again (to squeeze the last few microns of ink out of them). Times I’ve used those “re-fill kits” you can buy online to extend their life a little more. I’ve printed in different colours (blue essays?) because black’s run out and my assignment was due the next day (I often printed things at the last-minute….).
And now I have an Epson Ecotank, which (like my dot-matrix of old) is cartridge free. Instead it goes old-school, the printer comes with bottles of ink. Yes, ink still comes in bottles, and one of the first things you have to do is fill the tanks up with your Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks that come in the box.
How old-school. There was a bit of fiddling, because setting up a printer and laptop in the presence of 2 children is hard.
Then I discovered that it’s the 21st century and you can print without wires. You can even print off phones. OFF PHONES! (Okay, I gasped when I realised this, I’m sure most people knew that already).
With all that I may have gone a little trigger happy, pressuring the kids to pick the next thing they wanted me to print off for them as reams of Thomas the Tank Engine mazes and pictures of rabbits were rattled off. Then my phone battery ran out and I spent a lot of energy explaining to the kids that they would have to wait. Then I realised we had another tablet sitting around the house, installed the Epson Iprint app and boom, more pictures on tap.
We also used the photocopy function to take a copy of some of my son’s kinder paintings, and voila. souvenirs for grandparents.
A few days later and I’ve used it wirelessly from mobiles and from computers, I’ve plugged it in and I’ve managed (in spite of a goodly volume of printing) to make no dent in the consumables. It is reassuring to be able to physically see the ink levels in a printer through windows in the side, to know that what the computer says is left is what is actually left as you use it.
So… any draw backs? Well I can’t store it on its side because it will leak…. I did also get some ink on my hands, and I would strongly recommend not refilling this printer in front of children. It was tense….. But we got through it. I’ve also noticed (for techno boffins out there), that it only connects at 2.4ghz via a wireless network not a 5ghz network. If that doesn’t mean anything to you then you’ll probably be fine.
But, in truth, looking at the fact that these ink bottles cost $17 a pop (via Epson), and apparently can handle 4000 pages in black and white, and up to 6500 in colour it’s hard to complain about much…. Plus I get to “magically” print colouring sheets from my phone for the kids.
For more info on the product have a look at Epson’s information on the range here.