Just announced by Epson at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the Epson Workforce 840 All-in-One-Printer. It is designed to be used in home offices or with small businesses looking for a quick and reasonably-priced multifunction device. Upon first glance with its two standard paper trays it reminded us of Lexmark’s Platinum Pro 905 which costs about $50 less on Amazon as of this writing. We are not making a direct comparison of the two products, at least not quite yet.
The printer is reasonably quick with speeds of up to 15 ISO ppm for monochrome and 9.3 ISO ppm for color print jobs. It is not a small printer, especially having the second paper tray add a few inches of height. All in all, it measures 12.0 x 17.6” x 22.3” (HxWxD) in its printing configuration and weighs 22lbs. It has the ability to print, scan, copy, and fax all in one device which will help those with crowded workspaces conserve room.
One of the most convenient features of this Epson AIO is that on its 7.8” smart touch panel, only the buttons you need for the mode being used are lighted. As part of that panel you also get a 3.5” LCD screen (located right in the middle). It offers both built-in wireless or wired connectivity in addition to the standard USB 2.0. The wireless connectivity makes possible (via app) means to print directly from iPhones and a variety of other mobile devices. Lastly, located on the front of the machine are a USB port to transfer files to your PC and memory card slots for PC-free printing.
Paper handling on this machine is fairly solid. First off, there is a 30-page ADF located on the top of the machine for scans, copies and faxes. Second, which we have already alluded to somewhat, is the large paper capacity (500 sheets) shared between two standard trays. There is also room for 10 envelopes. The printer also features automatic two-sided printing so you or your business can save on paper where possible.
The ink setup for this printer is somewhat befuddling. We can appreciate the idea of a four-cartridge system with individual tanks for black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. Epson boasts extra high-capacity cartridges along with this printer which is great. When one looks a little deeper for page yields though, all the website says is that the largest cartridges is that you get 50% more prints than a high-capacity cartridge. That’s well enough, but when you look at the high-capacity cartridges it is just as confusing because you supposedly get 50% more than standard capacity cartridges. Without those page yields, we prefer not to hazard a guess or suggest cost-per-page (cpp) comparisons with other brands/manufacturers of printers and/or ink.
Overall, we have no doubts about the quality of this Epson 840 device, just a few questions we wish would have been more easily addressed via their website. At worst, if you or your small business is in need of a device such as this, visit a store that sells both the printer and ink and do the math to see if the printing costs seem reasonable.