Epson quotes speeds of 26ppm and 24ppm for black and colour print, respectively, on the Workforce Pro WP-4525DNF, though under test we didn't get close to these figures. Even so, our 5-page black text print returned 10.7ppm and this rose to 13.6ppm on the 20-page test. These speeds are very respectable for a machine costing around £150, but even better is the duplex speed, which normally a bane of inkjets.
Epson, with its piezoelectric printheads, has managed to reduce the drying time needed between sides in a duplex print, giving a real-world duplex speed of 8.5 sides per minute, as good as anything you'll see off a colour laser multifunction costing under £500.
Copies are quick, with a single page taking 28s and a five-page black print from the ADF coming in at 51s. A 15 x 10cm photo print took 1:03 on photo paper and just 35s on plain paper.
Print quality is better than from cheaper Epson inkjets, which can be a bit ragged on curves and diagonals. Here the text is workmanlike and very practical for day-to-day use. Ecomode produces a rather light, slightly disrupted print, but is OK for draft.
Colour graphics are very good, and this goes for colour copies, too, though shades are then slightly lighter. Even photos reproduced on plain paper are much better than average and on Epson glossy photo paper are as good as from any Epson machine, other than its multi-ink Pro photo range.
Using the highest capacity inks gives costs of 1.8p for an ISO black page and 5.0p for an ISO colour one. These are excellent figures for a machine at this price, beating Kodak at its own game when printing black and only a little higher when printing colour.
We liked the Workforce Pro WP-4535DWF enough to recommend it. We like the Workforce Pro WP-4525DNF nearly as much, though it lacks the wireless and higher scan resolution of the £35 more expensive model. What id does do is duplex print, copy and scan and it has laser-level ink capacity, lower than laser costs, competitive print speeds and much better than laser colour print quality. At £150, it’s a small business bargain.