There’s a growing market for all-in-ones that can handle paper larger than A4. These fall into broadly two markets: those that can print large photos and those that can handle print jobs on plain paper for posters or publications folded to A4. Epson’s WorkForce WF-7610DWF can do both.
An A3+ printer is always going to be fairly sizeable, but Epson manages to keep the size of the WF-7610DWF to that of a desktop photocopier. Its compact design is helped further by the use of a telescopic output tray, which can be extended halfway when you’re printing A4.
On top of the printers sits a substantial A3 scanner. This is an improvement over most of Brother’s range of occasional A3 machines, for example, which can print the larger size but still only scan and copy A4.
The scanner has a duplex 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF), so you can scan or copy double-sided documents in one operation. There’s only a single scan head, though, so duplex scans have to pass through three times.
The control panel runs to most of the width of the printer’s front and includes a large, 109mm touchscreen, as well as a number pad for fax dialling. Below, on the left-hand side, is a socket for connecting USB drives and two more for SD and Memory Stick cards.
The main paper tray takes up to 250 sheets of paper from 15 x 10cm to A3+ (13 x 19in). There’s no second tray, nor an option, so loading stacks of A3 and A4 paper at the same time isn't possible. There’s a single-sheet slot at the back, though, which is some compensation.
The four ink cartridges include a black, which is available in three capacities; the highest is 2,200 sheets. They all clip into a head carrier, which is accessed from under the scanner flatbed.
Epson provides Presto! PageManager 9 for OCR and document housekeeping, alongside its own utilities for scanning, photo and web print and ink management.
Epson claims speeds of 18ppm for mono print and 10ppm for colour, both on A4 paper, which are both good speeds for an inkjet printer. In our tests, however, we didn’t see more than 14.3ppm in mono – and that was on the 20-page test document. On the five-page document the printer managed 10.7ppm; 11.5ppm in draft mode. The A4 duplex speed held up particularly well, at 7.9 sides per minute.
The mono text and colour graphics test returned 4.9ppm, less than half the specified speed, but still reasonable. An equivalent A3 page took 25 seconds, so slightly over 2ppm. Copies took 22 seconds and 29 seconds for A4 and A3 respectively, and 50 seconds for five mono pages from the ADF.
15 x 10cm photos took between 57 seconds and 1 min 36 secs, depending on source and image setting. A full A3 photo print took 3 mins 29 secs, which is again a respectable time for a printer of this size.
Photo image quality is excellent: colours are true, looking natural in skin tones on portraits and in landscapes. Some hues can be weak in plain paper prints and a little more so in copies, but they’re still good enough for day-to-day work. Black text is clean and sharp, and of a better quality displayed by less expensive Epson inkjets.
Using the XXL black cartridge, a black A4 page costs a mere 1.1p, which includes 0.7p for paper. This is low, and only beaten recently by Epson’s own EcoTank L555, but that doesn’t use the better quality DURABrite inks found in the WF-7610DWF.
An A4 colour page cost of 6.3p is also very respectable and, although we've seen costs that are lower than this, they haven't been from an A3 printer.
Brother has a range of A3 printers on the market, of course, but those with A3 paper trays are fewer. The least expensive is the MFC-J6520DW, although it costs around £80 more than the WF-7610DWF, has no duplex scan or copy, and it features a smaller touchscreen.
HP also offers an A3 all-in-one – the Officejet 7612 – but again, it doesn’t have a duplex scanner and is print speeds are much slower than this Epson.
At the recommended retail price of £200, Epson’s WorkForce WF-7610DWF looks ideal for any small business that needs to print on paper larger than A4. But we've managed to find it for as low as £130, which is tremendous value.
As well as handling the larger paper size, the WF-7610DWF prints quickly, is fully duplex and has very reasonable running costs, particularly compared with a laser. Its ability to produce excellent photo prints is a bonus.