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Epson scraps the cartridges with new EcoTank printer range

Luke Johnson

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Epson EcoTank L355

Epson is looking out for the planet and your wallets as the company unveils a new line of cartridge-bereft EcoTank printers.

Doing away with costly cartridges, the new Epson EcoTank printers make use of side-mounted tanks which can be easily refilled with the 70ml ink bottles which accompany the new machines.

With two models having been confirmed for launch – the Epson EcoTank L355 and the Epson EcoTank L555 – the printers will ship with enough ink to handle two years’ worth of printing. That equates to 4,000 pages in black or 6,500 colour printouts.

“The L555 and L355 are based on technology that has been highly successful in other markets where we have sold over 10 million units in less than four years,” Simon Hanly, a Product Manager at Epson UK, said in unveiling the new devices.

“Epson is now responding to customer needs by launching the EcoTank range for western Europe.”

He added: “Complimenting our line-up of existing products, these models are ideal for home and small office customers who want to print everyday documents, such as recipes, homework, emails and maps, and for whom price and convenience are key factors. With two years’ worth of ink included, users know where they stand.

With both models utilising Micro Piezo technology, the high-end EcoTank L555 builds on the L355’s print, copy and scan features with an additional fax functionality and a 30-page automatic document feeder.

Both printers are Wi-Fi enabled and offer smartphone syncing options.

Having ditched the traditional cartridge reliant subsidised printer model, the EcoTank machines trade cheaper per-page print costs for a higher up-front fee.

While the L355 will set wannabe owners back £249, the EcoTank L555 price has been set at £329.

Additional ink bottles will be priced at £7.99 apiece.

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Prem Desai

October 2, 2014, 10:28 pm

I'm not buying into this just yet.

I always believed it was the ink that was expensive and not the container/cartridge it came in.

I would love to see the true cost per page of these inks.

pimlicosound

October 3, 2014, 8:07 am

Great that at least one printer manufacturer is addressing the problem of expensive ink cartridges. But I can't help but think they're too late.

Like a lot of people, I don't really print anything any more. In fact, I don't think I've printed anything in the last year. Smartphones and tablets have made it easy to carry around digital documents, which are increasingly accepted as being just as valid as paper documents.

I suspect the home printer market is going to crash, and slightly cheaper ink will do little to help.

JohnMcL7

October 3, 2014, 3:22 pm

No, it's the other way round - the ink is very cheap and the manufacturers have a very generous markup on the cartridges. This is why they've come up with increasingly complex systems to stop generic unbranded catridges working in their printers

If you look at CISS kits (Continuous Ink Supply System) where you can modify a printer to take its ink from large bottles by the side, the ink is cheap and can last for years.

JohnMcL7

October 3, 2014, 3:41 pm

I agree and think the home printer market has already crashed, I think there's enough demand left though that this type of printer would appeal without having to go to the hassle of CISS kits.

I'd want to see some longer term reliability impressions first before considering one though, sounds great on paper but if it turns out it constantly clogs or something it's a waste of time.

Prem Desai

October 4, 2014, 12:26 pm

I remember reading somewhere that printer ink was one of the most expensive liquids on the planet. According to the printer manufacturers anyway.

I do hope you're right and that the price of printing does genuinely come down.

I'm still eager to see the epson true cost of printing per page after taking into account the actual ink and print head changes (if required).

I_have_a_theory

February 23, 2015, 6:42 pm

I've looked at four or five of the reviews on different sites for this printer now (but this is the first that's allowed comments). Is there any chance that any could review the print quality, especially at full photo quality? Not one mentions this (extremely important) aspect, rather they all go on about build quality, WiFi compatibility, the ability to fax (I thought that idea finished in the 1990s)..... So please, a review of PRINT QUALITY (as that is, after all, the most important function of a printer).

Pete Coventry

February 8, 2016, 9:47 pm

I know this is a year old but I wanted to just say.

CHEAP!!

A bottle of black is £4,99 - 4000 pages. You do the math :)

A set is £18.98 and 3 complete sets with 3 free black bottles is £51

I've been using one for 6 months. I print maybe 20-30 pages a day. I am half way through the ink that came with the machine with a shelf full of bottles ready to use. The software says that the printer says that 2519 pages have been fed through it so far. The warranty is good for 3 years or 30,000 pages.

Pete Coventry

February 8, 2016, 9:48 pm

No print head changes required. And see above :)

Prem Desai

February 8, 2016, 10:14 pm

I'm glad it works out for you.

I had to buy a printer recently and looked into these. The price premium for one of these is quite frankly, ridiculous.

For my needs, it was cheaper (by miles) to buy a 'normal' printer and use genuine cartridges.

I will probably look into these in a couple of years - once other manufacturers offer Epson some competition and prices become sensible.

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