The Epson EcoTank ET-1810 is a single function printer that lacks the ability to copy, scan or fax. But since it uses cost-effective ink bottles, it offers impressively low printing costs over a long stretch of time, making it a fantastic option for those who need to print lots and lots of documents.
- Incredibly low running costs
- Wi-Fi connectivity for easy sharing
- Great refillable ink system
- Simple to use
- Expensive to buy
- No duplex printing
- Only a one-year warranty
- UKRRP: £190
- EuropeRRP: €210
- AustraliaRRP: AU$299
- A single-function printerThis inkjet is about one thing only: printing. If you need scanning, copying or fax, look elsewhere
- Refillable ink tanks, not fiddly cartridgesThe ET-1810 has ink tanks, filled from big bottles, so printing is cheap and there’s less waste
- Wi-Fi supportGet it on your network and the whole family can print from their own devices
Epson’s ET-1810 is, on the surface, a straightforward inkjet printer.
It’s rather expensive, but don’t let its high purchase price put you off. This EcoTank model uses Epson’s brilliant system of refillable ink tanks, topped up with big bottles of cheap ink.
If you print a lot, and you want decent performance with low costs, it’s a great choice. But is it good enough to make our list of the best printers?
Design and Features
- Limited features; no display or duplex
- Ink tank system is fantastic
- Not as small as you might expect
If you’re after a do-everything multifunction printer for a home office, the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 isn’t for you. It’s a single-function inkjet printer, and a pretty basic one at that.
At the back it has an uncovered paper tray that holds around 100 pages, while printed pages flop into a simple tray at the front.
At a price where displays, duplex (double-sided) printing and photo paper trays are the norm, the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 is spartan. It has a few push buttons with simple LED indicators and it supports only manual duplexing – also known as turning the pages over yourself. So why does it cost more than £150?
The answer lies in the tanks that bulge out to the right of the paper output. This printer uses Epson’s EcoTank system of refillable ink, which does away with cartridges in favour of large bottles that cost far less. This printer even arrives with a full set, good for a claimed 4500 black or 7500 colour pages – about 20-30 times what you’d get from a typical cartridge set.
This alone makes the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 better value than other entry-level inkjets. Buy a £40 rival, treat it to three or four rounds of cartridges, and you’ll have printed perhaps a couple of thousand pages before you’ve paid more overall than the EcoTank ET-1810 costs.
Happily, the EcoTank system isn’t just cheaper in the long-run. It seems to be idiot-proof, with safeguards against filling the wrong tanks. It also produces less plastic waste. My only criticism is that the ET-1810 comes with just a one-year warranty. It can take a couple of years for a refillable ink tank printer to prove better value – a longer warranty would provide the reassurance that you’ll get to that point.
With no screen, this printer could be a fiddle to get onto a wireless network. I used a PC and the supplied drivers for the initial configuration, after which it was easy to find and install on other computers and smartphones. The only other thing of note is that, with big tanks at the front and paper trays front and rear, this printer requires about 40 x 70cm of desk space, which might be a little more than you’d expect from a basic, single-function device.
Print Speed and Quality
- Adequately fast
- Good print quality, especially on photos
- No borderless option on A4 paper
There’s no use having cheap prints if they take an age or look bad – but, happily, the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 avoids these pitfalls. To be clear, this isn’t a particularly quick printer, but it won’t leave you waiting hours for everyday print jobs.
After being sent a five-page text document, the ET-1810 delivered the first page in 18 seconds, and finished the job in 46 seconds – that’s 6.5 pages per minute (ppm). Timed over 20 pages, it hit 7.6ppm, although I coaxed 16.0ppm out of it using Draft quality. The ET-1810 is slower when printing colour graphics, needing 1min 31 secs for five pages (3.3ppm).
This printer isn’t aimed at photography use – it will only print without borders on 6 x 4in (15 x 10cm) paper, so you can’t even make borderless A4 prints. At the highest quality, each borderless photo took more than three minutes; some inkjets are more than twice as fast.
Happily, the results were surprisingly good, with a lovely gloss finish on Epson’s own paper, and relatively decent shade control and colour accuracy. While I wouldn’t recommend this specifically as a photo printer, it’s more than capable of firing off great postcard-sized prints.
Plain-paper printing is the ET-1810’s bread and butter, though, and here it’s certainly good enough. You’ll get darker black text and punchier colours from some office-focused devices, but this printer does nothing wrong. Look closely and you might see a little grain in colour fills, and you’d certainly get sharper text from a laser. However, this printer is fine for anything from a formal letter through to casual colour print-outs of a web page or instruction manual.
The chances are you might never need to buy more ink for an ET-1810; but if you do, Epson’s refills work out at less than half a penny per full-colour page. That’s about as cheap as printing gets, and about a twentieth of the 10p-per-page cost that would be more typical of a cartridge inkjet.
Should you buy it?
You want low print costs
As the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 shows, you can’t beat an ink tank printer for low running costs.
You only print occasionally
You’ll need to print at least a couple of thousand pages to get the full value out of this printer.
The EcoTank ET-1810 is basic, but it’s a decent all-rounder displaying surprisingly good form in postcard photo prints. It’s expensive to buy when compared to other entry-level inkjets, but far cheaper to run. Provided you’ll use most of the generous supply of ink, it’s likely to prove far better value after just a couple of thousand pages. It’s just a shame there’s no long warranty for extra piece of mind.
How we test
Every printer we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including print quality, speed and cost.
We’ll also compare the features with other printers at the same price point to see if you’re getting good value for your money.
Measured the time it takes to print with various paper
Compared print quality with other printers
Tested printing with monochrome and coloured ink
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Yes, it’s much cheaper to run than a home laser printer. Its print costs are less than a tenth of a typical laser device.
You pay more up front for an ink tank printer. Provided you print a few thousand pages, it will work out cheaper in the long-run than a cartridge-based equivalent.
Almost certainly not. The ink bottles are designed to be spill-proof, and we’re yet to spill any when topping up the latest EcoTank models.
You can’t – the bottles have a key system so they’ll only fit to the correct tank.
Trusted Reviews test data
We run printers through a number of tests, and here is how the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 scored.
Here are all the important specs for the Epson EcoTank ET-1810