Epson quotes a top speed of 34ppm for the EPL-N3000 and we were able to get somewhere near this under test. Our five-page black text document took 19 seconds to complete, which is a speed of 15.8ppm, but when we ran the 20-page document, this increased to 26.1ppm. The five-page text and graphics test took 14 seconds, giving a speed of 21.4ppm.
These speeds are all pretty healthy and you’re not likely to be hanging around for print jobs, unless you’re working in a very busy office.
Print quality for text is pretty exemplary, with sharp, fine characters looking almost like letterpress. The printer has a default physical resolution of 600dpi, though with enhancement, Epson claims an effective 1200dpi.
Greyscale graphics show a good range of tones, so you can readily distinguish between different colours in your input documents, but is marred by some banding, which is more noticeable in darker tones. This is not unusual with mono laser printers and although it is noticeable, for most purposes the print is still very usable.
The same banding is visible in our sample photo print, which is a shame as otherwise the reproduction is particularly good, with plenty of foreground detail and features also showing up in darker, shadowed areas of the image.
There are two components to the consumables on this machine, though depending on the likely workload, you may want to disregard one. The 17,000 page drum and toner cartridge is the obvious component, but there’s also a fuser unit, which needs replacing every 200,000 pages.
Depending on the replacement regime within your business, you may never hit this upper limit for the fuser, in which case that part of the cost can be ignored. It works out at just under .01p per sheet, so is not a major factor, even if you do decide to include the cost.
The overall cost of printing with the EPL-N3000, including 0.7p for paper, is 1.94p per page. This is better than average for a mono laser with, for comparison, the Kyocera Mita FS-1350DN costing 1.76p, but the Dell 2330dn costing 2.05p and the Brother HL-5370DW coming in at 2.49p.
This is a good, general-purpose mono laser printer, with all the essentials for a medium to heavy workload. Its extra paper tray is a bonus, its speed is better than average for printers at this price and the quality of output, particularly for text, is all you could want for general office work. Running costs are lower than for many others in the same price bracket and there’s very little to hold against the machine, when considered for its target market.