The Epson EcoTank-18100 photo printer is designed to revolutionize the way you view printing large quantities of high-quality photos and prints. This printer can fit large, low-cost ink bottles. They also have low energy costs.
But how does it perform in practice? To find out, I put the Epson EcoTank 1600 through its paces. It isn’t a cheap printer, so it must be reliable. It will it be worthy of inclusion in our top art printers guide?
Epson EcoTank-18100 – Setup and design
The printer was simple to set up, even though I dislike unboxing. The printer was ready to use in no time at all. Although the initial instructions are contained in a book, once you have power to your printer, the app will take over with step-by-step instructions.
This printer is A3 in size and I was surprised at how discreet it looks on my desk. It is sleek and elegant.
The printer wouldn’t connect to my WiFi, even though my phone and laptop were connected. However, I was able connect my phone using the WiFi Direct functionality and print the document without any problems. It was disappointing that I couldn’t print from my laptop during review.
This printer is completely dependent on your smartphone. It doesn’t have a display, but there are a few buttons and flashing light. To understand the printer’s communication and issues, you must use your mobile app. Although this isn’t necessarily the end, a nice LCD display could make things easier.
It was easy to set the inks. Once the canister has filled, the bottles are filled and stopped. You’ll find that the bottles are slightly larger in volume than the canisters.
Epson EcoTank-18100: Speed and quality printing
First, I printed some floral art prints. Then I printed a few A3 photos. With a few niggles, the Epson EcoTank 18100 performed admirably.
The bright colours printed beautifully on A4 prints. There was no loss of pigmentation, and the lines were crisp and clean. One problem was the mottled background (all of which were pale) that the prints displayed. The printer did a good job with some but not with others. Some backgrounds were very similar to the digital files.
The app’s paper type setting made a huge difference in how the detail was presented. The background looked almost white when the paper type was incorrect. However, the colour and pattern came out much better when the paper type was set to matte presentation paper.
Colour accuracy is pretty great generally, in some cases the brights weren’t quite as bright as in the original file when printing a large area – especially on lower-quality paper, colours sometimes looked a little washed out. However, most of our brights as well as darks were vibrant and intense.
It was important to consider the quality of paper. The colours printed beautifully on the A4-quality high-quality paper. They also printed well on the A3-quality low-quality paper. However, the paper of low quality was unable to print intense colours because it was too thick. Although it is to be expected, it is still noteworthy.
The printer responded quickly to the app and printed the images as promised. Epson says it takes around 12 seconds to print borderless 12x15cm photos – and our printing seemed to be about in line with that. The A4 photo took approximately one minute while the A3 (which was very color rich) took about two minutes.
Epson EcoTank-18100 Price
Now, this isn’t a cheap printer – currently Epson is selling it for £699. It should be a long-term investment, considering its high running costs. Each bottle of ink costs around £9.99 but should last for approximately 1500 prints when printing at standard quality (about 12 times more than other brands).
Is the Epson EcoTank-18100 worth it?
If you are printing a lot of photos or high-quality prints on a daily basis, and care about running costs – this is the printer for you. It is very easy to use and quite fast.
This printer does not scan nor copy, so it is important to find a photo printer that you are looking for. The printer’s color credentials don’t make any sense if you only print black and white documents.
Overall, I enjoyed using the ET-18100 – it is simple and capable, with some great features.