Epson EcoTank ET-2710 full review

Many of the printers that we review here on Tech Advisor look like a bargain on paper, offering impressive print quality and versatile features at a competitive price – but then they catch you with a sting in the tail when you discover the high cost of the replacement ink cartridges. Here's our review of the latest EcoTank ET-2710.

Epson came up with a completely new approach a couple of years ago when it introduced its first EcoTank printers. The initial purchase price of an EcoTank printers is relatively high, but they come up trumps in the long term thanks to their much lower running costs.

Instead of using expensive ink cartridges, the EcoTank printers have a large ink tank built into them, which can easily be filled using simple, low-cost bottles of ink. The large ink tanks can hold a lot more ink than ordinary cartridges, which allows the printers to drastically reduce the cost-per-page when printing your documents. This design is also more eco-friendly, as it reduces the amount of non-recyclable plastics and other waste produced by the printer.

Price

As we mentioned, the disadvantage of the EcoTank printers is their higher initial cost, and the ET-2710 is actually one of the first EcoTank models to sneak in just below £200. It's RRP is £229 but you can get it for £179 from Epson.

Of course, this is still pretty expensive for an inkjet printer – and there don’t seem to a lot of savings from alternative online stores such as Amazon – so that may deter people who just want a basic, low-cost printer for occasional use at home.

In the US it's available for $209 from Amazon which is a decent price considering the $299 RRP.

However, the ET-2710 will be really attractive for people who work at home or need a printer that they can use every day in a small office. That’s because the price of the ET-2710 includes four bottles of ink – one each for cyan, magenta, yellow and black – which Epson claims will provide you with 3,500 pages of black text documents, and 6,500 pages in colour.

That’s more than 10,000 pages in total – which even at £200 works out at a competitive price of just 2p per page, and effectively means that you’re getting the printer itself thrown in for free. And there are even greater savings to be made when you buy additional bottles of replacement ink.

Check out our best printer chart to find the right one for you.

Features & Design

The first EcoTank printers had a large ink tank bolted onto the side of the printer, which didn’t look great and meant that the printers themselves were also fairly bulky.

Epson EcoTank ET-2710

However, the ET-2710 has had a bit of a makeover, absorbing the ink tank inside the body of the printer, and reducing the overall size to a modest 375mm wide, 347mm deep and 179mm high. It’ll easily fit onto a shelf or a small desk at home or in an office, and it provides both USB and Wi-Fi for connecting to a computer or network.

The ET-2710 is a multi-function device, with a printer that offers 1440x5760dpi resolution, along with a 1200x2400 scanner and copier. However, Epson has had to make a few compromises in order to bring the price down to this level.

There’s no document feeder or fax machine, and only a manual duplex option for two-sided printing, which means that the ET-2710 is most suitable for smaller offices and simpler document formats.

The controls are pretty basic too, with no LCD screen to display menu options, and a rather unhelpful manual that didn’t really explain the row of buttons that provide the main controls. Fortunately, the printer software is easy to use, and includes an online manual to help you get started.

Performance

It’s not the fastest printer around either, with Epson quoting speeds of 10 pages per minute for mono printing, and 5ppm for colour. But while many printers fall short of the manufacturer’s claims, we were pleased to see that the ET-2710 did manage to achieve those speeds with no trouble at all, and felt like it was fast enough for general office use while printing our selection of test documents.

It's also quite nippy when printing photos on glossy paper, turning out at 4x6 postcard print in just 20 seconds. Print quality is good too, with the high-resolution printer producing smooth, sharp text, and bright, lively colours on both business documents and photo prints.

Epson EcoTank ET-2710 ink

Running Costs

As we’ve mentioned, the initial price of the ET-2710 may seem quite high, but it does include enough ink to print thousands of pages for both colour and mono documents. And, when you do eventually run out of ink, the cost of the replacement inks will bring down your running costs even further.

The replacement bottles of ink are actually larger than the ‘starter’ bottles that are included when you first buy the printer, with the replacement black ink lasting for 4,500 pages and the three coloured inks together reaching a massive 7,500 pages.

Each bottle of ink costs just £8.99 – much cheaper than conventional ink cartridges – which means that printing costs with the replacement inks work out at a mere 0.2p per page for plain text documents, and just under 0.4p per page for colour. That’s far less expensive than buying conventional ink cartridges, which often last for just a few hundred pages each.

Specs

Epson EcoTank ET-2710: Specs

  • A4 multi-function printer with 1440x5760dpi resolution
  • 1200x2400dpi scanner/copier
  • 100-sheet A4 tray
  • Connectivity – USB, Wi-Fi
  • Dimensions – 375x347x179mm, 3.9kg