Epson’s $380 EcoTank Printer Kills Expensive Cartridges, Lasts Years Between Ink Refills

It's no secret that printer companies gouge consumers on ink. This is why they can get away with selling cheap printers -- they know you'll spend a fortune on ink, especially if you print a lot of color photos, which can drain ink tanks at the same clip as an old V8 muscle car chugging on gasoline. The question is, would you be willing to pay a higher cost upfront for a printer with low ink costs?

Epson aims to find out with its new line of EcoTank inkjet printers. Starting at $380, Epson's EcoTank models include enough pre-installed ink to last up to two years, depending on how much you print. More specifically, you can print up to 4,000 black pages or 6,500 color pages before needing to add more ink, which is equivalent to about 20 ink cartridge sets.

Epson EcoTank Printer

Replacement ink bottles will cost about $13 each, or $52 for a set. That might be about what you already spend on ink, but remember, these last much longer. And you can use them as needed -- after topping off an ink container that's attached to the printer, you can set the bottle aside.

"Epson's EcoTank launch represents a sea change in today's printer market," said Barbara Richards, senior consultant, InfoTrends. "Establishing a new printer category – Supertank – Epson is positioning itself for significant market expansion. The appeal of low-cost, hassle-free color printing in business and in the home has potential to capture a significant share of the market."

The caveat is that these aren't $50 or $100 printers we're talking about here. As stated, pricing starts at $380 for the Expression ET-2500 EcoTank model, an all-in-one unit intended for homes. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 for $1,200, along with several models in between.
Tags:  Printers, epson, ecotank