Epson's Laser Printers Are Not Long For This World, Here's Why

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Japanese electronics and printer brand Epson has announced that it will ceasing global sales and distribution of laser printer hardware by 2026. The reason? The company wants to be more environmentally sustainable. According to the company, inkjet has greater potential to be more responsible to the environment than laser printers.

Koichi Kubota, general administrative manager of Epson's Sales and Marketing Division says, "Our printing business will from now put the focus on inkjet, leveraging our propriety technology to deliver efficient, sustainable print solutions for our partners and end users." He goes on to add how Epson has "...long been committed to sustainable inkjet technology and have now decided to phase out sales of laser printer hardware. As a company we're totally committed to sustainable innovation and action, and inkjets simply use less energy and fewer consumable parts. While laser printers work by heating and fusing toner to a page, Epson's Heat-Free inkjet technology consumes less electricity by using mechanical energy to fire ink onto the page."

Epson has technically ended laser printer sales in all its markets except for Asia and Europe, but has added that it will continue to support repairs and consumables. For how long, it did not specify. 

Coincidentally, the company's announcement was paired with the rollout of a new range of business inkjet MFPs (multi-function printers). The new WorkForce Enterprise AM-series of printers will showcase Epson's proprietary piezo Heat-Free line-head technology. To cater to users used to laser printer print speeds, the new inkjets will be capable of 40-60ppm (pages-per-minute), while being more resource efficient than laser units. 

Between all the canned chatter about sustainability and sunsetting their laser printers, it also seems coincidental that Epson had made some of their printers have a predetermined end-of-life date, after which they would brick themselves. The only solution was to see an authorized repair facility or replace the machine.