Epson Workforce Pro WP-4525 DNF review
The Workforce Pro isn't just an inkjet multifunction printer, it's part of Epson's plan to sweep lasers aside in the business market. Masterstroke or utter folly? Simon Handby takes a closer look in our review.
While inkjet technology dominates among the cheapest consumer printers, it's failed to make serious inroads into business applications where the conventional wisdom is that a laser print engine delivers faster, cheaper and on plain paper at least superior results. In June, however, Epson announced the new Workforce Pro range of inkjet multifunction peripherals (MFPs), aimed squarely at small workgroups and businesses.
the range is part of the company's long-term strategy for the business market.
At the time, Epson's business imaging head Andrew Semple told us that the range is part of the company's long-term strategy for the business market, adding that it would be followed by "more products in more and more segments". The WP-4525 DNF could therefore be a small step in a big leap that brings Epson's inkjets into competition with lasers for enterprise customers, so whether or not it is any good also has implications for Epson's entire strategy.
The WP-4525 DNF is somewhat larger than a typical consumer inkjet multifunction, but it's much more compact than even an entry-level workgroup laser device. Its styling and design sits somewhere between the two, managing to combine a robust feel and professional looks with the sort of simple control panel and display that you'd find on a consumer-class device. That's not a bad thing; it's immediately familiar, helping make the MFP easy to set up and use.
The WP-4525 DNF occupies the middle-point of the five-model range. While each has a unique number, the letters that follow it give the best guide to the features that are present. The WP-4525 DNF here has duplex printing, a network port and a 33.6Kbit/s fax modem. The more expensive WP-4535 DWF adds wireless networking, while the range-topping WP-4545 DTWF also gets a second, 250-sheet paper cassette that can be bought as an upgrade for other models for around 70. The WP-4525 DNF has one 250-sheet cassette as standard, along with a sturdy feeling 80-sheet multipurpose tray.