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.

We obtained the cheapest cost-per-page figures using prices for the middling 2,400-page supplies; in the long term we'd expect lower pricing on the 3,400-page supplies to bring running costs down slightly further. Even so, at just over 0.8p for a mono page and 2.2p in colour the range should prove very cheap to run much more so in colour than an equivalent laser product.

While a colour laser printer might have eight or more consumables to replace, the Workforce range has just five.

Inkjets don't generally reach their manufacturer's rated speeds in our tests, but although the WP-4525 DNF is no exception it's a rapid printer that did better than most. At the default quality it delivered our 25-page formal letter test at 16.1ppm, with the first page dropping into the 150-sheet output tray in just eight seconds. At 6.2ppm in colour it's less competitive, although the lack of a warm-up time could make it quicker than an equivalent laser for infrequent, smaller jobs.

When it comes to duplexing, however, inkjets are at a disadvantage as they must let the first side dry before sucking the page back into the printer to print the second side, although Epson claims the fast drying inks used by the Workforce Pro overcome this problem. Duplexing pages in mono seemed to bear this out, finishing in just 93 seconds without any streaking or smudges. However, duplexing 10 colour pages onto five sheets took just under three and a quarter minutes, which is far slower than a typical laser.

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