Lomond EvoJet Office review

A fast, cheap workgroup inkjet printer with a touted printing speed of 60 pages per minute (ppm) thanks to waterfall printing technology.

Design

The EvoJet is the same size as an entry-level workgroup laser, but at 12kg it's quite a bit lighter and can be installed by one person. As you'd expect there are USB and Ethernet interfaces, but the paper-handling specification is underwhelming at this price. Paper is fed either from a 250-sheet tray or a manual feed at the rear and delivered into a 125-sheet output tray. There's no automatic duplex (double-sided) printing, and no upgrades are available at present.

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Like many inkjets, it's shipped without either the head or ink cartridges in place. Fitting both seems slightly more involved than on a consumer inkjet, but still straightforward. Our test unit arrived with all its supplies in place, so we couldn't go through the process ourselves. Lomond supplies the printer with full capacity inks, but a new printer must undergo a one-time priming process before it's first used. This leaves the initial supplies able to print just over half of their rated capacity.

Lomond Evojet - Open

At 12kg, the printer is portable, but you have to remove ink tanks before moving it

It's here that we should note one oddity of the printer's ink system. Once primed, the EvoJet needs to be kept flat in use there's even a tilt sensor to prevent printing otherwise. It's also important to put it into a special 'transport mode' before moving it to help prevent leaks as one inky-fingered colleague found out to their cost. Longer distance relocations require more elaborate preparations including the removal of the ink tanks.

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This sensitivity aside the EvoJet is low maintenance, with each consumable good for at least 4,000 pages. With competitive pricing, the printer also has low running costs. Calculated using ISO/IEC 24711 (inkjet) figures, print costs work out at just over a penny for the black portion of a test page, and 1.9p per page for the colour portion.

The combined black and colour page cost is 3.4p if you factor in a replacement print head every 45,000 pages. In practice, however, pages of text require less black coverage than the ISO test suite, so you might see higher yields when printing predominantly text.

The EvoJet's costs are already on a par with the best inkjets, and cheaper than all but the most cost-efficient competing lasers, but Lomond also offers an official cartridge return and refill programme, which it says can lower ink costs by about 25 per cent. The manufacturer also plans to introduce managed print contracts, but details of these weren't available at the time we went to press.

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