Epson WorkForce WF-7110DTW review

It’s not a speedy printer, but this big A3 inkjet delivers classy output for a very good price

Price
£98
  • Cheap to run; Good connectivity options;
  • Slow print speeds at high quality; Large footprint;

A3 printing for less than 100 is a tempting deal indeed. And not only is Epson's WorkForce WF-7110DTW cheap to buy, it offers low running costs, integral duplexing, and both wired and wireless networking, with support for Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint.

Weighing over 15kg, this is a chunky printer - but it puts its size to good use. Its twin 250-sheet input trays both offer telescopic sliders, allowing each to handle A3 and A3+ paper sizes. The A3+ manual feed slot at the back offers a flatter paper path through the printer, for heavyweight paper up to 256gsm.

Like most inkjet manufacturers, Epson offers a choice of ink capacities: with the standard cartridges, running costs for mono and colour A4 pages work out to approximately 3p and 10.4p per page. The high-capacity XL cartridges are a better bet, slashing page costs to only 1.3p and 6.2p.

Epson claims mono print speeds of 18ppm, which we found were achievable in the standard driver mode - although text quality isn't great, with small fonts suffering from a light dusting. The high-quality mode produces much sharper prints, but speed falls to less than 5ppm.

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Print speeds were decent in our 24-page colour DTP test, which completed at nearly 12ppm in standard mode (2ppm faster than claimed). Photos and graphics looked grainy, though, so we wouldn't use this mode for professional presentations.

Switching to high-quality mode transformed print quality, with sharp, detailed colour photos on inkjet-quality paper - but speed tumbled to less than 3ppm.

For a business--class printer, the WF-7110DTW makes a good fist of photos: on 160gsm semi-gloss paper, it delivered highly detailed pictures with excellent contrast and no hint of bleeding or banding. Poster-sized prints are a pleasure, too. An A3 print took 1min 1sec on 100gsm paper and looked good enough to be framed.

The Epson isn't as fast as HP's PageWide Pro 452dw, but this means that the ink dries during printing, with no curling or wrinkling. Power consumption is also very low, with the printer maxing out at only 18W.

Epson's installation routine gets you up and running quickly. It loads the driver, checks for the latest firmware and automatically updates the printer as needed. It also loads a network status monitor, complete with nozzle-cleaning and alignment-checking tools, plus Epson's handy Easy Photo Print utility.

The software then automatically registered the printer with our Epson Connect cloud account, meaning our remote users could email print jobs to it as attachments from anywhere. You can choose the first part of its email address, and from the web portal you can create approved sender lists and decide who can print photos.

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The printer's web interface is minimal, but provides swift access to wired or wireless network settings. We found it easy to register the printer with our Google Cloud Print account, and we had no problems enabling AirPrint and using it to print from our iPad.

Apart from the photo controls in the Epson Connect portal, there are no facilities for restricting colour printing or setting page limits for users.

You can disable the WSD protocol to stop people from using it on the sly, but the only other option is to remotely lock the LCD control panel, which must be done through the separate EpsonNet utility.

The Epson is an impressive printer. It's no workhorse, but would make a perfect second printer for a business wanting affordable A3 colour prints.

Verdict

The Epson is an impressive printer. It’s no workhorse, but would make a perfect second printer for a business wanting affordable A3 colour prints.

4,800 x 2,400dpi A3 inkjet printer

128MB RAM

18/10ppm mono/colour

USB 2

10/100 Ethernet

802.11n wireless

Wi-Fi Direct

AirPrint

5.5cm LCD screen

Duplex

2 x 250-sheet A3/A3+ input trays

Single-page A3+ rear feed slot

Max monthly duty cycle, 20,000 pages

567 x 424 x 304mm (WDH)

15.6kg

1yr on-site warranty

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