Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4720DWF review

Variable performance but this affordable inkjet MFP delivers on low running costs, cloud features and ease of use

Price
£112
  • Great connectivity options; High-quality output; Low running costs
  • Underwhelming performance speeds

Small businesses short on office space will find Epson's WorkForce Pro WF-4720DWF a good solution, as this inkjet MFP packs plenty of features into the smallest of footprints. Combining print, copy, scan and fax functions, it claims speeds of 20ppm for mono and colour and costing a mere 112, it's eminently affordable.

It's cheap to run too, as Epson's high-capacity '35XL' cartridges deliver laser-beating running costs of 1.8p for a mono page and only 6.3p for a colour one. The printer comes with standard '35' cartridges but there's no point in buying more at this capacity as they nearly double running costs.

Epson's install routine provides a handy network setup tutorial and loaded all Windows 10 drivers for us. It then applied the latest firmware, installed a browser print plug-in plus desktop scan and fax utilities and checked they were the latest versions.

The install routine also maps a drive letter to the printer's USB host port so you can scan directly to it and copy resident files from it over the network straight to your PC. With the Epson Event Manager loaded on our Windows 10 desktops, we could also select any of them from the control panel as a scan destination.

A quick nozzle test page confirmed all was well and the printer then proceeded to deliver a mixed bag for performance. In Draft mode, our 20-page mono Word document was dished out at 21ppm, in Standard mode it held good at 20ppm but in High mode, speed tumbled to only 5ppm.

Similarly, our 24-page colour DTP document returned 19ppm in Standard mode and an equally pedestrian 4.4ppm in High mode. Duplexing is a noisy affair as the printer snatches pages back to reverse them and it's slow as well, with a double-sided print on our 20-page document averaging 11ppm.

Our copy tests delivered the same speeds with a 10-page single-sided copy taking 55 seconds, but the scanner's ADF only has a simplex feeder so can't scan both sides of a page in one pass. The WF-4720DWF scores well for its photo printing abilities, completing a high quality A4 photo on 141gms glossy paper in 112 seconds.

For general office document printing, the Standard mode is clear enough for 12pt fonts but go smaller and both this and the High mode leave a slight dusting around some characters. Paper weight also has an impact as we found heavier 100gms paper produced sharper results - although this will increase running costs.

Use High mode for colour marketing material as you'll receive bold, punchy reports without a hint of banding. Colour photos on glossy paper are sharp and clean with no edge bleeding and the printer driver has options for borderless prints.

The printer is well connected, although you can't have wired and wireless connection active together. We had no problems printing from our iPad over AirPrint and WiFi Direct and also employed Epson's iPrint iOS app to send files to the printer from our Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive accounts and keep a remote eye on its consumables.

Cloud services are a cinch to setup with Epson's Connect allowing remote users to email print jobs as attachments to the printer's registered address. It also took seconds for us to create a scan to Google Cloud destination from the Connect portal which appeared in the printer's intuitive control panel after registration.

Small businesses on a tight budget will like the WF-4720DWF as it's cheap to buy and run and offers plenty of features. Print and scan speeds are unremarkable but report and photo quality is good and it's very user-friendly.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 279

Verdict

Small businesses on a tight budget will like the WF-4720DWF as it's cheap to buy and run and offers plenty of features. Print and scan speeds are unremarkable but report and photo quality is good and it's very user-friendly.

4,800 x 1,200dpi A4 inkjet MFP, 1,200 x 2,400dpi colour flatbed A4 scanner 20ppm mono/colour 6.8cms colour touchscreen 2 x USB 2 10/100 Ethernet 11n wireless NFC 33.6Kbps fax/modem 2 x RJ-11 Duplex 250-sheet input tray 35-page ADF Max. monthly duty cycle, 25,000 pages 425 x 378 x 249mm (WDH) 9.1kgs 1yr RTB warranty

RUNNING COSTS

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