Epson WorkForce WF-2860DWF review: Ink-redibly disappointing

A budget home office MFP that’s ruined by high running costs

Price
£67
  • Useful feature-set; Reasonable print speeds
  • Miserly ink cartridge capacity; Slow scan speeds

At first glance Epson's WorkForce WF-2860DWF could be the perfect MFP for a home office. It's compact and smart, but also loaded with useful office features such as duplex printing, wired and wireless networking and a 30-page automatic document feeder (ADF). Unlike Epson's highly similar Expression Home XP-5105, there's touchscreen control, and even a fax modem in case you need to send messages back to the 1990s.

Unfortunately, that's where the fun ends. This MFP supports the same ink range as the XP-5105 and comes with the same limited-capacity setup cartridges. Forewarned by experience, and given this MFP's office bias, we prioritised our plain paper tests, which with an ADF involve two additional 10-page copies. After about 80 pages we noticed a deterioration in print quality, followed by a low ink warning for the black, cyan and magenta cartridges. About 25 pages later, midway through our 10-page colour photocopy, we ran out of black ink.

As with the XP-5105, ongoing running costs are high even using the XL cartridges. Here, the high costs are even more of a shame as the WF-2860DWF is otherwise quite a likeable device. Tested over wired Ethernet it managed 16.1ppm on our text test, and produced 5.1 pages of colour graphics every minute. At 14 seconds, a single-page black copy was quick, but the 10-page mono job took more than two and a half minutes. Print quality was generally fairly high - although we ran out of ink before even starting our photo tests - and scans were excellent for an office-focused device.

The WF-2860DWF and XP-5105 provide a useful demonstration that a wireless connection needn't be a bottleneck, even in data-intensive jobs. The WF-2860DWF was three seconds slower than the XP-5105 in all five of our timed scan tests, despite the latter relying on Wi-Fi. At 28 seconds to scan an A4 page at 150 or 300dpi, it's a touch slow.

We've generally been impressed with Epson's WorkForce and WorkForce Pro printers, but the WF-2860DWF is an unfortunate misfire. While on the surface it's not bad for the money, even moderate users will quickly run up big ink bills.

Verdict

We’ve generally been impressed with Epson’s WorkForce and WorkForce Pro printers, but the WF-2860DWF is an unfortunate misfire. While on the surface it’s not bad for the money, even moderate users will quickly run up big ink bills.

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