Last week we introduced you to the Epson ET-2760 printer. Read Part 1 of our review here. This was our introduction to the EcoTank system that uses bottles of liquid ink instead of the more common ink cartridges. Since it’s the whole idea of using bottles of ink rather than cartridges that makes the ET-2760 stand out from every other printer we have ever used, we wanted to do a deep dive into EcoTank concept.
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The Economics of EcoTank Printers
Some may argue that dealing with ink bottles is too much of
a hassle. We were suspicious too. The
thought of dealing with liquid ink, potential spills, etc., was a concern. But
after setting up the Epson ET-2760, we can honestly say that while it took a
few minutes longer than a printer with ink cartridges, it was much easier and
cleaner than we expected. But it’s the
economics of the EcoTank system that really impresses us.
Epson boasts that their EcoTank printers come with two-years
of ink in the box. Of course, that is an average based on user statistics since
they don’t know how much printing someone might due.
But when you look at the cost of ink cartridges vs.EcoTank
bottles, the difference is striking.
Here is an actual example.
Earlier this year, we reviewed the Epson Expression XP-6000
printer (read our review here.)
This is one of their newer printers and uses Epson 302 standard ink cartridges
or 302XL high capacity cartridges.
Based on Epson’s documentation, the 302 Black cartridge will
print about 250 pages and each 302 color cartridge will print about 300
pages. The high capacity XL cartridges
will print about 550 black and 650 color pages. The XP-6000 printer also uses a
photo black cartridge but Epson did not list yields for that.
You can learn more about how Epson measures ink yields on
their web site, here.
Epson recommends that you always use their ink to get the
best results from your printer. For the purposes of our comparison, we are only
looking at Epson ink.
In checking Amazon, the most economical option for a full
replacement of all of the ink cartridges is their multi-pack. This includes a high-capacity (302XL) black
cartridge and one of each color standard capacity (302) color and photo black
cartridge. The price for the entire multi-pack is $77.99.
The Epson ET-2760 uses Epson 502 ink bottles. Based on the same testing matrix, Epson rates
the black ink bottle at approximately 7,500 pages and the color ink bottles at
approximately 6,000 pages. It is easy to
see that the Eco-Tank printer holds much more ink and therefore will print many
more pages before needing to be refilled.
But what about the cost?
The closest we could come to matching the 302 cartridge
multi-pack was by purchasing the 502 Combo Pack which has one each of the three
color bottles, and adding a single bottle of 502 black ink.
The single bottle of black ink costs $11.30 and the three-color
combo pack is $36.80. That makes the
total cost for a full ink replacement $48.10.
So, not only does the 502 ink produce ten times the number
of pages when compared to the 302 cartridges, but the total cost is about 40%
less. On a per page basis, Epson estimates
that the cost per page using bottled ink is about $0.01 vs. cartridges at about
$0.20, and one set of ink bottles, is equivalent to 80 ink cartridges.
Since most used ink cartridges wind up in landfills, the
Epson EcoTank system is also good for the environment.
Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Printer – Test Results
We have printed a variety of documents, charts and photos
using the Epson ET-2760 Printer and have been satisfied with the results.
The printer produces crisp blacks for crystal clear text and
bright colors for charts and designs included on a printed page. The Epson
ET-2760 printer also supports duplex printing, although the setting has to be
selected in the macOS Printer Dialog box.
The print quality is highly dependent on the paper that was
used. When using lower quality general
purpose copy paper, we thought the colors tended to be more muted on the
printed page and there was some minor bleed through when doing double sided
printing, while using the higher quality Epson Premium Printer Paper made the
colors “pop” with less bleed through.
The same was true for printing photos, which looked much
better when printed on Epson Glossy Photo Paper.
The front panel has a 1.44” LCD display. This is used to control functions like paper
size, selecting the copy function, etc. as well as machine maintenance like
resetting ink levels, aligning print head, etc.
Given the size of the printer we thought the screen could have been a
little bigger. But the information,
though small, was sufficient to get us to do whatever we needed so it seems to
serve the purpose.
The same was true for the copying function, although most of
our copies where of plain documents and we found the difference in output
quality didn’t justify the cost of a more expensive paper.
Finally, our testing of the flat-bed scanner function was
excellent. While the printer is a little
loud when printing output, we found the scanning function to be so quiet, that
we initially thought it wasn’t working.
Epson has included the full set of options that you would
expect from a scanner application and provides full control of the desired
output. Like the printing function, scanning is wireless, and while you
obviously need to be near the ET-2760 to load the pages to be copied, your computer
does not need to be.
Epson also provides a remote app that supports remote
printing from your iPhone and iPad. They
also offer a remote printing service which allows you to send a print job to
your printer via email. If your printer
is not turned on when the job is sent, it is stored in a queue and will print
when you next turn on your printer.
The Bottom Line
The Epson ET-2760 Printer is our first experience with the
EcoTank line and our introduction to the use of liquid ink in bottles. While we were skeptical in the beginning, it
didn’t take long for us to get won-over.
The EcoTank line of printers tend to be more expensive than
some of the cartridge printers we have tested, but that is off-set by the lower
cost per page going forward.
The large capacity ink tanks hold so much ink, that we can
easily see why Epson says you get 2-years of ink in the box. For people or small offices that do lots of
printing, the ease of use and the economy of the EcoTank system is a hands-down
If you are a homeowner that does a limited amount of
printing, you’ll have to decide whether the higher up-front cost is worth
it. We certainly like the EcoTank system
over cartridge type printers but we’ll have to see how the EcoTank system
stands up over time when there is low use.
The Epson ET-2760 has an MSRP of $299.00 but is
available at Amazon at a substantial savings.
If you prefer a slightly smaller printer, check out the
Other models are also available with an Automatic Document
We would like to thank the folks at Epson for proving an
ET-2760 Printer for our testing and review.
What is your favorite type of printer? What do you think of using liquid ink bottles
instead of cartridges? Why not join the
conversation and leave a comment below?
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