Epson is expanding its EcoTank printer line-up with the addition of two six-ink photo printers plus two new models designed for home offices and small businesses.

The versatile, 6-ink EcoTank Photo ET-8550 wireless printer can produce photo-quality, wide-format colour prints up to A3+size. (Source: Epson.)

Six ink EcoTank printers have been available for some time in Asia and Europe so it’s surprising it took so long for them to be released in Australia. The multi-function EcoTank Photo ET-8550 and EcoTank Photo ET-8500 appear to be relatively new models, with the ET-8550 designed for printing at up to A3+ size, while the ET-8500 is an A4 model that can also print on ‘Letter’ sized (8.5 by 11 inch) paper. Featuring Epson’s proprietary Heat-Free MicroPiezo print heads, both models use six colour Epson Claria ET Premium inks and can print up to 2,300 high-quality photos or 6,700 pages in black and white or 6,200 pages in colour with one set of ink bottles. The ink set consists of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Grey and Photo black dye inks plus a pigment Black ink for printing text. The inks come in 70 mL bottles.

Easy-fill ink reservoirs are a feature of the EcoTank range. (Source: Epson.)

Both printers include built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections plus SD card slots and can print up to 2,300 high-quality photos or 6,700 pages in black and white or 6,200 pages in colour with one set of inks. Each model also comes with a 4.3-inch colour touch-screen for adjusting settings and setting up easy wireless printing options. They are claimed to be able to deliver a snapshot-sized print in approximately 15 seconds and are the only EcoTank printers that support Epson’s Signature Worthy media line, as well as cardstock and other specialty media up to 1.3 mm thick. The new EcoTank Photo printers aim to deliver significant cost savings when it comes to ink and a more robust set of other features, such as efficient printing of documents and a high-resolution flatbed scanner. Epson claims saving of up to 80% on replacement inks, when compared with ink cartridges.

Note that the inks used in these printers are Claria ET Premium inks; not the Claria Photo HD inks that are used in Epson’s dedicated photo printers. We were unable to find accurate lightfastness ratings for Claria ET Premium inks but, being dye inks, prints made with them are unlikely to be as long-lasting as those made with pigment inks. But they’ll last longer than prints made with the standard inks used for general-purpose printing, which are used by most multi-function printers. The EcoTank ET-8500 and ET-8550 are available immediately with RRPs of AU$999.00 and AU$1149.00 respectively. Click here or more information.

Epson also released details of the new EcoTank Pro ET-5150 and EcoTank Pro ET-5170 multi-function models which are designed for high-volume environments. They also include a 1,200-by-4,800 dpi flatbed scanner. Both are four-colour (CMYK) printers and neither is ideal for photo printing, although Epson claims they would make good replacements for expensive and heat-producing laser printers. They would also be preferable to the single-use cartridge printers that contribute to plastics waste.

EcoTank Photo ET-8550 Specifications
Printing technology: 6-colour (BK, PB, C, M, Y, Gy)
Max. print resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi
Print speed: Black 16.0 ISO ppm / Colour 12.0 ISO ppm
Duplexing: Yes, Automatic
Mobile & Voice-activated printing: Email Print, Remote Print, Scan to Cloud via Epson Connect; Epson Smart Panel app, Epson Print Layout app (iOS), Epson Creative Print app; support for Apple AirPrint, Android printing, Mopria Print Service; voice activation via Siri, Google Assistant, Epson Connect, Amazon Alexa
Copying: Max. 99 pages @ 600 x 600 dpi input; 256 gradations/16.7 mil colours; Copy Resolution (Print): 360 x 360 dpi, 720 x 720 dpi, Automatic 1-sided to 2-sided copy; Reduction/Enlargement: 25 to 400%
Scanning: CIS flatbed colour image scanner; max. resolution 1200 x 4800 dpi (9600 dpi interpolated); 48-bit colour input / 24-bit colour output; TWAIN Reading Resolution: 75~9600 dpi (1 dpi step), TWAIN Output Format: PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Multi-TIFF, BMP (Windows), PICT (Mac), Scan to Computer Epson ScanSmart, Scan to Memory Device
Paper handling: Max. Paper Size 13 x 19 inches (A3+) Max. Paper Weight Plain: 64-90 g/m2 , PPPG: 102-300 g/m2; 1.3 mm thickness (Rear Straight Pass); Input Paper Capacity Front Tray 1: 20 sheets photo 5×7-inch”, FrontTray 2: 100 sheets plain Letter/A4, Rear: 50 sheets plain or 5 sheets photo A3+, Rear Straight Pass: 1 sheet; Output Tray Paper Capacity 50 sheets (plain paper, Letter), 20 sheets (PPPG) Direct CD Printing
Connectivity: Hi-Speed USB, Wi-Fi 512, 802.11 b/g/n/a/ac, Ethernet (10/100), SD Card, USB
Display: 4.3-inch touch LCD panel
Acoustic noise: 48 dB(A) or less
Power consumption: Standalone Copying (ISO/IEC 24712 Pattern) 17W, Ready Mode 7.5W, Sleep Mode 0.8W, Power Off Mode 0.2W
Safety standards: UL60950-1, CAN/ CSA-C22.2 No.60950-1, FCC Part15 Subpart B Class B, ICES-003 Class B
Eco features: ENERGY STAR® qualified, RoHS Compliant, Recyclable product
Dimensions (w x d x h): 523 x 758 x 430 mm printing; (523 x 379 x 169 mm storage
Weight: 11.1 kg