Epson EcoTank ET-2600 Review
The ET-2600 is a great pick for long-term affordability.
- Ink ends up being quite affordable
- Good black-and-white printing speed
- Good printing and scanning quality
- Scanning is slow
- No included USB cable
Not all printers utilize expensive ink cartridges to print out your photos and documents. In our Epson EcoTank ET-2600 review, we’ll examine a printer that uses a different ink dispensing method that lowers the lifetime cost of printing and see how it measures up in comparison to other printers.
Design and Connectivity
In terms of size, the ET-2600 straddles the line between bulky and compact. It’s not quite as large as many office-specific printers that look like they have multiple levels, but it’s not quite small enough to store after every use. Total dimensions are measured at 17.5” x 28” x 11” and it weighs 11 pounds.
The ET-2600’s purchase comes with four bottles of ink and most of what you need to install the printer and get it to work right away. Curiously, there isn’t an included USB cable, so you’ll need to use the wireless connectivity function unless you have a spare lying around.
But the Wi-Fi connectivity is fairly reliable and the ET-2600 comes with WPS support included. This can let you connect your home network more quickly than other networks. You can also use the Epson iPrint app for mobile printing needs in conjunction with the printer.
Controls and Installation
We did find that the Epson installation software included was rather hit or miss. Typical Windows 10 installation wizards work a lot better for detecting this ET-2600 and getting everything installed without issue.
There isn’t a touchscreen or many direct controls located on the front-facing panel of the ET-2600. Instead, there are only a few physical buttons to initiate basic tasks, and all other controls are handled via a computer interface.
The most interesting design choice of this printer is the fact that it does not use ink cartridges. Instead, this printer uses refillable ink tanks that are refilled with cheaper bottles. This drives the cost per page for the ET-2600 down relative to many competitors. In addition, you can refill only whichever color is missing rather than having to replace the entire set whatever one hue runs out.
The ink is enough to print about 4000 pages in black and white and 6500 pages of color so long as you use the “draft” page quality. Supposedly, this style of ink delivery is efficient enough to lower your ink refill costs by around 80% when compared to traditional printers.
Refilling the ink tanks doesn’t take much work and is simpler than you might expect. The tanks are refilled outside the ET-2600, then inserted once they’re at capacity. This does leave plenty of opportunities to spill the ink and leave a huge mess, particularly on your clothes. We would recommend extreme caution when refilling the ink tanks.
But inserting the tanks only takes a few seconds and can be done easily. However, the ink tanks must be charged once inserted into the printer before you can begin printing more documents. This process takes about 20 minutes, so it can be quite inconvenient if you run out of ink in the middle of a big copying job and are forced to take a break.
The print quality is quite good. The maximum resolution for prints is 5760 x 1440 dpi or dots per inch. This is great resolution when compared to smaller or cheaper printers, which often have maximum resolutions of only 1200 dpi.
However, the printing quality fades when you start to use photo paper and attempt to bring realistic images to life. Colors for document logos or charts are vibrant, but photo colors feel a little washed out. You may need to tinker with the quality settings included in the ET-2600 software to find a better result. Keep in mind that the “high quality” print setting takes up much more ink and slows down the printing time considerably.
The draft setting mentioned before is quite low quality and is best used for black and white or text-only documents. Colors look particularly poor on the draft setting so we would only recommend using standard or above settings for any documents that include colors other than black and white. Unfortunately, no matter which settings you mess with, there is no option for borderless printing with this printer.
Printing speed is also decent. Standard page speeds clock in about 10 pages per minute for black and white and 4.5 pages for color. The color speed is a little slow for our liking of the 10 ppm speed for mono documents is great for office work or for homework assignments.
Copying and Scanning
In addition to its printing functionality, the ET-2600 can also be used as a copier or scanner. The copying speed is a little slower than the printing speed: 7.7 pages per minute for black and white and 3.7 pages per minute for color. You can use the same paper tray that you use for printing to grab paper for new copies, and the scanner takes care of the original document.
Scanning resolution quality is quite good as well. It reaches 2400 dpi as an optical resolution benchmark. You do have to scan documents one by one, as there is a distinct lack of a feeder tray for the scanner. This can drastically slow down your progress for bigger jobs.
The Epson EcoTank ET-2600 is a decent printer for office spaces or for larger families. Its main draw is the cheaper method of ink consumption that defines its design. The initial asking price of the printer is quite high, especially given its printing speed and maximum resolution. But you should make up for the high asking price over time provided that you take advantage of the cheaper ink prices you’ll enjoy after frequent use. It’s a great choice for a long-term printer for those who go through a lot of pages each month.
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