For small offices or home offices, office ink printers with their moderate follow-up costs are suitable. If you rely on the slightly more expensive “ink tank” printers, you hardly have to pay any more printing costs. Printer channel has looked at models with fax and ADF in the price range from 250 to 500 euros.
Laser printers are usually suitable for use in the office. For a few years now, ink printers with special pigment inks and usually cheaper follow-up costs have also prevailed in the office.
With the introduction of “ink tank printers”, the manufacturers have shown that you can print extremely cheaply even with original inks. Unlike traditional cartridge printers, the ink from bottles is filled into voluminous tanks in the printer.
A printed colour page with a simple, cheap ink printer costs around 15 cents. For good office ink printers, the page price is around 6 cents, while ink tank printers cost an average of just 0.6 cents per printed colour page.
However, there is at least one catch: the printers cost significantly more than “normal” ink printers. Except for the sinfully expensive 1,000-euro A3 model Epson Ecotank ET-16500, the devices offer only a rather meagre functionality. Duplex scanning, high print speed, colour pigment inks or network scanning are not possible with the current ink tank models. The Epson top model Ecotank ET-4750 currently costs around 400 euros and offers roughly the same functionality as the standard cartridge model Workforce WF-2860DWF, which is available for less than 100 euros. The difference is massively low follow-up costs.
Meanwhile, Canon also offers models with fax and ADF under the brand edging roof “Megatank” and HP with its “Smart Tank” series. Brother, however, is taking a different path with its “all-in-box” system, which we also briefly introduce.
Simple models from 150 euros for private purposes without fax and ADF we have already introduced.
Best Ink Tank Printer In India 2021
Canon Pixma G4511 Ink Tank Printer
However, the fairly low-cost price does not necessarily make the printer attractive. The predecessor could hardly convince us in the test. This is due not only to the rather windy construction but also to the cumbersome operation and the paper feeder.
At 8.8 pm in B/W and 5 pm in colour, the print speed is the final light of comparable printers. Plain paper, envelopes or photo cards must all be inserted into the rear paper feeder in an open design for a maximum of 100 sheets. These can be printed without edge, but not on two sides.
The flatbed scanner with an optical resolution of 600 dpi is set aside for a fairly slow Simplex-ADF for up to 20 sheets. Double-sided originals must therefore be turned by hand.
The control panel is unergonomically mounted on the top and relies on a number field and an LC text display without backlight. Long menu entries run as jerky flow text over the “screen”.
The G-Pixma also makes connection directly via USB or Wlan with a network. In contrast to the cheaper G3510, the Airprint standard is also supported.
The GI-590 series inks are housed in four bottles without a valve. When filling the tanks, the bottles must be pressed and therefore do not protect against cracking.
The G4511 is also available as Pixma G4510. The largely identical predecessor G4500 can also be an alternative at a lower price. Canon offers a guarantee of only one year. Upon registration immediately after purchase, it can be extended free of charge to three years (maximum 30,000 pages).
Canon Pixma G7050 Ink Tank Printer
Brand new is the Pixma G7050 of the new mega tank generation. The price of the new top model is just under 500 euros. In retail, the device is not yet cheaper, making it by far the most expensive model in this comparison.
Compared to its predecessor, the Pixma G4511, the printhead and inks have been redesigned. This includes a higher black order with better coverage. The tempo is faster at 1 pm in B/W and 6.8 pm in colour but is still quite slow for use in small offices.
The top-G model comes with three bottles of black pigment ink for up to 18,000 prints. The GI-50 series colour inks are sufficient for 7,700 pages each and are easy to come by. If a tank needs to be replenished, the G7050 can detect this and displays a corresponding message. The cheaper Pixma and the Epsons can’t.
The Canon is versatile when it comes to paper processing: in addition to the rear paper feeder for 100 sheets, there is also a paper cassette for a further 250 sheets. However, this is limited to plain paper in A4 or A5 formats. Duplex printing is also possible primarily on these media. It should be noted, however, that the pigment black ink used is not particularly smudge-resistant and is applied with less cover during double-sided printing. Also, the tempo is reduced.
The 1,200-dpi scanner is equipped with a Simplex ADF attachment, which can read 35 sheets in one-sided version. However, there is a limitation when operating the functions on the device. Canon hasn’t missed a touch-controlled colour display for its top model. Although there is a two-line text display, it is not backlit and has to shorten and “scroll through” larger menu entries.
Canon only provides a 12-month warranty to all its ink tank printers. However, selected tank printers, such as the G7050, will receive a free three-year extension of the warranty since April 2021, but not more than 30,000 pages.
Epson Ecotank ET-4700 Ink Tank Printer
Technically, the device is based on the ET-2710 and is extended by the display, ADF and fax. However, the sleek design is built on a simple-constructed case.
In B/W mode, the Epson prints 10-pm, while the 5-ppm colour print is quite slow. More serious is the absence of pigmented black ink: as a result, text prints appear dark grey instead of deep black. It is, therefore, a system with the 104 series bottles with four Dye inks. Incomprehensibly, however, the black ink is only used on matte media. Why Epson has taken advantage of better photo printing with Dye-Black remains a mystery.
After all, the ink bottles are equipped with a valve and ensure a Klecker-free filling. Also, the bottles are mechanically encoded with a key lock system, so that no confusing colours is possible.
Epson is also positioned for paper feeding. There is only an open feeder for 100 sheets. There is no paper cassette, nor is there automatic duplex printing. The borderless printing is possible but limited to the size 10×15 cm.
The scanner is equipped with a Simplex-ADF, which can read a maximum of 30 sheets in a row. To scan the back, the stack must be rotated manually. After all, Epson has donated a small colour display to the entry-level Ecotank. This is mounted on the foldable control panel, which also holds a membrane keypad and navigation keys.
In addition to USB, the ET-4700 can also be connected to Wifi and Wifi direct. However, unlike the 3-in-1 ET-2710 model, there is the Standard Airprint, which is important for Apple users. Furthermore, the Ecotank understands Mopria and can be operated with apps for Android or iOS.
As a rule, the Ecotank ET-4700 Unlimited is available at a high surcharge. This includes a card for unlimited printing within two years.
The warranty is three years after special registration and is limited to a maximum of 30,000 printed pages.
Epson Ecotank ET-4750 Ink Tank Printer
Printer Channel has already tested the device and rated it “Good” despite the limitations of the functionality. The design is similar to the cheaper ET-4700, but it is a different and more stable housing.
This includes the higher tempo of at least 15 ipm in B/W, but also only a leisurely 8 ppm in colour mode. Instead of the open paper feeder, there is a stable cassette for 250 sheets of plain paper. All other media must also be inserted into this compartment. Here, the rear additional feeder of the Canon G7050 is practical. This includes automatic duplex printing as well as full-surface borderless printing on all popular formats up to A4.
The original feeder (ADF) for scanning is also only installed in Simplex version and has a capacity of 30 sheets.
The four inks belong to the 102 series and consist of a smudge-resistant pigment black and three dye inks. Epson delivers the printer with a double endowment of each colour. Without further repurchase, 14,000 text or 11,200 colour pages with standard cover can be printed on plain paper. For this purpose, the ET-4750 is the only model in this comparison equipped with a replaceable residual ink tank—more on this below.
In addition to the Brother (cartridge printer), the large Ecotank is the only one equipped with a colour display and touch control. The display is quite small with a diagonal of 6.1 cm but offers a service through the menus. The panel can be tilted and is equipped with only a start button in addition to the on/off switch.
On the connection side, the Ecotank from USB is fully equipped via Wi-Fi and Ethernet. However, there is no USB host slot or even SD card slot at the front. All common standards from Airprint to Mopria to Google Cloudprint are supported.
Epson provides a three-year warranty or a maximum of 50,000 printed pages after special registration.
HP Smart Tank Plus 655 Ink Tank Printer
The Smart Tank Plus 655 is the 4-in-1 model of the ink tank printer series, which was only introduced in the fall. For HP, these are the first models with ink tanks in Western Europe.
At print speed, the “Smart Tank” with 11 ipm in B/W and only 5 ppm in colour does not deliver records. In general, the HP with its rather flat but wide housing does not show great features.
When feeding paper, there is only an open paper tray from behind. There is no paper cassette, as it is already installed on cheap Envy models. Automatic duplex printing is also missing. A4 documents or photos, on the other hand, can be printed in the usual formats without edge.
The 32XL, 31 series colour set consists of a bottle of pigment black and the three basic colours with Dye ink. The scope of delivery includes two bottles of black ink, which allows around 12,000 pages of black text or 8,000 pages of simple colour documents to be printed ex-works. Like the Canon G7050, the HP printer can detect an almost empty ink tank and continues to populate the user to replenish the ink. The Epson printers can’t do that.
The ADF module (document feed) set on the scanner can hold up to 35 originals and process them one after the other. However, this is only done in Simplex execution. Double-sided scans or copies are only possible with manual turning. This applies to the print function anyway with this model.
USB and Wi-Fi with Wifi-Direct are standard – Airprint also works. The HP provides the ability to connect to 5 GHz wireless networks. These are used less than 2.4 GHz.
If you don’t need fax, you can choose the otherwise identical Smart Tank Plus 570 and save a good 50 euros from 295 €*2. HP provides a standard one-year warranty, which can be extended to three years up to 60 days after purchase after special registration. There is also a maximum of 30,000 pages. The print head is interchangeable, but not covered by the warranty.
Also cheap but no ink tank printer: Brother MFC-J1300DW
As a counterpart to the ink tank printers, Brother has been offering an “all-in box” with conventional but large and inexpensive cartridges for over a year now with its MFC-J1300DW.
The equipment, as well as the performance data, can be seen: Compared to the ink tank printer competition, there are only a few functions that the Brother does not master or do worse. This includes an ISO print speed of 12 ppm in B/W and at least 10 ppm in colour – in the latter mode it is not faster in this class.
The paper is supplied via a paper cassette with a capacity of 150 sheets of plain paper, which protects against dust. There is no rear entry for special media. For this purpose, both duplex printing and borderless printing in the popular formats are standard.
The scanner has an optical resolution of 1,200 dpi and is also equipped with a Simplex document feeder (ADF) for just 20 sheets. Larger or double-sided printed stacks of documents must be turned and/or relaid by hand.
For the Brother, there are huge ink cartridges of the SERIES LC-3235XL, which are in black for 6,000 pages and 5,000 pages in colour each. This corresponds to the scope of delivery. With a planned print volume of 100 to 150 pages per month, this amount should last for about three years. Afterwards, however, new cartridges have to be purchased, which cost around 170 euros with the same filling volume. For an ink tank printer, the set of colour bottles costs only around 50 euros – sometimes even longer.
Thus, the ranges are five times higher in comparison, with only a slightly lower cost price. Basically, the MFC is not a bad purchase, but it is true that “the better is the enemy of the good” – free according to Voltaire.
The brothers’ black is pigmented and resulted in a largely smudge-proof printing the test of the predecessor model MFC-J985. However, the relatively low coverage must be taken into account here. The colours are made of detente and are therefore also well suited for photo printing – although due to the lack of photo black the contrasts are somewhat low. But all printers have this in common in this comparison.
The foldable control panel houses a medium-sized colour touchscreen with navigation buttons. The case has a USB host port for dropping scans and an SD card slot for direct printing of photos. Computers can be connected via USB or connected to the network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Mobile devices can also connect quickly via Wifi-Direct. Airprint and Google Cloud print are standard.
Epson and the Brother printers have a fixed piezo head built-in, which is supposed to last a printer life and can hardly be changed without much effort and high costs. HP and Canon printers each have a black and a three-colour printhead based on the low-budget printheads of the low-budget printers. These are not officially declared as consumables but are available as spare parts. However, at HP, wear is not covered by the 3-year warranty (after registration) – Canon does not have this limitation, but Canon only provides a one-year warranty.
With Canon and HP printers, the heads for black and colour can be changed in case of wear. The procedure at Canon is a little more complex and costs around 30 euros per head at both manufacturers.
Since HP and Canon printheads are already filled with ink on delivery, the process requires significantly less colour than the Ecotank models. Once installed, they treat themselves to ink for around 1,000 pages and around twenty minutes to fill the system. The Brother system should also be faster to print, but it also requires pumping operations with every cartridge change, which is no longer necessary for tank printers.
Where to go with the remaining ink?
Those who rarely print know the problem: not all the ink from the normally expensive ink cartridges ends up on the paper, but is pumped into the printing memory by cleaning processes. This can happen regularly or can be triggered by the user himself in the case of clogged nozzles.
For this purpose, a fleece is installed in the case back of all ink printers. Some high-end office printers pump it into a small container, which can then be bought and changed for little money.
This applies only to the Epson Ecotank ET-4750in this comparison. The small plastic container has an undefined service life, which depends primarily on the cleanings that have been made. For all other printers, a full container/fleece causes service usage, which can cost between 25 and 100 euros depending on the manufacturer. However, depending on the number of pages printed, this should be covered by the printer’s warranty. HP says to its tank printers that the models release very little ink into the tank and that a change is only necessary in the rarest of cases.