Reviews You Can Depend On

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4730 Wireless All-in-One

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner with Wi-Fi Direct
Price: CDN$ 129.94


Quiet, small foot print, quick, but whoa… the cost of ink hurts

I’ve started to like this machine, I’ve been using it now for about a month. I don’t like getting something like this and a few days later writing it up, many quirks or failures take a while to show up. The biggest use it gets around here is for printing and it does that very well. While not the fastest it’s quick enough and the reproduction is excellent. Also for its size it packs in a lot of features. I’ve had other similar multi-function devices but their foot print was much larger, and for me the only spot I have to park a printer is within a standard 19-inch rack. This fits the rack and leaves about 3 cm on either side.

You don’t need to be technical to use or set up this printer. Set up was a breeze and far simpler than most other printers I’ve had to deal with. Within 10 minutes everything was set up and I was printing a test page. Even network connectivity was simple as the software is designed to require a minimum of interaction to get connected.

The set-up guide is a fold out sheet that walks you through the required steps. Its laid out nicely and easy to follow. There’s no technical jargon, this is designed for an average individual who knows how to use a computer but isn’t an IT person.

Print quality is excellent for an ink jet. It doesn’t matter what I print, documents or images, everything looks good and there aren’t any splotches or unwanted marks. Colour rendition is very good and can of course be changed or compensated through the software. Images come out bright and clear.

► It’s printing capabilities are excellent for both B&W and colour.
► Double sided printing works great albeit a little slower than I’d like, the transition where it finishes on side and then pulls the paper back to print on the second side could be shorter
► As a scanner it works fast but will only scan one side of a sheet at a time.
► Scanning and then pushing to a networked PC works smooth and worked the first time, no fiddling, once the software was set up. There is also an option for scanning to email for people who prefer this kind of service.
► Reading from a thumb drive requires that the drive be formatted as exFAT, FAT, or FAT32. NTFS can’t be read.
► Only images on a thumb drive will be recognized and they must be either JPG or TIFF, no other file formats, not even the common PDF format, are recognized.
► Wi-fi Direct, Networked connection, and NFC all worked without a glitch or complicated set up.
► The mobile app is easy to connect with the printer once installed.
► The top mounted 35 sheet document feeder works well and when used for single sided scanning runs fairly fast.
► Printing from a mobile device is quick and painless through the free app.

It will technically do double sided scanning but this requires manual intervention. While documents can be scanned through the top feeder only one side is scanned. To get both sides scanned, and this applies to copying double sided pages as well, the page to be scanned/copied needs to be placed on the glass top. Then through the LCD display select 2-sided scanning/copying. It will scan the side that’s been placed down on the glass. Once it’s completed it will prompt you to flip over the page loaded onto the glass top. For double sided copying this will work in a pinch but it’s inconvenient.

♦ The included software (download) is robust and provides control over the printer. It also has auto update capabilities that actually work and let you chose which available updates you want to install.
♦ Since I set it up there have been three firmware updates and these were painless. Again, everything requires very little interaction to proceed and execute. None of the updates had any issues or hang ups. It’s also encouraging to know that Epson is actively maintaining the firmware and updating as need arises.
♦ Changing ink cartridges is simple, painless, and very much like any other ink jet I’ve owned.
♦ The machine front mounted display is easy to use and surprisingly responsive to touch. The accessible features are well laid out and easy to navigate. Being able to pull out the bottom of the display bezel so that its angled upwards also makes reading it much easier.
♦ I am impressed with its paper holding capacity, the two trays allow for a lot of printing before running out. Each can also be set to hold a wide variety of different paper sizes including envelopes.
♦ Noise wise it’s probably the quietest ink jet I’ve personally used. Yes, I can hear it but the level of noise isn’t such that it wakes up the house hold.
♦ Upon powering up there is a slight delay before it’s ready to print/copy/scan. This time is slightly shorter than other ink jet’s I’ve owned.

One thing that I don’t get with this machine is the claims Epson is making about reducing the cost of printing by 50%. Over what? Based on the specs here my laser printer is far cheaper to operate even when taking into consideration the required eventual drum replacement. The cartridges listed here, for standard capacity, are $99 apiece. Finding aftermarket replacements is neigh impossible at this time as the printer is that new. Hopefully in a month or so there will be aftermarket solutions which will bring the cost per sheet to a reasonable level that’s at least on par with other printers.

I enjoy this printer, its feature set for the cost is robust and quality pf prints is excellent. The big downfall, and it is a big one, is cost off ink and this makes it easy to take off a star.

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