Review of the Epson DS-780N Network Color Document Scanner at PCMag

  • PROS

    Networkable via Ethernet. Huge color touch screen control panel. 100-sheet ADF. Control panel supports up to 30 configurable users. Wide security options.

  • CONS

    Somewhat costly. No Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi Direct for mobile connectivity.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The networkable scans relatively quickly and accurately, and it has a huge customizable color touch screen, but it’s overshadowed by some less costly competition.

Similar in features to the Editors’ Choice Brother ImageCenter ADS-3600W ($829.11 at Amazon), the mid-to-high-volume Epson DS-780N Network Color Document Scanner ($1,099.99) ($799.00 at Amazon) is designed for use in small- to medium-size offices and workgroups that need to do a fair amount of document scanning and archiving. It’s not quite as fast as the Brother model, and it doesn’t support wireless networking. It’s competitively accurate, has an intuitive, highly useful touch screen, and comes with efficient document management software, making it a strong alternative to the ADS-3600W, as well as a few other networkable document scanners we’ve reviewed recently. Its price causes it to fall just short of our Editors’ Choice nod, but otherwise the DS-780N is a fine document scanner.
Read entire review at PCMag


IWilliam Harrel's reviews on Computer Shoppert’s hard to believe, but I have been writing for the legendary Computer Shopper for over eight years (as of October 2017), and have been a contributing editor there for about seven years. My beat has covered everything from desktop systems and laptops, to tablets and 2-in-1s in several flavors (operating systems) and size, printers and all-in-one printers in all shapes and sizes, video cards, SSD and other types of disk drives—you name it. It’s been a wild ride.

More so than ever, competition in the tech markets is cutthroat and fierce. It’s been my pleasure to do what I can to keep you all informed.

For a list and links to my articles on Computer Shopper, click here


 

My review of Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Small-in-One at Computer ShopperWhen you stop and think about it, some of the things that our PCs, smartphones, and tablets allow us to do truly are amazing. Printing exquisite-looking photos on small, inexpensive inkjet printers is one of them. It’s not just having the ability to print photos that’s so awesome, though. What’s even more incredible is, when everything comes together just right—stunning content, taken in the right lighting, printed with a quality machine on premium photo paper—how striking the results can be.

It’s no wonder, then, that printing photos at home has become so popular, and that three of the top inkjet-printer makers—Canon, Epson, and HP—all offer machines tweaked and marketed as photo printers. If you choose the right one and feed it with the right ink, paper, and digital data, churning out masterpieces of your own isn’t particularly difficult, even if it costs a little more per photo than at Costco or the corner drug store.

You must start with the right printer, though. Today’s review unit, the $249.99-MSRP Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 Small-in-One ($199.99 at Amazon), may face some impressive competitors, but it’s got some fight in it. A newcomer to Epson’s established Small-in-One line of all-in-one (AIO) printers (in this case, it prints, copies, and scans), the XP-8500 has photo quality that’s among the best in its class.

Epson Expression Photo XP-8500 (Control Panel)

But that doesn’t necessarily make your printer-picking decision easy. During the past year, Canon has released a wave of highly capable photo-centric models in its Pixma TS- and Pixma G-series MegaTank lines, while HP has trotted out its Envy Photo 7855 ($199.99 at Amazon) and a couple of other Envy Photo models. And Epson’s own Expression Premium and Expression Photo brands boast some formidable photo printers of their own. (Prior to the XP-8500, it had been a while since we’d seen a new Expression Photo model.)

The XP-8500 is a six-ink printer; the additional inks help increase detail and extend the printer’s color range. In just the six-ink category alone, you will find the Canon Pixma TS9020 ($64.99 at Amazon) and Pixma TS8020 ($98.85 at Amazon) (as well as the just-released Pixma TS9120 and Pixma TS8120, which we’ll be reviewing in the coming weeks), as well as the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 ($190.00 at Amazon). And, while they vary in features and capacity (the XP-960 can print tabloid-size 11×17-inch photos, for example), guess what? They all print mighty good photos.

A step down from those are Canon’s and Epson’s five-ink photo printers, which include the Pixma TS6020 ($49.99 at Amazon), Pixma TS6120, Pixma TS5020 (Check on Amazon at Amazon), and TS5120, as well as the Expression Photo XP-860 ($190.00 at Amazon). The Canon G-series MegaTank printers (there are four of them, as of this writing) and the HP Envy Photo models (three of these) use only four inks, but they still print respectable photos. Our point? The XP-8500 has, by our count, more than 15 in-market rivals. (And there are other so-called “photo printers” out there beyond these.) Granted, as mentioned, they come at varying prices with a wide range of features. But many of them print photos comparable to what we saw from the XP-8500, and to each other.

So, for this review (and the Canon Pixmas coming up), we have our work cut out for us, without turning these comparisons into the War and Peace of consumer-grade photo printers. What we cansay at the start, though: Versus its most direct competitors, we didn’t come up with any compelling reasons not to buy the XP-8500 for churning out your keeper photos. This is one terrific little AIO.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper



 

Review of the Epson Expression 12000XL-PH at PCMagPROS

  • High-resolution, wide-format scanning. Scans slides, negatives, and transparencies, as well as reflective photos and artwork. Highly accurate color and detail.

  • CONS

    Expensive. Big and heavy. Transparency unit comes uninstalled.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Epson Expression is a large, tabloid-size graphics arts and photograph scanner that is compatible with a large array of media and produces excellent output.

The wide-format Epson Expression 12000XL-PH ($3429.99) ($3,745.00 at Amazon) is the professional photographers’ version of the Expression 12000XL-GA ($3,061.46 at Amazon), an oversize professional graphic artists’ flatbed scanner. Essentially, these two machines are the same, except that the PH version comes with a transparency unit for scanning slides, transparencies, and negatives. While you can buy the scanner itself and opt for the transparency unit later, purchasing them together, in the same box, saves you about $130. Either way, its price is substantial for a flatbed scanner, but graphic artists, photographers, and desktop publishers will find the 12000XL-PH a highly accurate and quality tool for digitizing not only slides, transparencies, and film, but also photos and artwork up to tabloid-size (11 by 17 inches).
Read the entire review at PCMag

Review and Ratings of the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4720 All-in-One at Computer ShopperIt’s been some time (late 2012!) since Epson has updated its WorkForce Pro 4000 series of all-in-one business printers, and the new ones bear little resemblance, in terms of features, price, and appearance, to their predecessors.

The WorkForce Pro WP-4590, for example, had no Wi-Fi connectivity and listed for $499.99, whereas the relatively new WorkForce Pro All-in-One Printer 4720 (Check on Amazon at Amazon)—today’s review model—does support Wi-Fi and it lists for just $199.99. The earlier model was white and way larger, with a control panel dominated by myriad buttons and a keypad. The WF-4720, in contrast, is black, much smaller than the 2012 model, and equipped with a control panel that’s primarily just a color touch screen.

Part of a multi-unit release a few months ago, the WorkForce Pro WF-4720 is the smallest new 4000-series model, in terms of capacity, features, and several other key features. At the same time, Epson also released the more robust WF-4740, as well as a smaller 3000-series model, the WF-3720 ($99.99 at Amazon)—which we’ll be reviewing soon. It’s important that you pay attention to their individual feature lists; what you give up for the relatively small difference in list prices among them is significant. Today’s review unit, for instance, comes with only one paper-input source and a manual-duplex-only automatic document feeder (ADF), meaning that the scanner can’t scan two-sided pages without your help. The $299.99-MSRP WF-4740 ($199.00 at Amazon), on the other hand, has two paper cassettes and a larger, auto-duplexing ADF, as well as some other significant differences.

All three WorkForce Pro models do, however, deploy Epson’s now-familiar PrecisionCore inkjet print-head technology, which Epson touts as endowed with “performance beyond laser.” That may sound like huffed-up marketing, but as we’ll get into near the end of this review, this is not an idle boast. Few printers, inkjet or laser, print as well—be it with text, graphics, or photos—as this one.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4720 (Output)

As we’ll also get into later on, it does so at fairly reasonable per-page ink costs. The numbers are not quite as low as you’d see from one of Brother’s INKvestment Business Smart or Business Smart Plus all-in-ones (AIOs), such as the Brother MFC-J6535DW ($258.99 at Amazon), or one of Epson’s own EcoTank WorkForce AIOs, such as the WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank All-in-One.($548.88 at Amazon) But, compared to the WF-4720, there are drawbacks to both of those. The Brother model doesn’t print as well, for one thing, while the EcoTank AIO costs significantly more. In addition, since the ET-4550 is not a WorkForce Pro machine, it comes with only two PrecisionCore print chips, instead of the four chips in the Pro models, making it slower, with slightly inferior print quality. We’ll look into all of this—print quality and running costs—a little deeper as we progress through this review.

Depending on your needs, the WF-4740 may be a better value for your home office or small office. We’ll look more closely at the differences in a moment. Meanwhile, if you don’t print or copy a lot—say, no more than 500 to 1,000 pages per month—and you don’t scan a lot of two-sided multipage documents, the WF-4720 will be an excellent printer choice. It’s small, light, and easy to install and put to work, and it’s not overly expensive to use. Its running costs are, in fact, lower than some close competitors, such as the Canon Maxify MB2120 Wireless Home Office Inkjet ($79.99 at Amazon) and the HP (Check on Amazon at Amazon) All-in-One, and it prints a little better than both. The main thing that held it back from becoming an Editors’ Choice is its lack of an auto-duplexing ADF. (Of the two other machines just mentioned, the WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank also lacks one, but the OfficeJet Pro 6978 has the goods.)

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper


 

  • Review of the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4730 at PCMagPROS

    Excellent print quality overall. Relatively fast. Competitively low running costs. Supports Wi-Fi Direct and NFC. Light and compact.

  • CONS

    No multipurpose tray. Non-auto-duplexing ADF.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-4730 all-in-one inkjet is fast and capable, and it supports just about every mobile connectivity feature available, but an auto-duplexing ADF would make it more attractive.

Positioned between two Editors’ Choice recipients, the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4720 (Check on Amazon at Amazon) and the WorkForce Pro WF-4740 ($199.00 at Amazon), the WorkForce Pro WF-4730 ($199.99) ($129.99 at Amazon) is a step up from the former and a step down from the latter. Like its siblings, the WF-4730 inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printer produces great output, and it is fast for its class. It provides higher paper input capacity than the WF-4720, but its automatic document feeder (ADF) is smaller than the WF-4740’s, and it’s incapable of automatic two-sided scanning, whereas the WF-4740’s auto-duplexing ADF scans, copies, and faxes two-sided multipage documents without intervention. As is the case with its siblings, the WF-4730 is a highly capable solution for moderate-volume printing and copying in a small workgroup or micro office, but it lacks the auto-duplexing ADF of the WF-4740 and the lower price of the WF-4720.
Read entire review at PCMag



 

Editors' ChoiceReview of the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4740 at PCMag

  • PROS

    Excellent print quality overall. Auto-duplexing ADF. Competitively low running costs. Supports Wi-Fi Direct and NFC. Fast for its class.

  • CONS

    No multipurpose tray. Small output tray. Slightly expensive.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The WF-4740 prints well and fast, and it supports just about every midrange business-centric inkjet feature available, including Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, and two-sided scanning.

The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4740 ($299.99) ($199.00 at Amazon) is a more robust version of the Editors’ Choice WF-4720 (Check on Amazon at Amazon), a business-centric inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printer. For the difference in price (about $100), you get twice the paper input capacity, a larger automatic document feeder (ADF) that supports two-sided scanning, and a bigger color touch screen. Like its less-expensive sibling, it prints well and quickly, and comes with a wide range of connectivity options.The WF-4740 is more expensive than our current Editors’ Choice, the Canon Maxify MB2720 Wireless Home Office All-in-One Printer ($99.00 at Amazon), but it’s faster, prints a little better, and comes with several additional useful features, making it our new first choice for low-to-moderate print volume in a small workgroup or micro office.

See entire review at PCMag



 

Review of the Epson Workforce ES-200 Portable Duplex Document Scanner at PCMag

A non-Wi-Fi sibling to the Editors’ Choice Epson ES-300W ($249.99 at Amazon) we reviewed recently, the Epson WorkForce ES-200 Portable Duplex Document Scanner ($199) ($195.00 at Amazon) is a highly capable portable document scanner. Like the ES-300W, it comes with a top-tier collection of optical character recognition (OCR) and document and business card management programs. And, like the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula P-215II Scan-tini Personal Document Scanner ($216.96 at Amazon), both Epson models have automatic document feeders (ADFs) and the ability to scan two-sided multipage documents in a single pass. The ES-200 doesn’t support wireless scanning, nor does it have an internal battery (as does the ES-300W) for higher portability. It’s a less-expensive alternative to the wireless model for relatively high-speed scanning on the road, but at just $50 more, for many users, the higher-end ES-300W is a better value.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Review of the Epson Workforce ES-300W Portable Wireless Duplex Document Scanner at PCMag

Few peripherals are as convenient as portable document scanners, and few portable document scanners are as fast and capable as the Epson WorkForce ES-300W Wireless Portable Duplex Document Scanner ($299.99).($249.99 at Amazon) Like the Canon imageFormula P-215II Scan-tini Personal Document Scanner ($216.96 at Amazon), the ES-300W has a built-in automatic document feeder (ADF), but the Epson model is faster than the P-215II, and it supports Wi-Fi, for completely cable-free operation when combined with its built-in battery. Like most Epson WorkForce scanners, the ES-300W comes with a complete suite of software, including document and business card archiving programs. A generous software bundle, fast performance, including quick PDF file conversion, and wireless connectivity are enough to unseat the P-215II Scan-tini as our Editors’ Choice for portable document scanners.

Read the entire review at PCMag



We remember, about four or five years ago, when the first Epson Small-in-One printers appeared on the market. Then as now, their key selling point was, of course, size: You could buy an all-in-one (AIO) machine with a very small footprint that printed, copied, and scanned, and tuck it on the corner of your desk. The Expression Home Small-in-Ones have been a mainstay for many years, like the Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One ($229.28 at Amazon) we reviewed back in 2013, a distant predecessor to the $99.99-MSRP Expression Home XP-440 Small-in-One we are reviewing here today.

This is actually the fourth iteration of the XP-400 series. The XP-410 mentioned above was followed by the Expression Home XP-420 $146.37 and the Expression Home XP-430 $80.99; we reviewed that last one less than a year ago. Aside from a new feature here or there and some performance tweaking, the XP-400 series really hasn’t seen much change over the years. And, as you can see in the image below, its physical appearance has stayed remarkably consistent, too…

Epson Expression Home XP-440 Small-in-One (Left Angled Alternate)The XP-440 is the one on the right; the XP-410 is on the left. Making a few tweaks to a product, up-ticking the name, and releasing it as a new product is common practice among printer makers. Not only does releasing slightly iterated machines with incrementally higher model numbers, year after year, keep the products themselves fresh to an extent (generating new reviews, like this one!), but it also gives us technology journalists something to do. We’re not complaining.

Like the first XP-400 series model, the XP-440 delivers top-notch quality across all of its prime functions. It churns out stellar prints, especially photos, and it scans quite well. This is, however, an entry-level, low-volume AIO printer designed for home and family use. It’s meant for environments that will demand only light usage, and that’s evidenced by its lack of an automatic document feeder (ADF) for sending multipage documents to the scanner without user intervention. That omission is expected in this price range, but it severely limits your scanning capabilities.

Like most other entry-level AIOs of its class, this one, like its predecessors, costs a lot to use, in terms of the per-page price of ink. That’s always a critical issue for us. Historically, we’ve always recommended expensive-to-use machines like this one with the caveat that, because of the running cost, they are practical for only minimal use (say, no more than a few hundred prints or copies per month). Our beef is that the buyers of these entry-level AIOs who actually use their printers day to day end up getting taxed, and heavily, for doing so.

Epson Expression Home XP-440 Small-in-One (410 vs 440)

Epson Expression Home XP-440 Small-in-One (Right Angled)Nowadays, though, with the advent of “supertank” printers like Epson’s own EcoTank models and Canon’s MegaTank AIOs (such as the Epson Expression ET-3600 $299.99 and Canon Pixma G3200) $249.99, users have more choices. If you need to print hundreds of pages on your entry-level AIO, you can opt to pay more for the printer itself, with the aim being to pay less for the ink to keep it going. If, on the other hand, you need a printer but will use it little, you can spend less than $100 on a small AIO like the XP-440, in exchange for higher per-page ink costs over its life. If you print only a few pages each month, then the cost of ink is less important. Hence, our perspective on the cost per page typically seen in low-cost entry-level AIOs like this one has changed with the times.

That said, the Epson Expression XP-440’s running costs are, as you’ll see in the Cost Per Page section later on, quite high. Even so, if all you need is to print and make copies on a small scale, the XP-440 is designed to do just that, and it does it quite well.

Read the entire article at Computer Shopper