You have to love it when a manufacturer releases a great printer/copier/fax/scanner—a model that prints well, prints fast, and has all the productivity and convenience options a small or home-based business needs—for $100 less than the model it replaces. And it’s even better when the price reduction is the only significant change: All the original features and quality are still there, but the printer costs a third less!
We’re talking about Epson’s $199.99 WorkForce 845, which replaces 2011’s $299.99 WorkForce 840. As far as we can tell (and we looked long and hard), the WorkForce 845 is essentially the same all-in-one (AIO) inkjet we saw last year, right down to the print engine and ink cartridges it uses. Better yet, to sweeten the pot, Epson has thrown in support for Google Cloud Print, iPrint.com, and the company’s own Epson Connect Email Print service.
The WorkForce 845 is a high-volume all-in-one (AIO) inkjet along the same lines as HP’s $299.99 OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus and Lexmark’s $249 OfficeEdge Pro4000 laser-busters. Like those more expensive models, it prints near-laser-quality documents at laser-like speeds, and it goes the HP and Lexmark AIOs one better by providing dual 250-sheet input drawers, which offers a wider range of volume and paper-handling options. (A second drawer on the OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus will cost you an additional $79.99, and you can purchase a second 500-sheet drawer for the Lexmark for $179.99.)
Unfortunately, the 845 also has its predecessor’s warts—or wart, we should say. Since it uses the same ink cartridges, which Epson still sells at a premium price, this AIO is a bit expensive to use. Other inkjet manufacturers have made significant cost-per-page (CPP) reductions, not only on high-volume printers but across the board. (See the “Setup & Paper Handling” section of this review for more.)
Aside from the WorkForce 845’s inflated CPP, we really liked this all-in-one. During our tests, it printed great-looking business documents and photos at respectable speeds. Its reproduction quality on our copy and scan tests was exceptional. And as you’ll see in the next section, feature-wise, it wants for nothing. One of the advantages of high-volume AIOs, however, should be that they provide day-to-day value—hundreds, even thousands of pages each month without exorbitant per-page ink costs.
Read the review at Computer Shopper.