Have you read any of our reviews of Epson’s latest round of PrecisionCore-based WorkForce printers, especially the WorkForce Pro models (notably, our Editors’ Choice recipient, the WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer)? Then you know that, generally speaking, we’re fans of these models. We’ve liked the lower-volume, non-Pro WorkForce models we’ve tested, too. But like so many entry-level and midrange all-in-one printers (AIOs) that print, copy, scan, and fax, we were put off by these current-generation models’ per-page cost of ink.
Alas, that’s often the price you pay when opting for one of the budget-friendly models in an inkjet line. But then again, many small and home-based offices simply don’t need to print more than, say, 50 or 100 pages per month. Because of that, the office just doesn’t need, nor can it justify buying, a cheaper-to-use, higher-volume model.
When you’re printing so little each month, what each page costs you—within reason, of course—isn’t quite as important. That’s especially true if the machine otherwise prints well and delivers a wide range of productivity and convenience features. (Of course, all this begs the question of why inkjet-printer makers can’t seem to deliver low-cost inkjets that also deliver a very low cost per page, but that should be obvious: It’s the business model for these printers.)
So, with that in mind, enter Epson’s $149.99-MSRP WorkForce WF-2660 All-in-One Printer, a low-volume multifunction printer. While most certainly an inexpensive all-in-one meant for light duty, this little office-centric model, as you’ll see in the Design & Features section on the next page, has more features than we’ve seen on most inkjet printers, period, let alone a model this small and low-cost.
When we wrote this review in early May 2015, the WorkForce WF-2660 was the top model (and most expensive) of three in Epson’s WorkForce WF-2600 series. The WorkForce WF-2660 and its siblings are the smallest WorkForce AIOs the company offers, and therefore also the smallest printers available based on Epson’s relatively new (mid-2014) PrecisionCore printhead technology, which has been confined to its business-oriented printers so far. As we’ve explained in several recent WorkForce printer reviews, in addition to providing several other benefits, PrecisionCore-based printers so far have proven to be relatively fast at their price points, and they print quite well on the whole.
In any case, in addition to the WorkForce WF-2660, with this line you can choose either the $99.99-MSRP WorkForce WF-2630 or the $129.99-MSRP WorkForce WF-2650. Before going into what these cost differences get you, we should first point out that as we wrote this in May 2015, all three models were discounted heavily from those list prices on Epson’s Web site, as well as elsewhere. Shop around, and you could save $30 on the WorkForce WF-2630, $40 on the WorkForce WF-2650, and $50 on our review unit, the WorkForce WF-2660, making the bottom-line prices $69.99, $89.99, and $99.99, respectively.
At these markdown prices, for the $10 difference between the WF-2660 and the WF-2650 you actually give up a lot: a 2.7-inch color touch screen for a four-line monochrome readout, as well as support for Near-Field Communication (NFC) and a few other mobile-connectivity features. The cheaper-still WorkForce WF-2630 is slower by Epson’s estimates by about 4 pages per minute (with black-and-white output) and 3 pages per minute (with color), and its input tray is 50 pages less capacious. But then again, bear in mind that its sale price is only $70, and that for a full-fledged AIO.
We like the WorkForce WF-2660 much more at the under-$100 price point than at its $149.99 list price. As we will get into in the Setup & Paper Handling sections later on, while we’re not at all thrilled with the cost per page (CPP) of the WorkForce WF-2660, if you don’t plan to print or copy on it all that much, its Swiss Army knife-like feature set and exceptional print quality make it a great little printer for occasional use, and a good value in that role. You may not use it often, but when you need to, it will most likely have everything you’ll need to complete the task at hand.
Before going too deeply into the WorkForce WF-2660’s design and features, we should say that when it comes to a well-rounded feature set, all that this AIO really needs is an auto-duplexing automatic document feeder, or ADF. Yes, it has a 30-sheet ADF, and a good one. But alas, in order to scan two-sided originals (i.e., to capture the second sides of the pages), you must manually turn over your stack of pages being scanned.
To be fair, it’s not that we can realistically expect to see an auto-duplexing ADF on an entry-level model like this one—that is what step-up models are for! —but it would have been a nice touch, rounding out the feature set in a way that might have offset some of the sting of this printer’s very high CPP.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper