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Epson EcoTank ET-8550 review | TechRadar

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is a premium photo printer that looks set to shake up the category by offering Epson’s tried and tested six-colour Claria system in a refillable EcoTank format for the first time. With six separate inks instead of four you get better quality photos, but the cost of replacing six costly cartridges every few photos was always a barrier. Swap those overpriced cartridges for bottled ink and you have a much more tempting proposition, especially when you’re printing on A3+ paper.

At around £780 (US$1,100, AU$1,420) the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is one expensive inkjet printer, but it has plenty more features to justify the price tag. There’s a large colour touchscreen interface, both SD Card and USB Host slots, and enough ink in the box to print 2,300 photos. It looks way smarter and smaller than the older Epson EcoTank ET-7750, demonstrating a significant step forwards for EcoTank technology.

Design and build

The early EcoTank printers looked like regular cartridge-based inkjets with bulbous ink reservoirs bolted onto the side. But this sleek design has the six tanks seamlessly integrated into the design. As a result, the footprint of the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is roughly A3 in size while standing only 16cm tall, so it’s much easier to accommodate than most A3 printers.

There are two paper trays at the front, but neither are big enough for A3 paper. A third paper tray at the rear will take anything up to A3+ paper. It’s actually quite a neat solution because this rear tray provides a much flatter paper path which means your A3 photos won’t curl up. It also means you can print on some quite thick card. Though it looks like it should accommodate A3 paper, the scanner bed is only big enough for A4.

To maintain the sleek look, the front USB Host port and SD Card slot are concealed behind a folding front flap that also hides the paper trays.

The large 10.9cm colour touchscreen tilts up for easy access and below this you can clearly see the six ink reservoirs. There’s something reassuring about seeing how much ink you have in the tank rather than waiting for that dreaded message from your printer telling you to buy more cartridges.

Features and specifications

Spec Sheet

Type: Color 3-in-1 A3 inkjet printer

Functions: Print, scan, copy

Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, USB

Data storage slots: USB Host, SD Card

Print speed: 32 ppm (mono A4)

Paper capacity: 100 sheets (main tray)

Print quality: 5,760 x 1,400 dpi

Scan quality: 1,200 x 4,800 dpi

Apple AirPrint: yes

Duplex: yes

Consumables included: 6x ink bottles (enough for 2,300 photos)

Dimensions/Weight: 523 x 379 x 169 mm (WxDxH)/11.1kg

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