Epson Ecotank ET-2712 in the test: Extremely low printing costs!

Inkjet printers have been among the most popular printers for over 30 years. No wonder, because here you can get high print quality for little money. Good multifunction devices (which also scan and copy) are available for as little as 70 euros. But they only appear to be cheap – because if you print a lot, you pay a lot for the regular replacement of the ink cartridges. That doesn’t happen with ink tank printers like the Ecotank ET-2712 – here you refill huge ink tanks cheaply per bottle. The test by COMPUTER BILD says what the Epson can do.

multifunction printer

MAXIFY GX7050




Canon

EcoTank ET-8500


Epson

OfficeJet Pro 8022 (1KR65B)


HB

PIXMA TS8350 series


Canon

Canon Pixma TS9550


Canon

Canon PIXMA G3560


Canon

PIXMA TS6350 series


Canon

Eco Tank ET-2820


Epson

Eco Tank ET-2826


Epson

Eco Tank ET-2825


Epson

Complete list: Multifunction printers

Epson Ecotank ET-2712 in the test: cheap ink

The Epson Ecotank ET-2712 is identical in construction to the Epson Ecotank ET-2710, the Epson EcoTank ET-2711 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2715 – only the sales channels differ between these printers. At the time of testing, the ET-2712 was available for around 200 euros. That’s twice as expensive as a comparable multifunction device with ink cartridges. But the extra costs are quickly recouped, because the large ink tanks ensure an enormous range and are refilled cheaply: The four bottles of ink cost about 8 euros each and bring 65 milliliters of ink with. That’s enough for over 18,000 pages of text, around 8,000 pages of color graphics or over 1,800 photos in the standard 10×15 centimeter format. Then the paper is the biggest cost factor when printing.
Epson Ecotank ET-2711: review

Refilling ink is very easy with the Epson Ecotank ET-2711: place the bottle on the tank nozzle and press gently. Bars on the nozzle prevent incorrect refuelling.

The printing costs in comparison

A comparison with the Epson Expression XP-6100 (best multifunction device with Epson ink cartridges in COMPUTER BILD’s best list) shows how cheap the printing costs are. Most important for use in the office: the printing costs per text page. A page of text costs 0.04 cents. The ink for 25 pages costs only 1 cent! With the Expression XP-6100, on the other hand, a page of text already costs 2 cents – that’s a decent value for an ink cartridge printer, but compared to the Ecotank ET-2712 it’s 50 times more expensive. In color, too, the differences in printing costs are drastic: A color graphics page costs 0.40 cents for the Ecotank ET-2712, for the Expression 16 cents (40 times more expensive). A photo in the standard format of 10×15 centimeters costs 1.76 cents for the Ecotank ET-2712, for the Expression XP-6100 56 cents (32 times more expensive).

Range with a full black tank/cartridge

Range with full color tanks / cartridges

Photo print on 10×15 cm photo paper

Range with full color tanks / cartridges

By the way: Ink tank printers should be refilled regularly from a bottle (picture above). Because once the tanks are completely empty, venting and refilling (as with the first start-up) takes quite a long time. Great: The Epson is also stingy when it comes to power consumption: in stand-by, the Ecotank needs 0.9 watts, in the test scenario from COMPUTER BILD it gets by with 2.71 euros in electricity costs per year – both of which are noticeably cheaper than most of the competitors.

Epson Ecotank ET-2711: review

Epson Ecotank ET-2711 in the test: The ink tank printer has to do without a display.

High quality and high speed

The Ecotank ET-2712 easily got a good quality mark. It only weakened slightly when printing graphics, where other ink tank printers are better – such as the Canon Pixma G3560 and the Epson Ecotank ET-2820. More important for frequent printers: the ET-2712 prints text pages in high quality and at a very high speed. The first page was in the output tray in just seven seconds. Good thing – the Epson reacted in stand-by without delay. He needed 39 seconds for six pages – a good value, but not a top one. For comparison: The larger (and significantly more expensive) sister model Epson Ecotank ET-8500 managed this in 23 seconds. The ET-2712 prints photos in high quality and at high speed – for a photo in the standard format 10×15 centimeters he needed almost two minutes, in the larger format 18×24 centimeters a good four minutes. More expensive ink tank printers are usually a little faster. For example, the Ecotank ET-8500 prints a 10×15 photo in one minute and 18 seconds and prints in even higher quality thanks to two extra inks (photo black and grey).

Photo print quality: color fidelity / grayscale fidelity / contrast range (Michelson contrast) / level of detail

Graphic print quality: color fidelity / grayscale fidelity / contrast range (Michelson contrast) / detail accuracy

Visual test: text printing / photo printing

Scan quality: color fidelity / grayscale fidelity / achieved resolution

Black text smudge resistance with highlighter

Text printing on DIN A4 (ink costs per page) / range of black and white cartridges

Graphic printing on DIN A4 (ink costs per page) / range of color ink set

Photo print on 10 x 15 cm (ink cost per photo) / yield color ink set

Energy consumption (electricity costs per year) / consumption in standby mode

18 x 24 cm / 10 x 15 cm / 3 x 10 x 15 cm / 10 x 15 cm color photos print speed from standby (min:sec)

Print speed color graphics: one page / five pages / one page from standby (min:sec)

Print speed text: one page / six pages / one page from standby (min:sec)

Duration of copying an A4 text page / A4 photo page (min.:sec.)

Service (personal opinion of the testers)

Control Panel: Display Options (Diagonal)

connectivity options

Paper supply in the printer input tray (normal paper) / in the output tray / max. paper weight (according to manufacturer)

Operating noise when printing / scanning

Scanner text recognition / preview / document feeder / transmitted light for slides

Copying of documents possible without a PC / printout scalable

Borderless printing on DIN A4 / 10 x 15 cm / duplex printing possible

Sustainability: Printing more than 10,000 pages per ink set / refill ink in at least 50 ml tanks / power consumption grade “very good”

high (66.28%) / high (90.29%) / high (0.78) / somewhat low

high (51.66%) / high (90.35%) / somewhat low (0.53) / very low

easy to read / a little dark, little detail in the depths, minimally noisy

very high (93.4%) / very high (98.3%) / high (812 ppi)

very cheap (0.04 cents) / 18,692 pages

very cheap (0.40 cents) / 8,020 pages

very cheap (1.76 cents) / 1,816 photos

very cheap (8.2 KWh = 2.71 euros) / very low (0.9 watts)

fast (4:10 / 1:55 / 5:50 / 1:55)

very fast (1:11 / 1:19 / 0:20)

very fast (0:07 / 0:39 / 0:07)

very fast (0:12 / 0:30)

A bit awkward to operate without a display

100 sheets (100 main, 0 additional) / 30 sheets / 300 g/m²

very loud (17.6 sone) / very quiet (3.3 sone)

yes / yes (ink bottle) / yes

Epson builds over two dozen different Ecotank printers; the ET-2712 is one of the smallest models. This can be seen quite clearly in the equipment: the ET-2712 has to make do with a paper tray on the back; it does without a paper cassette that protects the paper from dog-ears or dust. The output tray is also quite small: It only holds 30 sheets and therefore needs to be emptied frequently. The ET-2712 does not have a control panel display. Instead, there is only one bar with five control buttons (picture above) and a few signal LEDs. This is a disadvantage, because copies can only be made in 1:1 magnification, for example. If you want to enlarge or reduce something, you first have to scan it and then print it from the computer. In addition, setting up the printer is more complicated, for example if you have changed the type of paper. If you want an Ecotank with a display, you can use the ET-2820, for example.

  • Extremely low cost
  • High quality printing and scanning
  • Paper compartment without dust protection
  • Small output tray

Epson Ecotank ET-2712 in the test: conclusion

If you print a lot, you can go to the Epson Ecotank ET-2712 look forward to extremely low costs. There is also a high print quality, a high print speed and a really good scanner. Great: The Ecotank ET-2712 is a real power scrimp – it gets by with 0.9 watts in standby. The equipment is pretty meager, but only the small output tray (holds only 30 sheets and therefore has to be emptied often) and the lack of a display to operate the printer are really annoying.

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