If you have children who are old enough to want to print, you’ll know how expensive it can be. Whether you use an inkjet with individual cartridges, or a laser printer, ink seems to evaporate in next to no time.

So when Epson got in touch with us at Mothers Who Work Towers about the Epson EcoTank ET-4550, we were enthused.

When looking for a good printer, the main deal breakers for us are:

  1. Cheap to run (ink)
  2. Duplex (double-sided printing)
  3. Wifi-enabled

Keep ink costs low

Ink needs to be cheap to run, because most of our readers either work from home (full-time or frequently enough to need a good printer). run a small business or have children who love to print! We also look out for printers that enable ink cartridges to be changed separately, because there is nothing more annoying than running out of black ink and having to change another colour (or all cartridges) because the black ink printing uses other colours to print as well.

Go for a duplex printer

 Epson EcoTank ET-4550For the sake of the environment (and the cost of paper) a printer that does duplex printing (i.e. prints double-sided) is a must. It’s such a pain to spend a small fortune on heaps of paper because a printer only prints on one side.

Get a wifi-enabled printer

This is 2016 – it just seems so 1990 to have a printer that has to be connected via a USB cable to print.

This printer ticks all of those boxes!

Editor’s review

So far, I’ve used two full reams of A4 paper for printing (worksheets for the children, planner inserts and application forms that can’t be completed online).

I run a small a tuition business (as well as Mothers Who Work) and have two school-aged children who love technology and going projects, so a good printer that can handle the demands of an active household is essential.

After using the Epson EcoTank ET-4550 for two average-usage weeks, the ink level hasn’t budged at all on all four colours (black, magenta, cyan and yellow)! I can see that this printer’s ink could last a long while. Epson promises two years’ worth of ink usage out of the box, and I think that’s definitely achievable.

The ink systems is different from standard printers, in that there are no ink cartridges. Ink is topped up in the bottles, which are as cheap as £7.99 to purchase.

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The only downside to this printer is the duplex. If you have pages that are printed on the single side only, the Epson EcoTank ET-4550 will do double printing, but if you have a document that’s already double sided, you’ll have to use the scanner to manually scan and print each page. That’s fine for a couple of pages, but if it’s more than that, it can be a pain.

Overall, I love the printer. The original outlay of £369.99 might seem steep, but would you rather spend less on a cheaper printer that costs a whole to more to run because of expensive ink?

Where to buy

If you’re interested in buying theEpson EcoTank ET-4550, you can get yours from the usual Currys, Amazon and other retail outlets, or visit the Epson website to find out more.

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