New Epson EcoTank Printers “Loaded & Ready With Up to 2 year of Ink”

Barbara Richards
Aug 4, 2015

On August 4th Epson unveiled five new EcoTank™ inkjet printers for the North America market. The new all-in-one printers feature large ink reservoirs or what Epson defines as “Supertanks” that come loaded and ready for up to two years of print without replacing the ink. According to Epson, compared with traditional printers, the ink included in the EcoTank is equivalent to about 20 sets of ink cartridges or more. Furthermore Epson claims about ninety percent of the pages printed in the U.S. today are printed in black and white not color.

Figure 1: New Epson EcoTank™ Printers

In the past, the major barrier to color prints has been the high cost of ink replacements with Epson’s new EcoTank printers, the cost is as low as $12.99 per bottle or $52 per set of bottles. Epson claims a standard home printer requires approximately 20 sets of cartridges to print the same number of pages included with the equivalent EcoTank printers.  The new EcoTank printers combined the latest in Epson’s advanced Micro Piezo print head technology with a large ink reservoir to create an entirely new printing system. The new models are ideally suited for the home and SMB (small-to-medium size business) environments. They all offer a two-year limited warranty and have built in Ethernet and wireless printing support through a variety of operating systems as well as through Epson Connect™ (Epson’s cloud print and scan service). The new models will be available in the September timeframe through major computer stores, mass merchants and office superstores.

Figure 2:  New Epson Printers First Look

EcoTank Cost Savings

According to Epson, the real cost savings is in the total cost of ownership while the new printers have a higher acquisition price up-front than comparable inkjet printers in their class, the price of consumables over time more than outweighs the upfront costs.For example, for $499 upfront end-users can print up to 8,500 pages with the new Epson WorkForce Pro ET-4550 without replacing their consumables versus a competitive inkjet printer with a lower acquisition cost ($74.00) but higher priced consumables ($425) will only allow you to print 1,950 pages. One set of EcoTank bottles is equivalent to 20 sets of cartridges.

InfoTrends Opinion

With the introduction of their new EcoTank printers, Epson has reversed the printing paradigm with tanks of ink instead of cartridges. With this method it allows for more ink onboard thus allowing for higher yield ink tanks. While this introduction is new to North America, Epson had previously launched in several emerging markets with significant market share gains. It is interesting that these products will not be available in the OED channel where opportunity may exist to compete with lower speed workgroup laser MFPs in the office.

In the last several years InfoTrends has seen a steady stream of innovation within the inkjet market from page-wide technology from Memjet and HP, to a new breed of robust business class inkjets printers from HP, Canon, and Brother to Epson’s most recent announcement. While InfoTrends believes there is still an existing bias to ink adoption in the office, based on our recent multi-client study (Identifying the Business Inkjet Value Gap), Inkjet OEMs believe there is a case to be made for this technology in the office fueled by new innovations and total cost savings compared to traditional lasers.

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