Cartridge-free printers are growing in popularity because they offer what consumers have always wanted: inexpensive, refillable ink tanks.
Epson’s new ET-2600 and ET-2650 EcoTank models expand on the company’s cartridge-free printer line. The new all-in-one printers use four “supersized” ink tanks and include a generous helping of ink in the box — enough for 4,000 pages in black or 6,500 in color. In other words, it’s enough ink to last users up to two years, Epson claims.
Both the ET-2600 and ET-2650 offer the same print, scan, and copy capabilities. Printing speeds are as fast as 10 pages per minute with black ink or 4.5 pages per minute in full color. Maximum copying speed is 7.7 copies per minute in black and 3.7 copies per minute in color, with a maximum copy size of 8.5 x 11 inches. Maximum print width is also 8.5 inches, but panoramic media up to 47.2 inches is supported. Optical scanning resolution is 2,400 dots per inch, or up to 9,600 with interpolation. The printers support both wired and wireless connections, and users can print from their computers, phones, or tablets.
Where the two models differ is in usability features. The ET-2650 has several ease-of-use advantages over the ET-2600, including a built-in memory card slot, Wi-Fi Direct printing for wireless printing without a router, and a 1.44-inch color LCD for displaying printer settings. Both printers will be available later this month from retailers and the Epson online store. The ET-2600 will sell for $280, while the ET-2650 bumps the price up to $300.
Epson isn’t alone when it comes to tank-based printers. In December of last year, Canon finally brought its G series MegaTank printers to the U.S. Printer companies seem to be responding to the rise of cheap third-party ink cartridges and refill services. Refillable ink tanks aren’t just more convenient and longer-lasting than cartridges, they also offer significant savings: Epson says users will save up to 80 percent on ink costs with the ET-2600 series.