Epson WorkForce WF-2660 review

Made for contracts and spreadsheets, but Epson’s WF-2660 is capable for homework and photos too.

The WF-2660 is a good choice for families that need a fast, four-function workhorse MFP, but it is hampered by the low page yield of the standard cartridges.
The WF-2660 is a good choice for families that need a fast, four-function workhorse MFP, but it is hampered by the low page yield of the standard cartridges.
The WF-2660 is a good choice for families that need a fast, four-function workhorse MFP, but it is hampered by the low page yield of the standard cartridges.

Highs

  • Fast print speeds
  • Duplex printing and ADF
  • Photo quality color and saturation on photo paper

Lows

  • Standard ink cartridges have low page yields
  • Touchscreen limited to taps, no swipes
  • No media card reader

DT Editors' Rating

Epson’s WorkForce WF-2660 ($150 MSRP) is one of the smaller, less-expensive small office/home office multifunction printers (MFP) that use the company’s PrecisionCore printhead technology. As with the WF-3640 we reviewed, PrecisionCore adds a considerable number of nozzles to the printhead (using microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, fabrication), allowing much faster print speeds compared to the older micropiezo technology.

But as lower-price model, Epson had to make some cuts. Performance wise, it’s not as fast as the WF-3640 in printing, copying, and scanning (the WF-3640 uses a two-chip PrecisionCore printhead, while the WF-2660 uses a single chip configuration). The WF-2660’s ink cartridges, while using the same type of ink as its bigger sibling, have smaller capacity. There’s so also no built-in memory card reader.

PrecisionCore allows for a greater print density to produce a larger color gamut, as well as faster drying times.

When you compare the WF-2660 to typical all-in-ones (AIO) for home use, however (like Epson’s Expression series), you get a heavy-duty print cycle (Epson rates the WF-2660 with a maximum duty cycle of 3,000 pages, although it also notes that 800 pages per month is a more realistic print load). Most home AIOs meant don’t even bother quoting a duty cycle. Plus, photo-quality prints can be achieved when using the appropriate paper. The WF-2660 is attractive for those looking for an affordable printer that can churn out a lot of copies.

Features and design

As mentioned, the four-function WF-2660 (print, copy, scan, fax) is one of Epson’s less expensive models with PrecisionCore. With a larger number of nozzles than Epson’s other printheads, PrecisionCore allows for a greater print density of smaller ink droplets to produce a larger color gamut (number of printable colors), and the smaller droplets speeds up drying time. The process is far more technical, but essentially the technology offers faster print speeds and better colors than conventional printheads.

Unlike the WF-3640 we last looked at, the WF-2660 is smaller at 16.7 x 14.2 x 9.1 inches, and almost half as lightweight at 14.6 pounds. Extending the output tray adds another 5 inches to the depth.

But the small size impacts both the control panel and paper drawer. The paper drawer is located at the very bottom, and it’s designed in a way that we found it just a little awkward to load, due to output tray that’s located directly above. The input tray has a capacity for 150 sheets of letter size paper; it’s not a lot, but the printer supports automatic duplexing (two-sided printing). On the top there is an automatic document feeder (ADF), but this particular feature doesn’t duplex.

The control panel has a 2.7-inch color touchscreen. To the right it is a numeric keypad and the various buttons for making copies, as well as reset and stop. Most of the unit’s functions are accessed via the touchscreen. While the touchscreen is easy to navigate, it doesn’t support the swiping gestures many of us have gotten used to with our smartphones and tablets; rather, you need to use a combination of screen taps to scroll through menus, which can be disorienting until you get used to it. Unless you make or fax a lot of copies, the numeric keypad is mostly useless for everyday printing.

The downside is its small-yield standard ink cartridges – opt for the XL tanks.

While the WF-2660 has the typical features one would expect from an MFP, where it’s lacking is in the standard cartridge yield. The four-color machine uses standard cartridges (number 220) that yield approximately 175 pages in black and 165 pages in color. If you have a lot of printing going on in your house, you’ll be replacing them pretty often, so you may want to opt for XL tanks. The WF-2660 supports the 220XL cartridges that have considerable higher page yields – 500 pages for black and 450 pages for color cartridges (cyan, magenta, and yellow). On the bright side, the ink cartridges aren’t expensive. The standard yield cartridges are priced at $13 for black and $9 each for color; the high-yield cartridges are $30 for black and $17 for each color cartridge.

The WF-2660 may be small in size, but it’s large in connectivity options. You can connect it directly to a PC via USB, to a network via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi, or print to it directly using Wi-Fi Direct or near-field communication (NFC). You can also access the printer remotely using Epson’s own Epson Connect, Apple AirPrint, or Google Cloud Print.

What’s in the box

The WF-2660 comes with four DURABrite Ultra pigment ink cartridges, a power cord, setup poster, quick-start manual, and an installation CD. Bring your own USB cable, and telephone cord for the fax function.

Warranty

Epson WF-2660 scanner bed full open

Epson provides a limited one-year warranty, but extended service plans are available. Click here for details.

Setup and performance

Setting up printers are largely problem free, but maneuvering through some of the WF-2660’s setup menus is not as intuitive as it could be. Priming the printhead and installing the software took about 20 minutes, which is standard.

The WF-2660 proved equally adept in print quality and print speeds.

Epson rates the MFP at 13 pages-per-minute in black and 7.3 ppm in color. In our print test, which consists of a mostly monochrome document with a small color image, the WF-2660 turned in an average speed of 11.4 ppm – not bad for a small inexpensive MFP.

The WF-2660 proved equally adept in print quality. Monochrome text is razor sharp, and on our three test images, colors and saturation was spot on when using Epson’s Premium Photo Paper Glossy, although somewhat under-saturated when using Epson’s Premium Presentation Matte paper and Hammermill’s Premium Inkjet and Laser paper. We should note that, unlike home photo inkjets, Epson doesn’t market this four-color business MFP as a photo printer, but from our tests, it’s clearly capable.

Regardless of paper used, print quality should be fine for even the most demanding print jobs most home users are likely to have. Note: Unlike some of Epson’s Expression-series printers, you cannot print onto printable CDs or DVDs.

Copying is the typical slow operation we’ve come to expect from an inkjet, and making a double-sided copy requires manually duplexing the two-sided document. Scanning worked well using Epson’s software, and the scanner is accessible from any TWAIN-compatible application, like the Picasa 3.0 software we use for testing.

Conclusion

The WF-2660 packs a lot of functionality into a small form factor. It offers numerous connectivity options, including NFC. Productivity users will appreciate the ADF and PrecisionCore technology for faster, vibrant prints, while most home users will like the photo quality output on the right type of paper.

One thing we will point out is, at list price, the WF-2660 is only $50 less expensive than the WF-3640 and $20 less than the WF-3620. Those models are bulkier, but you get faster speeds and more features (a quick browse on the Internet pulled up even lower prices; look for rebates from Epson). The WF-2660 is also priced higher than consumer four-color MFPs, but we the PrecisionCore is a nice feature to have as it delivers better performance.

Highs

  • Fast print speeds
  • Duplex printing and ADF
  • Photo quality color and saturation on photo paper

Lows

  • Standard ink cartridges have low page yields
  • Touchscreen limited to taps, no swipes
  • No media card reader
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