One of my pet gadget peeves has long been just how outrageously expensive inkjet ink is. Believe it or not, inkjet inks can cost more than the same volume of a high end perfumes such as Chanel No.5 – that’s just batshit crazy.
A while back I strolled into an electronics store that was having a sale and was gobsmacked to see people lining up at the checkout, each lugging 4-5 inkjet printers. Wondering just what was going on, I asked one of the buyers why they were buying 5 inkjet printers.
Their replies floored me.
“At 45 bucks for the printer” explained one customer “its just cheaper to buy 4 of them than it is to buy new ink. When they run out we’ll just biff them”. Along with all those inkjets going into landfill went my regards for the eco credentials of that (unnamed) inkjet printer manufacturer.
At least that was until I got my hands on Epsons latest Eco inkjet, the L-355.
The L-355 is a bold move for Epson, completely doing away with costly cartridges. Instead it uses tanks which can be refilled using ink bottles.
According to the blurb, the L-355 ships with enough ink to handle two years’ worth of printing (at typical print page coverage). That’s equates to a whopping 4,000 pages in black or 6,500 colour printouts.
The l-355 may print on the smell of an oily rag, but it doesna’t mean that its middling in the output department either.
The L-355 uses Micro Piezo technology and prints at a crisp 5,760 x 1,440 DPI. As you’d expect from an Epson printer, text was back, shparp and laser like while graphics were both vivid and crisp.
The L-355 isnt a slouch in the bells and whistle department either – Its got Wi-Fi and smartphone syncing options. These made getting set up dead easy. It also meant that anyone connected to my home WiFi network could squirt out a document from anywhere in the house as long as they had Wi-Fi reception.
So if the print output is good, the ink plentiful and features plentiful, what’s the catch? The gotcha is that by dumping the cartridge subsidised market model, the L-355 may offer cheaper per-page costs but trades these for a higher up-front purchase price. I can happily live with paying a little more if it means that landfill and that I save some cash over the longer term.
Even then the L-355 isn’t really all that outrageously priced. Selling for a reasonable $399, the downstream savings on offer mean the L-355 should definitely be on the shopping list of anyone looking to buy a printer.
Printing Method: Piezo electric
Nozzle Configuration: 180 Nozzles Black, 59 Nozzles per Color
Minimum Droplet Size: 3 picolitres
Print Resolution: 5,760 x 1,440 DPI
Printing Speed: 15PPM (Colour, plain paper 75 g/m²), 33 PPM (Mono, plain paper 75 g/m²)
Scanning Resolution: 1,200 DPI x 2,400 DPI
Number of paper trays: 1
Paper Formats: A4, A5, A6, B5, C6 (Envelope), DL (Envelope), No. 10 (Envelope), Letter, 9 x 13 cm, 10 x 15 cm, 13 x 18 cm, 13 x 20 cm, 20 x 25 cm, 100 x 148 mm, 16:9, Legal
Output Tray Capacity: 30 Sheets
Paper Tray Capacity: 100 Sheets Standard, 20 Photo Sheets
Dimensions: 472 x 300 x 145 mm (Width x Depth x Height)
Interfaces: USB, WiFi
WLAN Security: WEP 64 Bit, WEP 128 Bit, WPA PSK (TKIP), WPA PSK (AES)
Mobile and Cloud printing services: Epson Connect (iPrint)