By Brian Barrett, Wired, Aug 6, 2015 – IN THEIR ONGOING struggle for relevance, printers have in recent years gained apps, and touchscreens, and all manner of features that range from useless to maddening. The Epson EcoTank, though, is notable mostly for what it’s gotten rid of: ink cartridges. Or more specifically, a lifetime of pricey ink cartridge refills.
The five new EcoTank models range from $350 to $1,200 in price, depending on capacity and feature set, but even the most affordable version promises enough ink in its reservoirs to cover 4,000 black and 6,500 color pages before requiring a refill. This is an absurd amount of ink, unless you are home-printing an outrageously popular zine, and even then you should be pretty well covered.
The way the EcoTanks work is so delightfully simple, it’s almost—almost—as if the prevailing cartridge system exists solely to disadvantage the average consumer for the benefit of the handful of companies that dominate the world of printing hardware. Instead of shipping with a few small cartridges, the EcoTank comes with the equivalent of 20 cartridges worth of ink already onboard, in small tanks.