The timing could not have been better. Our ancient multifunction printer had seen its last day, and we needed a good printer to replace it since I do much of my writing from my home study and my wife has recently started her own business.
I was in the midst of doing the research as to which printer to buy when I was offered the opportunity to review the Epson Workforce 600. As luck would have it, the Workforce 600 was already on my shortlist.
I’m glad I said “Yes” to reviewing the WorkForce 600, as this is definitely a next generation printer. In fact, to call it a printer is rather inaccurate since the Workforce 600 is a Print/Copy/Scan/Photo/Fax office solution that will immediately become a key component of any small office.
The Workforce 600 is the flagship of the Epson’s Workforce series. At a retail price of just $199 it packs a lot of punch into an affordable package. Epson describes it this way-
Show the world what your business is made of with the Epson WorkForce 600 All-In-One Printer, engineered for the small business and home office. Get laser quality output at laser fast speeds. Make your business look its best with brilliant color output. It includes the ability to wirelessly print and archive critical documents, or fax stacks of originals in seconds. Because time is money, the WorkForce 600 races through every task. And, it uses up to three times less energy than a laser printer. Fast, affordable and built to grow with your business, the WorkForce 600 does it all, so you can focus on the business at hand.
Upon opening the box I was immediately impressed. The machine was nice looking (for a printer) and included everything I needed to get going except the USB cable (typical and not necessary, since the included Ethernet makes setting up WiFi simple). Driver and software installation was simple. I inserted the CD, followed the instructions and was up and running in no time
Speaking of the CD, I love the fact that Epson’s software has a far smaller foot print than that of competitors such as HP, but is also a complete solution that includes a full software suite. Moreover, the software walked me through the process with such ease that even I could do it.
A quick look at the front of the printer tells you this is a full-featured machine.
The LCD screen is bright and easy to read and the various buttons and controls are laid out quite well.
The selection of memory card slots is extensive and accepts a wide variety of SD, Memory Stick and CF cards. This means that it is unlikely you will have difficulty using whatever memory card your camera or phone takes.
I love the fact that many of the key features of the device do not actually require you to connect the printer to your computer. For example, the day after the printer arrived I needed to digitize some old pictures for a website. (I know, good timing!) Thanks to the Workforce 600 I was not only able to copy them directly to an SD card but they came out look fantastic! That kind of convenience and quality is a real treat.
Another nice touch is the fact that when printing, the software not only shows the current ink levels (the device unfortunately uses four different individual color cartridges) but it also lists the cartridge numbers for easy, mistake free, reordering.
All this is good and well, however, but a printer needs to perform its main function, printing, well in order to be worthwhile. Thankfully this was the case. I have found the print quality to be excellent. Add to that the fact that the printer is rather quick, quite and… okay, it is just a printer so I’ll stop gushing.
If I have any issue with the Workforce 600 it is this- the literature describes the unit as offering “double-sided printing”. What it does not tell you is that this is a two-step process that requires you to remove the paper and reinsert it upside down for a second pass and that, as far as I can tell. this functionality is still awaiting an update before being possible on a Mac.
Overall, the Epson WorkForce 600 is an excellent printer with few limitations whose main features include-
* 5 in 1 with WiFi: Print / Copy / Scan / Photo / Fax
* Draft speeds up to 38 ppm (black and color)1
* Laser quality documents about 2x faster1
* Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking built in
* Extra High-capacity Black ink
* 2-year limited warranty with registration
* Smudge, fade, water resistant, highlighter friendly
* Uses up to 3x less power than a laser printer1
* Fax and 30-page ADF
* Built-in memory card slots and 2.5-inch LCD
In short, Epson did a great job on the WorkForce 600. It offers quiet, convenient, fast quality prints and it does so at a great price point.
What I Like:
What Needs Improvement:
Duplex Printing is rather awkward
The WorkForce 600 sells for an MSRP of $199 and is widely available from assorted online and brick and mortar retail outlets.