Epson WorkForce 610 All-in-One Printer Review
By Sandy Berger on March 18, 2010


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

Many of today’s printers can do more than just print. All-in-one printers can print, copy, scan, and some can even fax. However, the question is always, “How well can they perform each task?” When we tested the Epson WorkForce 610 All-in-One, we set out to answer that question.

As shown in Figure 1, the Epson WorkForce 610 comes in a large box with a picture of the printer on the top. Inside the box you will find the printer, plus several cables and guides. As shown in Figure 2, these include a CD with drivers and software, a Quick Start Guide, a Start Here guide, a telephone cord, a power cable and some paper samples. Four ink cartridges are also included. The three color cartridges are high-capacity and the included black cartridge is extra high-capacity. A USB cable is not included, but if the printer is networked, it is not needed.


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Figure 1: The box.


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Figure 2: The box contents.

This Epson comes well packaged, as shown in Figure 3. The plastic, tape, and packaging materials are all easily identified and easily removed.


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Figure 3: The printer with protective materials.

The Epson WorkForce 610

As shown in Figure 4, the Epson WorkForce 610 is a good-looking printer. It is a bit boxy, but the arching scan and copy document feed on the top soften the lines of the design. While most of the printer is a shiny black plastic, the top is dull black with a dotted design which helps to minimize finger prints. Touches of silver trim add to the design elements.


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Figure 4: The Epson WorkForce 610.

At 18.1” x 13.6” x 9.3” (46 x 34.5 x 23.6 cm), this printer is a little larger than some others that we have seen. However, we loved the fact that all the trays and the controls on the printer close very easily. The printer with the trays in closed position is shown in Figure 5. The printer weighs 18.3 lbs (8.3 kg), so when closed, it is a bit hefty, but still easily portable. If it is set up on a wireless network, it can easily be transported to different areas of the home or office as the need arises.


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Figure 5: The printer in closed position.

Setup of the WorkForce 610 was smooth and easy. The four ink cartridges popped easily into place, as shown in Figure 6.


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Figure 6: The ink cartridges.

The printer can be hooked up via USB cable, Ethernet, or WiFi. The printer found each of the wireless networks we tried quite quickly and it hooked up seamlessly. This will work as long as your wireless network broadcasts its name, as most do. If your network does not broadcast its name, you can use the Advanced Setup choice to set up the network.

There was no need to hook the printer up to a computer with a USB cable in order to make the WiFi connection. This was a nice feature since many printers require such tethering during setup. After struggling to get some printers on a wireless network, the ease of this setup was quite refreshing.

It took only another 5 minutes to install the software. In comparison to HP and some other software that takes up to 45 minutes to install, this was really speedy.

The scanning software was impressive in its scope, but that also made it a bit complicated to maneuver. Professional users will welcome the immense amount of customization that can be set for each scan, but home users might find the choices overwhelming.

The scanning software has three built-in modes: Home, Office, and Professional. These assume certain settings. For instance the Home mode will automatically set up the scan for a photograph and store the scan in the My Pictures folder. Everything is customizable and you can create your own modes for often used settings. You can scan to e-mail, a PDF file, a card reader, or your PC. We didn’t like the fact that a number like 001, 002, etc was added to each scan and didn’t find a way to turn this off. Other than that, the scanning software worked like a charm.

The Controls

As shown in Figure 7, the front panel of this Epson WorkForce holds all the controls. The panel itself has an adjustment lever in the back so that the panel can be adjusted and easily seen whether sitting or standing. Although we longed for a slightly larger screen, the 2.5-inch color LCD screen is bright and clear.


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Figure 7: The control panel.

The left side of the panel has the on-off switch at the top and a Home area below that. The home area contains four choices: Copy, Print Photos, Scan, and Fax. You toggle between these choices by pressing the indentation in the middle of the Home button. As shown in Figure 8, your choice displays as a lighted icon and is also shown on the screen


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Figure 8: The Home choices.

Pressing the OK button in the middle of the main control panel brings up a screen for that choice. Figure 8 also shows the choices for the copy function. The navigational keys are very intuitive. There is a useful back button and a help button.

To the right of Home is a button for changing the way photos are displayed on the screen and for cropping photos. To the left of the panel are several slots that accommodate different sizes of memory cards, as shown in Figure 9. This Epson supports CompactFlash, Microdrive, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, MagicGate Memory Stick, MagicGate Memory Stick Duo3, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Secure Digital , SDHC, mini SD, mini SDHC, micro SD, micro SDHC, MultiMediaCard , xD-Picture Card, xD-Picture Card Type-M, and xD-Picture Card Type-H.


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Figure 9: The memory card slots.

Although the WorkForce 610 is not marketed as a photo printer, the functionality to handle photos is built into the printer quite nicely.

In Figure 9, under the memory card slots, you will also see a PictBridge port that is also a USB port. So you can print directly from your PictBridge enabeled camera or a USB stick. The printer also allows users to save JPEG or PDF files directly to a memory card or USB drive, which can be a real time saver.

Functionality

Printing, scanning, and copying with the 610 are straightforward. With a maximum print/copy speed of 38 ppm, printing is quite speedy. You can choose to print in Draft, Text, Text and Image, Photo, and Best Photo modes. The printer is fairly quiet and both text and images print cleanly and clearly.

Epson has done a lot to make their printers eco-friendly. The printer was designed to be recycled. Epson states that this printer save energy by using up to 70% less power than a laser printer and it comes with Energy Star compliancy. However, duplexing is manual. We would love to see this unit with an automatic duplexer, which would allow the user to reduce the amount of paper used more easily.

Photos and images have good color reproduction, especially when printed on Epson paper. Ink is dry to the touch immediately after printing, so there is no smearing or smudging. Although we couldn’t test it, Epson states that fade resistant plain paper prints last up to six times longer than similar prints from leading competitors. While extremely speedy at plain text and text and graphics, this printer slows considerably when printing photos, but then it is not promoted as a photo printer.

We really like the ability to use an extra high-capacity black ink cartridge since the black ink is often used up so quickly with text printing and copying. When copying, there is a choice of three quality modes: Draft, Standard, and Best. Copying, like printing was quite speedy.

As noted earlier, the scanning software is quite comprehensive.

The back of the printer holds a 100-sheet adjustable feeder. The paper ejects at the front of the printer. There is also a 30-page automatic document feeder on top of the scanner, which can come in very handy for scanning multi-page documents. Another nice feature is that the scanner lid is hinged so you can copy books and magazines quite easily. The paper flow was seamless and we did not encounter any paper jams or misfeeds. Even envelopes fed smoothly. We also loved the fact that the printer has a clearly marked Stop/Clear Settings button to the left of the fax button area, shown in Figure 10.


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Figure 10: The right side of the control panel.

The fax function is easier to use than many other all-in-ones. You can fax from your computer with the included software or from the printer itself using the fax panel shown in Figure 10. The fax works with distinctive ring and VoIP lines. The fax even worked with our magic Jack. As with most fax all-in-ones, the fax setup is a little confusing, so we enjoyed being able to set up the fax through the computer software rather than having to do it on the small LCD screen. You can also use the included PC Fax software to fax directly from your computer.

The rear of the WorkForce 610 has two telephone jacks, an Ethernet jack, and a USB 2.0 port, as shown in Figure 11. In this figure you will also see the power plug. Although the cord is brickless, the plug protrudes from the printer requiring a little extra space in the back of the unit.


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Figure 11: The back of the WorkForce 610

Based on Epson's posted ink cartridge yields and ISO cartridge yields , the cost of printing on the WorkForce 610 come out to be about 2.5 cents per page of black ink and 3.2 cents per color. In comparison to others, this is quite good.

Thankfully, we did not have to call tech support for any problems with this printer, but we were happy to see that the printer comes with a 2-year limited warranty and phone support, without charge, for the life of the product. After you register the printer you also have access to special tools like templates, tutorials and videos that will help you work with the printer.

Please note: You must register the product within 60 days of purchase to get the second year of warranty service. Online registration is available. If you do not register with that time, you will only get a one year warranty.

Main Specifications

Epson WorkForce 610 All-in-One printer main specifications are:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

The Epson WorkForce 610 performs admirably in all its all-in-one functions. Although it is not meant to be a photo printer, it even does quite well, abet slowly in that area as well.

Although the suggested retail price is USD 200, street prices are quite a bit lower (only USD 100 at Newegg.com with free shipping, for example) and even the Epson website offers an instant rebate and free shipping, giving you a lot for your money.

The easy setup, wireless capabilities, fast printing speeds, good quality output, low ink costs, and great paper handling make this a winner. It is perfect for light office or home use.

Pros

  • Quality text, color documents
  • Excellent paper handling
  • Very customizable fax controls
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Speedy printing and copying
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Fast and easy to set up
  • Ethernet, USB connectivity, and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Low ink cost
  • Automatic document feeder
  • Wireless capabilities
  • Two-year warranty available with registration
  • Hinged scanner lid
  • Excellent cost/benefit ratio

Cons

  • Manual duplexer
  • Fax software could be intimidating to home user
  • LCD screen a little small

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Epson-WorkForce-610-All-in-One-Printer-Review/950


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