Epson swings first punch against small business printer competitors

New Epson WorkForce Pro inkjet printers faster and cheaper than HP, Fuji Xerox and Samsung

The Epson WorkForce 4540 and Epson WorkForce 4530.

The Epson WorkForce 4540 and Epson WorkForce 4530.

Epson has made a bold first move into the small-to-medium business and enterprise printing space, with the launch of two new inkjet multifunction printers under the WorkForce Pro moniker. The company is largely known for its consumer printers and projectors, but is aiming to break into the competitive business printing market.

Epson's new WorkForce Pro 4530 and WorkForce Pro 4540 models are aimed at businesses up to around 10 employees in size, and the company is claiming significant advantages in power usage, running costs, durability and print speed over similar products from competing printer companies like Samsung, Fuji Xerox, and HP.

In a demonstration today which pitted the new WorkForce Pro 4530 and 4540 against an HP Officejet Pro 8500A inkjet and a HP CM1415mnf multifunction laser printer (both of which are a similar price to the respective Epson models), both Wi-Fi and USB-based printing favoured the new Epson models. Epson is claiming its WorkForce Pro inkjet printers use 70 per cent less power than comparable lasers, with averaged ink costs that are 50 per cent lower.

Reportedly class-leading duty cycles of 20000 pages per month, large 500-sheet paper input trays (with an additional 80-sheet multipurpose tray), and large 2400-page and 1200-page yields for black and colour ink tanks, mean the new Epson WorkForce Pro models should require minimal maintenance. The new printers also support the new Epson Connect mobile printing standard, which operates via iOS and Android apps to allow smartphones and tablets to print directly to Epson's latest printers. Apple's AirPrint is also supported, and will be a feature in upcoming Epson printers.

Epson's new WorkForce Pro 4540 will be available in retail and reseller channels for $449, and the lesser WorkForce Pro 4530 will be $379. As part of a launch promotion Epson is offering a free upgrade to on-site warranty from the standard 12-month return to base coverage.

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World
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