I started running my own business 4 years ago and it soon became apparent that I needed an office printer. But I’m also fussy and particular and can take a reeeeeeeally long time to make a decision about gadget purchases. I spent more time than I care to admit in Incredible Connection, watched plenty of YouTube reviews, started paying attention to traditional advertising means and eventually decided the Epson Ecotank range was the one I had my eye on. I remember our old family printer and its enormous cartridge that my mom used to complain about incessantly because of how expensive it was; my brother and I were no doubt printing hundreds of full-colour pages from Encarta 95. And then late last year I took the plunge and invested in the Epson Ecotank L7160.
Now, I’m not an uber-techy and if you want stats to within an inch of their life, you should probably check out someone else’s review. But if you want an average Jane consumer review from a real user and business owner, this might be the one you need to read. I’m going to try and keep this short and sharp so you get the highlights without having to pour over reams of text, and I’ll categorise the rest of my review from here so you can scan to find what’s relevant to you.
Why did I choose the Epson Ecotank L7160?
I chose the Epson Ecotank printer for these three reasons:
- I’m a photography hobbyist and I needed a photo-printing solution
- I don’t want to be poor so I needed a cost-effective ink replacement solution
- I wanted a WiFi enabled printed to make life easy and cable-free
What are the key features of the Epson Ecotank L7160?
- Low-cost cartridge free printing (this baby comes with 3 years worth of ink, enough to potentially print 1500 10x15cm photographs!)
- The clever, compact EcoTank prevents leaks and spills and the refills are designed in a manner that ensures the right colour ink is inserted into the correct well
- It comes with a 3 year extended warranty
- The L7160 is a double-sided printer, scanner, copier and photo-printer
- The EcoTank is a five-colour ink system including black for photographs and black pigment ink
- Fully WiFi enabled which allows you to print from the Epson app on your smartphone
- Has an SD Card and USB slot The L7160 has two paper trays to allow for multiple print sizes (including photo paper – 4×6, 5×7 and A4)
- Easy installation
What are the pros and cons of the Epson Ecotank L7160?
These are my opinions, based on a good few months of usage and trial. We obviously all have different printing needs when it comes to our homes and businesses, so bear that in mind.
- Having photo-printing at its core from a design and functionality perspective makes the process simple and seamless. As a budding photographer and new mom with hundreds (okay, thousands) of photographs that need printing, this has forced me to start printing and filling those albums again. Yay!
- WiFi! OMG. About 3 years ago I invested in a WiFi-enabled mirrorless Fuji camera (the XT10 if you want to know) and it changed the photographic game for me! No more memory-cards and cables, no more fuss, sharing made easy. This was a non-negotiable for me when it came to choosing a printer and I can’t remember life before this now that I can simply flick files through the air straight from my mobile phone and have them print out on my desk from my Epson printer. The Epson app allows you to quickly and easy select photographs (and more) straight from your phone and print them out in seconds.
- An all-in-one solution. While photo-printing is fun, it’s definitely secondary to my 9-5 office needs, which require printing and scanning almost daily. I love that this technology allows me an all-in-one solve to my business and personal needs.
- Cost-effectiveness is super important to me and the EcoTank printers from Epson where it’s at; solo ink reservoirs that are not only easy to fill and no-spill, but go a reeeeeally long way and don’t cost a fortune to replace. You can print up to 1500 10x15cm photographs with the ink supplied. Now you’re speaking my language.
- The initial investment is relatively steep, however that said once it’s running you’ve got a long way to go and I think the affordability and longevity of the ink outweighs this. The Epson L7160 retails for between R7900 – R8900, depending on who you’re buying through. I guess like all purchases however, these things are budget dependent and there are Epson printing solutions at varying price-points. If you run your own business and have legitimate printing needs, then you can claim for the printer when you submit your tax returns.
- The multiple trays took me a little while to figure out, but I’m sure most printers have their nuances. I eventually realized the main tray needed to be out in order for the printer to print, with both paper trays clicked into place, and the correct size paper tray selected. Now that I’ve got the hang of this system it’s second-nature and printing is quick and easy
- I don’t know if this is as much of a con as it is a consideration, but I just thought I’d mention it here because size and space can be important to those on the hunt, and this baby falls in the medium size category for me. If you’re looking for a super slim and compact solution, then this is not the printer for you. My office desk is standard size and there’s ample space on top of it for my printer, however if space is an issue for you then you may need to reconsider your placement.
All in all I’m thrilled with my purchase and my decision, and I’ll never look back. If you want a really technical breakdown of the machine and all it has to offer, click here. I hope this review helps a little, and please feel free to comment if you have any questions. I’m so happy I don’t need to visit Jetline ever again.