This post was most recently updated on January 12th, 2019
Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 EcoTank Printer Review
For today’s review, we have another EcoTank printer; the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700. If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know I’ve had a so-so relationship with Epson’s EcoTank line of printers. However, I felt they’ve been improving, so I was excited at the idea of an even higher volume model of EcoTank printer.
In walks the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700. It boasts a higher price tag for sure, but does it offer anything else?
At face value, the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 appears to do everything the previous EcoTank printers have done, just to a higher degree. Epson advertises a fast print speed of 24 pages per minute, and a paper tray that stores 250 sheets. The ink packages (more on this in a moment) advertise high print yields, although Epson is a little secretive about the page estimates. Took a page out of Canon’s book it seems.
The Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 has a great 4.3” full-color touchscreen. It also has NFC print technology, on top of regular WIFI printing, to give you more mobile printing options than ever before. As one would expect, the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 includes most obvious features, like auto duplex printing and up to 1200 dpi print resolution.
By this point, you may be feeling confused. These all sound like great features, but I’m not exactly raving over the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700.
Well, you’re right on both counts. On paper, this printer has awesome features and would be a great printer for a home office or small business. And, to add to all that greatness, it’s an EcoTank! EcoTanks are awesome, right?
First off, there is no [email protected]#%!g tanks to this EcoTank. The ink comes in small plastic bags that insert into the printer. Seriously, look at these things.
Now, you may be thinking, “Hey, guy. That’s a little harsh, it’s a small detail. Just continue the review.”
No. I refuse. Because it isn’t a small detail. Imagine if the ink bag was some sort of hard plastic container that you shoved into your printer that cost you a digit from your right hand and one of your children every time you needed to replace it. Which you will have to do with genuine Epson ink bags. Look again at the picture above. See the chip on the plastic top of the bag. That chip works the same way as a normal ink cartridge. It prevents your printer from using generic ink, as well as tells your printer when your ink bag is “empty”(meaning you’ve printed what Epson considers to be enough pages. Yep, there’s basically no difference between these ink bags and traditional inkjet ink cartridges.
Alright, I’ve made my point on that count, but what about these ink bags? They do advertise a lot of pages if you look around enough. The bags themselves don’t have yields advertised, but the printer advertises 16,000 pages of black and 11,000 pages of color with the included ink. Therefore, this is what we can assume these bags yield. The price per page is slightly higher than older generations of EcoTank printers, but it is mostly negligible.
Now, customers I’ve had have claimed that their Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 doesn’t print anywhere near what’s advertised, and that is normal. Advertised page yields are based on 5% page coverage, which is about your average word document. So, when customers print photos, it eats up ink way quicker. What I have an issue with is multiple people telling me they only printed documents, with no color, and their intro ink bags only yielded three or four thousand pages. That’s a huge discrepancy, and that’s an issue.
Also, the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 features Epson’s patented PrecisionCore printhead. The goal of this printhead is to print higher resolution text and images, by using forced air to break the ink into smaller droplets. The problem? These printheads are notorious for clogging constantly. If you catch the clogs early, the automated cleaning cycle should fix the problem. If it sits in there for more than a month, you’ll probably never get it out. My Epson rep recommends running the cycle as long as it takes to clean out the clogs. I have an Epson that I’ve run the cleaning on twenty times in a row, and the black never came completely clean.
Well sure, a few of my customers have had bad experiences. I haven’t sold a high volume of these, so I shouldn’t this many returns, but maybe I’ve just had bad luck. So, I went to Amazon to find how other people’s experiences with the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 have been. And I was surprised by what I found.
There are almost all five and four-star reviews. At the time of writing this, there are nineteen reviews, and only four of them are negative. All the negative reviews are from customers complaining about the issues my customers have had.
Want to know what all the positive reviews had in common? All except one review were from Vine Customers. This means that they were provided with an Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 for free in exchange for a “fair and honest” review. I’ll let you come to your own conclusion about that.
The Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 is a fine small office printer. Fine is the most glowing praise it deserves. In no way should this be considered an EcoTank Printer.
Honestly, the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 was a huge letdown for me. I’m the type of nerd who gets really excited when a fancy new printer comes out. I get to open all the packaging and find a spot on our display shelf, set it up, and play with it a bit. When I opened this box and found out how the ink system worked, all of my enthusiasm just died. How was I going to review a product with my signature brand of terrible jokes that don’t land and recommend this printer to people?
I’m not. At all.
I’m not accusing anybody of anything, but honest reviewing is important. Yes, getting free stuff from time to time is cool. Hell, I make an affiliate commission if you click a link and buy something. That doesn’t mean I’m going to tell you something is awesome if it’s just a piece of junk. And in my opinion, the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 is a piece of junk. Don’t buy it.
What should you buy instead?
I still really like the Epson Workforce ET-4750. It is a really nice printer for a home office that delivers on its promise. An EcoTank is a large investment up front that saves you money in the long run, and the Epson WorkForce ET-4750 does just that. You can check out my full review for it here.
If you’d like to purchase the Epson Workforce ET-4750, you can click the link below. Again, this is an affiliate link, so if you click on it and buy the printer I make a commission. This in no way influences my opinion of the printer. I just want that to be crystal clear.
That’s it for this review. I’m sorry if this one came off a bit negative. I’m not giving up on the EcoTank lineup completely. They have a couple of new photo printers in the series that I’ll be reviewing soon.
Leave a comment below or send me an email if there’s a printer you’d like me to review.
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