Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One

Laser-Class Speeds and a Very Low Cost Per Page (CPP)

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One
Epson

While Epson makes many different kinds of printers, they excel at home-based and small-office business-optimized multifunction (print/scan/copy/fax) models—most notably, its WorkForce line of office-ready all-in-ones (AIOs). Especially impressive, in terms of speed, print quality, and cost per page, are the high-volume small-office and workgroup AIOs, such as the $299-99-list WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer (the subject of this review), and the $399-99-list WorkForce Pro WF-4640 All-in-One Printer.

Essentially, what you give up for the $100-difference between these two printers is that the more expensive WF-4640 comes with a second, 500-sheet paper drawer. (You can, by the way, purchase same drawer for the WF-4630 on Epson’s Web site, as well as most other outlets, for $249.99-list.) In other words, if you need two drawers, buying the WF-4640 up front will save you $150.

The WF-4630 is one of several machines based on Epson’s recently released (early June 2014) PrecisionCore printhead technology, a cheaper-to-use and faster alternative to standard inkjet printheads. Currently, as described in this About.com “Alternative Printhead Inkjet Printers” article, PrecisionCore-based printers come with printheads configured with either two or four densely populated PrecisionCore ink-nozzle chips. The PrecisionCore WorkForce models with four chips, such as the WF-4630, are significantly faster than the PrecisionCore printers with only two printhead chips, such as the $199.99-list WorkForce WF-3640 All-in-One Printer.

Design and Features

Considering all it does, and how quickly, at 18.1 inches across, 25.8 inches from front to back, 15.1 inches high, and weighing 31.3 pounds, the WF-4630 isn’t that big, but it is a bit too bulky to setup on the average desktop. Still, when it comes to productivity and convenience features, this powerhouse wants for nothing.

In addition to a spacious 250-sheet input drawer on the front, you’ll find an 80-sheet override tray, for printing envelopes and other specialty pages, on the back, for a total of 330 sheets. The advantage of having two input sources allows you to print on different media types without having to take the printer out of service to unload and reconfigure the main paper drawer.

Not only does the WF-4630 come with a 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF), it’s an auto-duplexing ADF, which allows you to scan, copy, and fax two-sided originals without your having to flip the originals over manually. When used in conjunction with the auto-duplexing print engine, the auto-duplexing ADF makes copying two-sided originals much easier than figuring out how to flip and reposition both the originals and the one-sided pages back into the machine manually.

The WF-4630 also supports PC-free operation, such as scanning to and printing from USB thumb drives, via a colorful 3.5-inch touch screen. Also supported are several mobile printing options, such as Wi-Fi Direct, AirPrint, and Google Cloud Print, as well as the Epson Connect suite apps: Email Print, iPrint Mobile, and Remote Print. About the only modern mobile feature not supported is near-field communications (NFC) for close proximity printing. If you’re unfamiliar with today’s mobile printing features, check out this About.com “Mobile Printing Features – 2014” article.

Cost Per Page

It only makes sense that printers designed to print thousands of pages each month should do so without sending you or your company to poor house. In that regard, the WF-4630 is one of the cheapest printers to use, on a per-page cost of operation, or cost per page (CPP), basis, I know of. If, for example, you use the Epson’s highest-yield ink cartridges for this AIO, black-and-white pages will run about 1.6 cents each, and color prints around 8.2 cents. These numbers are not only lower than most inkjet AIOs, high-volume or otherwise, but also most entry-level and several midrange laser-class machines.)

In fact, very few printers, and perhaps none in this price range, have lower CPPs. HP’s Officejet X printers, based on another alternative inkjet printhead technology, PageWide, have lower CPPs (1.3 cents for monochrome and 6.1 cents for color), but they also sell for about twice as much, or more. These CPPs may not seem a lot lower than those of the WF-4630, but, as explained in this About.com “When A $150 Printer Can Cost You Thousands” article, choosing a printer with the wrong CPPs for your application can cost you a bundle.

Overall Assessment

The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer is feature-rich and fast, and print quality is excellent—making this AIO a viable alternative to laser-class printers. In addition to providing nearly every productivity and convenience feature available, it also has one of the lowest CPPs among high-volume printers—be they inkjets or lasers.