Epson WorkForce Pro WF-6530 All-in-One Printer

Fast, Excellent Print Quality

Epson's WorkForce Pro WF-6530 All-in-One Printer
Epson's WorkForce Pro WF-6530 All-in-One Printer. Epson

If you follow About.com’s printer coverage at all, then you probably already know that the site is somewhat of a fan of Epson’s PrecisionCore-based WorkForce Pro line of high-volume inkjet printers. The further you move up the line to, say, the WorkForce Pro WF-6590, the more impressive these high-volume workhorses get.

Today, I’m looking at another high-volume model from the WF-6000 Series, the $499.99-MSRP WorkForce Pro WF-6530 All-in-One Printer, a slightly stripped down version of the more expensive (and more capable) WF-6590 mentioned above. While in many ways these two models are alike, such as the same 24 pages per minute (ppm) stated print speed, the WF-6590’s monthly duty cycle, or the number of pages the manufacturer says the machine can print each month without undue wear on the printer, is 25,000 pages more (75,000 vs. 50,000), or a third higher, than that of our WF-6530 review unit.

Design and Features

Without question, this is not your typical inkjet printer. At 21.3 inches high, by 20.3 inches across, by 29.8 from front to back, and weighing a stout 68 pounds, you won’t be setting it beside you on your desktop, but the good news is that it supports Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Near-Field Communication (NFC), and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity, as well as connecting to a single PC via USB.

The 50-sheet automatic document feeder, or ADF, supports duplex (two-sided) scanning via a single-pass mechanism that scans both sides of the page at the same time, hence making scanning two-sided pages faster and less cumbersome for the ADF to handle. Handling ADF, as well as PC-free or walk-up, operations, as well as printing to mobile sites and configuring other mobile connectivity options are handled via a 4.3-inch touchscreen.

Performance, Print Quality, Paper Handling

The first inkjet MFP I saw break the 10ppm barrier on my test business documents was a WorkForce Pro model, the WorkForce Pro WF-4630. Since then, I’ve seen several inkjet MFPs, most of them WorkForce Pro models, break 10ppm, including the WF-6530. The WF-6590 churned out just over 13ppm, while the WF-6530 was closer to 11ppm.

Not only is the four-chip PrecisionCore printhead (as opposed to the non-Pro models’ two-chip printhead) in the WorkForce Pro models fast, it also prints quite well, with near-typesetter quality text, better-than-acceptable photos, and average-looking graphics, it prints plenty well enough for most applications.

Paper handling consists of a 500-sheet main drawer and an 80-sheet override tray on the back for printing envelopes, premium paper, company checks, and so on, without having to take the main drawer out of service. Unfortunately, there is no way to expand input capacity.

Cost Per Page

Frankly, several high-volume printers, including several from Epson, such as the WF-4630 listed above or HP’s PageWide-based Officejet Pro X576dw MFP, have a lower cost per page for ink. If you elect for the WF-6530’s highest-yield ink tanks, your cost per page will run about 2 cents each for monochrome pages and 8 cents for color. HP’s Officejet Pro X model, on the other hand, does 1.6 cents and 6.7 cents, respectively.

If you plan to print a lot, say thousands of pages each month, there are MFPs with lower CPPs—several.

Conclusion

Frankly, it doesn’t make any sense that some of Epson’s smaller WorkForce Pro models are cheaper to use than this one, to the point that if you can get by with it, I’d recommend you choose another WorkForce Pro model—if, that is, your print volume warrants it. Otherwise, this is a good MFP that does all it’s supposed to quite well.