Epson WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One

Epson's PrecisionCore alternative printhead, wide format office powerhouse

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Epson WorkForce WF-7610. Epson

In 2014, printer giant Epson replaced its entire line of WorkForce multifunction (print/scan/copy/fax) inkjet business printers with machines based on the company’s new PrecisionCore (in this case) semi-fixed printhead technology. Much like PageWide, HP’s fixed printhead equivalent, which debuted in that company’s Officejet X multifunction inkjets in mid-2013, PrecisionCore printers are not only faster and cheaper to use than not only Epson’s previous WorkForce models but also several entry-level laser-class printers. Alternative printhead printers are superior to standard inkjets and their laser counterparts.

All told, Epson released eight new PrecisionCore models, ranging from under-$200 entry-level, low-volume machines to $400 high-volume printers. Here, I’m looking at the $249.99 (list) WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One Printer, one of two wide-format (up to 13x19 inches) WorkForce models. The other, the WF-7620, sells for $299.99 (list), which, for the extra $50, comes with an additional 250-sheet input drawer, for a total of three input sources: a single-sheet override tray on the back, and two 250-sheet drawers up front, for a total capacity of 500 sheets.

The WF-7610, on the other hand, comes with only one 250-sheet drawer and a single-sheet override tray on the back. The advantage of the single-sheet tray is that you can print on one-off specialty media, such as envelopes, or perhaps photo paper, without having to unload and reconfigure the main paper drawer.

Design and Features

Since, in addition to being a PrecisionCore printhead printer, the WF-7610 is also a wide-format machine capable of printing pages up to 13x16 inches, it is necessarily big—22.3x32.2x13.4 (WxDxH) inches. And it weighs just over 40 pounds. While it’s too big to sit on the average desktop, it’s also loaded with nearly every productivity and convenience feature available, including an auto-duplexing automatic document feeder capable of copying, scanning, and faxing pages up to 11x17 inches, also known as tabloid size.

The WF-7610 is also loaded with features to help you and your office team print from mobile devices, such as Google’s Cloud Print, Apple’s AirPrint, and Wi-Fi Direct, but not near-field communications (NFC) for close-proximity printing from cell phones and tablets.

You’ll also find, via the WF-7610’s spacious and colorful 4.3-inch touch screen, several PC-free features, such as the ability to print from and scan to several different memory devices, such as SD cards and USB thumb drives. Then too, there is the Epson Connect mobile app, which allows you to print directly from iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.

Performance and Print Quality

A primary benefit of the PrecisionCore printhead is that it allows inkjets to reach and often exceed laser-class printer speeds. Epson rates the WF-7610 at 18 pages per minute (ppm) for black-and-white prints and 10ppm for color pages. While I was never able to reach those speeds, what I can say is that this WorkForce machine is much faster than its predecessors, and yes, faster than some entry-level laser-class machines. It is not, however, even half as fast as several of HP’s Officejet X models. But then those high-volume business-class machines cost about three times more than this Epson.

As to print quality, the WF-7610 printed my test business documents and photos as well as just about every inkjet machine I’ve seen, including HP’s PageWide machines. In fact, it printed photographs—even oversize 13x16-inches images, exceptionally well. If exceptional print quality is high on your wish list, this business-optimized WorkForce model will not disappoint.

Cost Per Page

One of the most impressive features of HP’s PageWide printers is their exceptionally low cost per page, or CPP—the best I know of for an inkjet. But then, again, these Officejet X models cost significantly more than this WorkForce machine. Depending on which ink cartridges you buy, be they Standard, High, and Extra High (which comes only in black) yield, the WF-7610 can deliver per-page costs of 3.2 cents for black-and-white pages and 11.3 cents for color.

While, compared to several entry-level laser-class printers in the $300 and $400 range, as well as many comparably priced inkjet models, the WF-7610’s CPPs are low, they’re nowhere near the 40-to-50 percent lower that Epson claims. Brother’s entry-level HL-3170CDW laser-class printer, for example, produces color prints with its high-yield toner cartridges for about 14 cents each. If you print a lot, a printer’s CPP can cost you plenty over time.

When Epson told me that they were replacing their entire line of small- and medium-size printers with PrecisionCore printhead models, frankly, I expected machines with lower CPPs than this. Alas, at these purchase prices, we’re still looking at machines that generate the bulk of their revenue through ink sales. While this all-in-one’s CPPs are somewhat disappointing, they’re still better than a lot of the competition’s, and the PrecisionCore printers themselves are excellent.