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Lifewire / James Huenink
Beautiful photo printing
Easy to use scanner
Works on 13” x 19” paper
Easy to use mobile app
High cost per page
ADF scanner problems
Slow print speeds
A poorly performing ADF scan and high cost per page makes the Epson Workforce WF-7720 a poor choice unless you really need 13” by 19” prints.
Most businesses need a scanner, copier, printer, and a fax, so all-in-one printers like the Epson Workforce WF-7720 are a great combination solution. Ideally, these printers do every task well without burdening tech-challenged employees with too much detail.
Epson is one of the few printing companies that offer printing on 13” x 19” paper, so we wanted to see if the WF-7720 could function as the center of an office and give us quality prints in a wide format.
The Epson Workforce WF-7720 is all black with white letters and numbers. It looks just like most all-in-one printers. There’s a scanner bed on top of the device, large enough for an 11” x 17” paper. The top of the scanner cover has an automatic document feeder, which can scan paper as large as 11” x 17”. The automatic document feeder (ADF) has a grey tab that can open in case of a paper jam. The front of the printer has an 18.5” wide control panel that tilts up about 45 degrees and a convenient 4.3” color touch screen. There are three indicator lights, too: received fax, error, and data.
The screen is large for the size of the printer, and everything is easy to read. The output tray is beneath the control panel, which manually extends out, making the WF-7720 32” deep instead of 19.1”. Two paper trays are located under the output tray, and both are capable of holding 250 sheets with sizes up to 13” x 19” paper. Each tray manually extends out from the printer to accommodate large-format paper, and a translucent plastic cover protects the paper as the tray extends past the front of the printer. The front of the printer also has a USB A port. The scanner bed lifts up to expose the print heads and inkjet cartridge slots. The Epson Workforce WF-7720 protects the ink cartridges with a cover that has to be removed to change the ink.
Because an all-in-one printer is complicated, setting up the Epson Workforce WF-7720 took a while. First, we connected the printer to the WiFi network and downloaded the installation software. Once the installation software was open, it had to download the files to install. Once that was done, the setup wizard took us through every step from printer drivers to fax settings quickly and easily. Oddly, though, we had to manually use the touchscreen to begin connecting the printer to the Epson account created in the setup wizard. It seemed like an unusual step when everything else went so smoothly.
To test the Epson Workforce WF-7720 for print quality, we ran it through a number of tasks, including printing text text on a variety of paper sizes with different fonts at different sizes. The text edges were sharp, and the fonts were accurately reproduced, but we were disappointed with the print speed. At 18 ppm for B/W and only 10 ppm for color, it moves slower than its competitors.
The photo printing blew through ink faster than it should have.
To test photo printing, we printed photos on both plain paper and photo paper in a variety of sizes. We tried out a few hi-res shots blown up to 13” x 19” and the results were beautiful, showing off the printer’s resolution. The color prints matched the tone and color of the originals very well. We also tried printing on plain paper both in 11” x 17” and 8.5” x 11”. While the quality of the photo was lower on the plain paper, as expected, the color matching and detail were still good. By the end of our testing we got a low ink alert, and the photo printing blew through ink faster than it should have.
The cost per page for the Epson Workforce WF-7720 is a little high. We calculated the cost per page for black at $0.07 per page and color at $0.12 per page, which will add up very quickly.
We tested both text documents and photos on the Epson Workforce WF-7720 to see how it performs as a scanner. We were excited to see that the ADF takes up to 11” x 17” paper, the full size of the scanner bed, but when we tested scanning text through the ADF, it cut off text on the right edge of the page, making the document feeder almost useless for documents. It was like the scanner didn’t read the paper size correctly.
As for scanning images, we scanned an 11” x 17” photo placed on the scanner bed. It did a great job with color matching and detail. The scanner settings range from 200 dpi up to 1200 x 2400 dpi, but the lowest setting still looked nice. The higher setting is great for blowing up small photos to a larger size.
You can easily scan from the WF-7720 without going through a computer. The all-in-one printer will scan to a flash drive, to email, to a cloud drive, to a network folder, or FTP. It can also save scanned images in a variety of file formats, including Bitmap, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Multi-TIFF, PDF, and Searchable PDF.
Sending a fax is easy on the Epson Workforce WF-7720. For one, it’s nice to have physical buttons on the control panel rather than having to use the touch screen. The fax process was simple, and the quality was great, too. Faxes, both sent and received, were easy to read. While the graphics quality wasn’t amazing, you can’t expect much with a fax modem designed to send images at 33.6 Kbps. Faxing was a little faster than some other models, too, at three seconds per page.
The mobile app for the Epson Workforce WF-7720 won’t win any design awards; in fact, it looks like an app from a previous decade. It is functional, though,simple and straightforward, and facilitates printing from the phone and from cloud drives with Box, Dropbox, Evernot, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive installed by default.
Printing was a hassle, though. It was difficult to get the settings right, so we ended up going over to the printer to manually work with the paper settings. If you have to go to the printer, it eliminates many of the benefits for mobile printing. We also couldn’t get a 4” x 6” photo to print on letter paper, which would seem like a basic feature for a printer.
The MSRP is pretty stiff given the high cost per page and some of the issues we encountered with the scanner.
The app also has a cool feature not really related to the Epson Workforce WF-7720, document capture. You take a photo of a document, and it preserves it just like a scanned doc. The app lets you custom trim the four corners, and you can crop the document with angles other than 90 degrees. It’s a nice feature if you want to quickly print a physical doc with your phone. We also tried scanning through the mobile app while the WF-7720 was printing, and it worked without a problem.
The scanner software on the computer is overwhelming at first. When you open the program, it throws a ton of settings at you right away. There wasn’t a quick way to use a preset to adjust for text of photos. Once we got past that, scanning worked easily, and the software automatically opened a window where the file was saved. It’s nice that we didn’t have to hunt for the scan once it was done.
The MSRP for the Epson Workforce WF-7720 is $300, a little higher than many of its competitors (though not by much). Epson was selling it at the time of this writing for only $199. The MSRP is pretty stiff given the high cost per page and some of the issues we encountered with the scanner.
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-Format Printer: The Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is not an all-in-one printer, so it doesn’t have scan, fax, and copy functions. It does, however, focus on printing stunning photos, and it uses a six-color ink palette for better quality. It’s also much smaller, so it will save space if you just need a great photo printer. It does cost a lot more, though, with an MSRP of $350. You pay for HD printing, so you have to really want great shots.
Brother MFC-J6935DW: It’s hard to beat Brother printers for cost per page. Brother boasts that their MFC-J6935DW can get below $0.01 per page, which is pretty amazing. It also prints faster than the Epson Workforce WF-7720 at 22 ppm black and 20 ppm color. It does cost a lot more with an MSRP of $350. If you print a lot of pages, you’ll quickly make that up in cost per page, though. It also prints up to 11” x 17” while the WF-7720 goes up to 13” x 19”.
A good choice if you need 13” x 19” prints.
The Epson Workforce WF-7720 is a solid printer with some significant flaws. It prints photos on 13” x 19” paper with decent quality, but the ADF scanner didn’t work well, and it costs a lot per page. If 13” x 19” paper is important to you, this may be a good way to go. If not, you can find comparable printers with a lower cost per page that produce the same quality results.