Epson's EcoTank ET-4760 review: a multi-function powerhouse at a steep price

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 28
For those looking to upgrade their home office, Epson's EcoTank printer combines a printer, scanner, and fax machine into one multi-function device, allowing you to save time, money, and space.




Despite all of the technological advances over the last decade, most of us haven't gone entirely paperless yet. Whether it's printing shipping labels or keeping hard copies of important documents for our records, printers still have a place in our home office.

That's why we're taking a look at Epson's EcoTank ET-4760 All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer, to see if the upfront investment pays off by saving us precious office real estate and money in expensive ink refills.

Design

The EcoTank is a compact little all-in-one, perfect for sitting on an office shelf, on top of a filing cabinet, or the corner of a desk. While not the smallest printer, it does include scanning and faxing capabilities, which can cut down the need for additional devices in your home office, ultimately saving you a significant amount of space.

We received a white EcoTank for review, but it also is available in black.

Setup

Unlike traditional cartridge-based printers, you'll need to fill the ink tanks yourself. Fortunately, this is a straightforward process, and provided that you are careful, it should be relatively mess-free.

Filling the ink tank is as easy as placing the bottle into the tank opening and waiting
Filling the ink tank is as easy as placing the bottle into the tank opening and waiting


We found that filling the tanks was easy, and Epson's step-by-step guide walks you through every step, with no guesswork needed.

Of course, once you've filled the printer, you'll want to connect it to your home network. We've used EcoTank printers in the past, so we already knew what to expect, but we'll admit that connecting the printer to your home network via WiFi is a bit of a pain, but not difficult.

Using the touchscreen display, we were able to open up the printer's network settings, find our home network, and enter our password. Connecting took only a few seconds.

The tiny touch screen allows you to change settings, perform maintenance, and even install firmware updates right from the printer
The tiny touch screen allows you to change settings, perform maintenance, and even install firmware updates right from the printer


Once connected, it's easy to print via your iPhone, Mac, PC, or Android phone.

If you choose to use an Ethernet cable, you'll only need to put it into your router -- no fiddly typing required.

Since the printer is connected to your home network, most computers and devices should print without installing any extra drivers. However, Epson does offer a suite of software for printing and scanning, should you need it.

Performance

The EcoTank is a standard printer when it comes to printing. It averages roughly 15 pages per minute for an industry-standard black and white print and about eight pages per minute for a standard color print.

Of course, if you're printing high-resolution artwork or photographs, it'll take quite a bit longer.

What really makes this printer shine in the home office, dorm room, or the small office setting is the ability to do two-sided prints.

Everything we printed from the EcoTank came out looking great, and we were especially thrilled with any text documents we printed.

If we had one complaint, it would be that any color-heavy prints tended to be quite wet when coming out of the printer. If possible, you may want to wait five minutes before moving any ink-heavy prints.

A generous scanner bed allows you to scan a standard letter-size paper with ease
A generous scanner bed allows you to scan a standard letter-size paper with ease


Of course, this is an all-in-one printer, which means it also offers a flatbed scanner. While we've moved on to compact scanners for most of our document and photo scanning, having a flatbed scanner on hand is useful for those times when we want to scan books or pages of magazines.

Additionally, the scanner allows the device to be used as a fax machine and a photocopier.

The scanner worked as anticipated, and we were able to access it directly from our favorite programs, such as Photoshop. It has a maximum scanning resolution of 9600 DPI, which is likely more than you'll need for home office use.

You can easily import scans directly from programs such as Photoshop
You can easily import scans directly from programs such as Photoshop

Cost vs savings

EcoTank printers aren't cheap by any means, but we've used them in the past and can attest that they're a good investment if you routinely need to print color images.

Filling the ink tank and fixing paper jams can be done by lifting the scanner bed
Filling the ink tank and fixing paper jams can be done by lifting the scanner bed


As they use liquid ink tanks rather than a traditional cartridge, the cost of filling up an EcoTank is significantly cheaper. A single set of three EcoTank color bottles is about $40, but equals roughly 80 individual traditional cartridges.

When it comes to printing a standard color print, it will cost you about one cent per page versus the average 20 cents with ink cartridges -- and those savings can really add up.

There is one notable downside to the EcoTank, though -- and that is moving it. Once filled, moving the EcoTank can be a little perilous as it must be held level to avoid spilling ink. We suggest that you fill the ink tanks in the spot you plan to use it.

Overall

With a nearly $500 price tag, the EcoTank ET-4760 isn't the cheapest printer you could buy, but the savings can be significant over time. Additionally, it combines many pieces of office equipment into a single device, allowing you to get a home office up and running in less time with less clutter.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Pros
  • Combines printer, copier, fax, and scanner into one device

  • Liquid ink tanks save money and allow for more prints between refills

  • Unique bottles allow for mess-free refills
Cons
  • High initial cost compared to cartridge printers

  • Full-color pages remain wet, prone to smearing if handled too early
Where to buy: You can pick up an EcoTank ET-4760 from Epson's site for $499.99, or those who have Amazon Prime can snag one from Amazon for $499.99 with free two-day shipping.
Alex1N

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Thanks for the review. Always curious about the savings on this printer every time I’m at Staples. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Last September 2020 when our printer died this was the only in stock printer.  The price hurt! The review is completely truthful.  One thing that just happened in the last week is: I got rid of my router and am now using the one in the Comcast gateway box.  After I did that it printed garbage from laptops & desktops until I removed, restarted, re-added the printer.  Ok good so far. Unfortunately my iOS devices cannot find it anymore.  I have bigger tech issues with Comcast’s lack of reliability and Comcast always telling me it’s my equipment; now saying it’s my hub switch.  I’ll revise this comment once I get AirPrint to work from our iPhones & iPads.
    welshdogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,462member
    We have an Epson WF-2860 that uses the standard ink cartridges. If I order the high capacity ink it costs around $100 for the four colors (I tried the cheap aftermarket ink cartridges and they were a disaster). So these EcoTank models look pretty tempting to me and would seem to pay for themselves in short order in the cost of ink alone.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Personally I cannot fathom why anyone would ever buy an inkjet printer. I switched to a laser printer ages ago and saved so much money in the long run. I do need color from time-to-time so I added a color laser a few years ago. It’s more expensive than B&W (duh) but still much cheaper than ink, way faster, higher quality, and no smudges or worrying about my printouts getting wet and smearing.

    The only legitimate use that I can think of for inkjet printers is for photographs, and it’s far more economical to send them out than to print them at home.

    Canon’s ImageClass printers are top notch and feature rich. My color printer not only prints duplex but also scans duplex which is handy when I’ve got a stack of double-sided documents to digitize.
    netroxJanNLmobirdelijahgjeffharris
  • Reply 5 of 19
    I have the less expensive Epson EcoTank 2750 and while it has a few less features, including a fax machine and scanner feeder, it has been a huge money saver.  We filled it up on first use in January 2018 and just refilled the tanks up for the first time in December 2020, almost three years of worry free and cost free printing. We have three kids in high school and my wife and I are both attorneys, so we are constantly printing.  With our old inkjet cartridge printer, we would go through cartridges every 1 or 2 months.  I would highly recommend, as you will save significantly with either the more basic EcoTank or this more expensive one.
    Rayz2016ravnorodomwelshdogjeffythequickwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,109member
    Inkjet are for the convenience of printing out a photo and the low up front cost if you don’t do a lot of printing. If printing a lot of documents I would go laser printer.

    The inclusion of fax is interesting. It is getting to the stage that there is no fax machines to send it to. My father chose this epson because of it, replacing an old canon all in one with a fax. He couldnt tell me when he actually last used that function though.

    At work I shut down our last fax machine (the particular customers using that line were probably over 75 and the volume of claims coming in that way had dropped right off) and there has not been any blowback. We are now phasing out landlines in favour of iPhones rather than pay for two phone services for each staff member. I already closed the landline at home a year ago.
    edited February 6 netroxjeffharriswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    entropys said:
    The inclusion of fax is interesting. It is getting to the stage that there is no fax machines to send it to. My father chose this epson because of it, replacing an old canon all in one with a fax. He couldnt tell me when he actually last used that function though.
    I agree that a fax is pretty much useless here in USA, but if your business has a number of international contacts, especially third-world types, you may want to have that fax capability.
    Rayz2016entropys
  • Reply 8 of 19
    One of the considerations may be head durability and replacability - I've found the manufacturers generally are increasingly making combined, fixed and or non user replaceable heads - I suggest reading Amazon and other post sales reviews. One manufacturer admitted they would just swap a printer out for a refurb vs head replacement.

    One thing I have found helpful is printing a test page every week I don't use color.

    Inkjet cartridges are also easier to refill than laser cartridges from my research if DIY or in urgent need. For low use I also prefer the older style of HP AIO cartridges that include a new head, and so in the worst case scenario an OEM purchase renews OEM quality. I was told as well by the Staples rep that the older printers were better made, and still have a 2007 OfficeJet that is going strong...
  • Reply 9 of 19
    ID0ID0 Posts: 15member
    I have one and half year in daily use the cheaper L6160, the print quality is OK and the ink consumption is very low.
    I don't care about the non user replaceable heads as the warranty is 3 years and the unit price is just bellow 300 €.
    edited February 6
  • Reply 10 of 19
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    lkrupp said:
    We have an Epson WF-2860 that uses the standard ink cartridges. If I order the high capacity ink it costs around $100 for the four colors (I tried the cheap aftermarket ink cartridges and they were a disaster). So these EcoTank models look pretty tempting to me and would seem to pay for themselves in short order in the cost of ink alone.
    We made the switch last spring. I couldn’t stand dropping $100 for ink. Every time I thought of upgrading but it’s hard when the printer still works...
    it’s going to pay for itself so fast, I wish I had done it years ago!
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    I have this printer in black. The ink lasts a long time and the first time you refill with bottles you’ll appreciate the cost savings. All in all a good deal IMO 
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    aegeanaegean Posts: 155member
    I recently bought ET-3760 and so far it's working for me. My first printer ever, well kind of... since Epson LX 800 dot matrix bought sometime in 1987, lasted decades :) Never really needed a printer as I don't print and try to live my life paper free but in this pandemic, I pulled the trigger on one in order to print the occasional return shipping labels as everything is closed in lockdown and can't go anywhere outside for printing. Struck on a good deal at Costco for ET-3760, which also came with an extra (now two) free black bottle of ink. I think overall its was good deal compared to Amazon and other sellers back in November 2020.

    Between ET-3760 and ET-4760, I think difference is the absence of fax and I am no need of having a fax machine. Other than that, they are identical and don't  justify to spend close to ~150$ more to get ET4760. In fact ET3760 printing more pages in real life test  as per...


    I was thinking to get EcoTank Pro but since I hardly print a page or two in a month on an average, I don't think if I will never need a printing powerhouse.   

    But regardless which one you pick, you can't go wrong with Epson.
    edited February 7 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    I bought the ET-7750 about 18months ago.

    It's stunningly good, colours are nice and it's very stingy on the amount of ink it uses - very cheap to run.

    I replaced a Brother MFC with the Epson. The Epson doesn't have a large in-paper tray but it's smaller, nicer looking, better printer and much quieter,

    I'd buy another ET.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    I bought an ET-2750 refurb from Epson's website to use as a dedicated sublimation printer. It's been working great for my needs*.

    * When I received it, setup showed it needed the ink pad replaced by Epson, and would not finish setup. Epson was useless for support. I found a website who offered a software workaround for about $11. I would've returned it, but they were now out of stock, and I already filled it with sublimation ink, so they would most likely deny any warranty coverage. 

    I plan to pick up an ET-15000 for larger prints in the future. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,818member
    Personally I cannot fathom why anyone would ever buy an inkjet printer. I switched to a laser printer ages ago and saved so much money in the long run. I do need color from time-to-time so I added a color laser a few years ago. It’s more expensive than B&W (duh) but still much cheaper than ink, way faster, higher quality, and no smudges or worrying about my printouts getting wet and smearing.

    The only legitimate use that I can think of for inkjet printers is for photographs, and it’s far more economical to send them out than to print them at home.

    Canon’s ImageClass printers are top notch and feature rich. My color printer not only prints duplex but also scans duplex which is handy when I’ve got a stack of double-sided documents to digitize.
    I'm in the same boat except I understand why some folks would want an inexpensive-to-acquire inkjet if they absolutely need color and can live with the relatively high consumables costs that drive up the cost per page printed. The biggest problem I had that led me to abandon inkjet printers (and never look back) is more related to the frequency of use rather than size of print jobs. I found that when the inkjet printer sat idle for too long it would need to go into a head-cleaning cycle upon being accessed again, which would accelerate inkjet cartridge depletion. With my laser printers I haven't had any idle related issues at all, the print speed is fantastic, and the overall cost per page is very reasonable for me. I've been more than pleased with the reliability of AirPrint support on all of my Brother printers, even the lowest end models.

    One thing that seems to have alleviated all of the connectivity issues with my printers is setting them up with static IP addresses, either directly or by using DHCP reservations in my DHCP server (typically part of your router). I cannot over stress the benefits of using static IP addresses on your networked printers. I also connect them via Ethernet whenever possible. The combination of static IP and wired Ethernet makes them essentially maintenance free, other than adding paper and occasionally changing the toner cartridges, which are often available online, e.g., Amazon at substantial discounts for third-party equivalents. 
    edited February 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    maltzmaltz Posts: 276member
    Never buy an inkjet.  Period.

    I don't care how much or how little printing you do, it'll cost you more in the long run, and they're a giant pain in the butt to maintain.  You either waste ink replacing dried out, plugged up cartridges, or if you have a fancier one, you'll waste ink keeping the jets clear when you're not printing - and even then, they still sometimes plug up.  If you print so much that's never a problem, that's when you're REALLY wasting money.  Toner is far cheaper per page and it never goes bad.

    I hardly do any printing, but I occasionally need a scanner and/or a printer.  I finally got fed up with dealing with inkjets, so I bought a Brother MFP color laser, full duplex printing and scanning, wired network, and a legal-size scan bed.  It cost me over $400... but I haven't spent another penny on it in 6 years, and the output is as good as the day it was new.
    dewme
  • Reply 17 of 19
    maltzmaltz Posts: 276member
    Hank2.0 said:
    entropys said:
    The inclusion of fax is interesting. It is getting to the stage that there is no fax machines to send it to. My father chose this epson because of it, replacing an old canon all in one with a fax. He couldnt tell me when he actually last used that function though.
    I agree that a fax is pretty much useless here in USA, but if your business has a number of international contacts, especially third-world types, you may want to have that fax capability.
    Fax is kind of a "why not?" feature.  There's already a scanner, there's already a printer, throw in maybe $5 worth of parts, and you have a fax machine.  And you might be surprised by how much (and perhaps disturbed at for what) fax is still used in some industries, even here in the states.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,818member
    maltz said:
    Hank2.0 said:
    entropys said:
    The inclusion of fax is interesting. It is getting to the stage that there is no fax machines to send it to. My father chose this epson because of it, replacing an old canon all in one with a fax. He couldnt tell me when he actually last used that function though.
    I agree that a fax is pretty much useless here in USA, but if your business has a number of international contacts, especially third-world types, you may want to have that fax capability.
    Fax is kind of a "why not?" feature.  There's already a scanner, there's already a printer, throw in maybe $5 worth of parts, and you have a fax machine.  And you might be surprised by how much (and perhaps disturbed at for what) fax is still used in some industries, even here in the states.
    Yeah, the modem and extra ports and circuitry cost must be very low. I have fax capability in one printer but I don’t have a landline, not even the phone wire coming into my house. I haven’t bothered to figure out how to fax without a landline because I’ve only had to send one fax in the past 5 or so years and did it using a printer services store, like Kinkos or the UPS Store.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    dewme said:
    Personally I cannot fathom why anyone would ever buy an inkjet printer. I switched to a laser printer ages ago and saved so much money in the long run. I do need color from time-to-time so I added a color laser a few years ago. It’s more expensive than B&W (duh) but still much cheaper than ink, way faster, higher quality, and no smudges or worrying about my printouts getting wet and smearing.

    The only legitimate use that I can think of for inkjet printers is for photographs, and it’s far more economical to send them out than to print them at home.

    Canon’s ImageClass printers are top notch and feature rich. My color printer not only prints duplex but also scans duplex which is handy when I’ve got a stack of double-sided documents to digitize.
    I'm in the same boat except I understand why some folks would want an inexpensive-to-acquire inkjet if they absolutely need color and can live with the relatively high consumables costs that drive up the cost per page printed. The biggest problem I had that led me to abandon inkjet printers (and never look back) is more related to the frequency of use rather than size of print jobs. I found that when the inkjet printer sat idle for too long it would need to go into a head-cleaning cycle upon being accessed again, which would accelerate inkjet cartridge depletion. With my laser printers I haven't had any idle related issues at all, the print speed is fantastic, and the overall cost per page is very reasonable for me. I've been more than pleased with the reliability of AirPrint support on all of my Brother printers, even the lowest end models.

    One thing that seems to have alleviated all of the connectivity issues with my printers is setting them up with static IP addresses, either directly or by using DHCP reservations in my DHCP server (typically part of your router). I cannot over stress the benefits of using static IP addresses on your networked printers. I also connect them via Ethernet whenever possible. The combination of static IP and wired Ethernet makes them essentially maintenance free, other than adding paper and occasionally changing the toner cartridges, which are often available online, e.g., Amazon at substantial discounts for third-party equivalents. 
    I've had really high quality lasers (HP & Samsung) over the years, and always thought the cost per page was better than inkjets and to be fair in nearly all cases this was true.

    But the ET is extremely cheap to run, replacement ink is cheaper than laser cartridges. I couldn't believe it myself, but it's true, cost per page is extremely impressive.
    This was definitely not the case with earlier injets I've owned.
    Someone pointed out that he does duplex printing and duplex scanning, my ET-7750 does duplex printing and I don't need duplex scanning.

    Comes down to what do you get for your money and what are the economics over the life of the printer or the life of the time you want to own the printer before selling it.
    I like the small form factor, it's super quiet and cheap to run.
    Does it work with my Macs - yes, does it work for iOS - yes, usb - yes, wIfi - yes, duplex - yes, cheaper than good laser to buy - yes cheap to run - yes, quality printing - yes, easy maintenance - yes.

    As I said in an earlier comment - I'd buy another.
    watto_cobra
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