The EcoTank Pro ET-5880 is one of the latest business class offerings from Epson. This All-in-One is a great way for a business to save money on their in house printing, without sacrificing quality or features. The reasons for this are due to it being an inkjet process with a supertank. An opposed to the typical ink cartridge. Also, most of the AIO’s in this segment are laser printers. While I’m fond of laser printers, I have to admit this inkjet has some remarkable advantages over the laser printers in this segment. The supply costs are significantly differernt as well as the yields. As for quality, inkjet output typically is better. Top it off with a generous paper capacity, connectivity options, and a 2 year warranty and this AIO has many advantages over other offerings in this segment.
What stands out about this AIO is that supplies are inexpensive and last a long time. Supplies to print 6,000 pages for the Epson cost $100. Supplies to print the same amount for a typical laser printer would be $540. To print 12,000 pages would be $200, or over $1,000 in toner cartridges. This is going to add up to thousands in savings over the life of the printer. Which for inkjets seems to not be long. Home inkjet printers may get replaced every six months. The EcoTank Pro ET-5880 is a business class inkjet with a precision core printhead. The precision core printhead is found in industrial production type inkjet printers, which have from 6 to 12 print heads. While this Epson is a 4 color process the printhead is expected to last the life of the printer.
The EcoTank Pro ET-5880 has a duty cycle is 3,300 pages per month with a max of 66,000. Comparing other color AIO’s with similar specs, the 550 sheet capacity of the Epson is twice the capacity of the HP M479, Lexmark MC2535, or the Brother MFC-L8610CDW. Some of the others have optional cassettes which can be purchased. The Epson is the slowest at 25 pages per minute. Yet the lack of a warm-up cycle does get the first page out the fastest.
The EcoTank Pro ET-5880, Lexmark and HP have 4.3 inch color touch screens while the Brother was slightly smaller. A single pass 2-sided doc feeder is on the Epson and HP. Only the Epson has a 2 year warranty. Overall, the Epson tied or has better specs with the exception of speed. So to gain a significant savings in operating costs, better quality, better paper capacity, and a 2 year warranty, a slightly slower print speed is sacrificed.
Setup is as easy as remove some packing tape, add some ink, and wait. A while. I’ve been setting up printers for 20+ years. This is definitely on the easy side of the spectrum. There’s not really much to do, it does it all itself. What isn’t done at this point will have a walkthrough upon first use. Such as faxing or scanning. All brands have setup utilities, not to sound gratuitous, but Epson’s is one of the good ones. Pictures with alternate methods come in handy especially when doing something unfamiliar, such as setting up a new device.
The connection options are generous. Ethernet and USB cover the wired connections. WiFi, WiFi direct, and Bluetooth cover the wireless connections. The setup utility in thorough and covers them all.
A 4.3 inch color touch screen handles the operations. Epson makes good use of the space. The copy menu is very intuitive with no more info displayed that needs to be. For example, the check box for color or black & white is one of the best layouts I’ve seen. Sharp op panels with 2 start buttons, one for color and one for black & white, is the only better solution in my opinion. The learning curve if you’re new to Epson should be short.
Paper is loaded in two cassettes located in the front. The bypass tray is in the rear. This Epson doesn’t have the feature where the front of the cassette folds down to make loading paper easier. Not a big deal, still it would’ve been nice to see this feature make it to the Pro series. The HP M479, Lexmark MC2535, or the Brother MFC-L8610CDW have additional optional trays but is standard with the Epson.
The EcoTank ET-5880 gets a speed upgrade from it’s sibling the ET-5800. Color prints are now the same speed as monochrome, 23 pages per minute. The other AIO’s in this segment may be faster yet they aren’t much competition in terms of operating costs or quality.
The doc feeder is dual scan. A must have feature if you plan on doing much scanning. A front USB port for scanning or printing convenience. Overall the operations are simple with prompts whenever necessary.
Like all Ecotank Pro’s the ET-5880 includes a proprietary print driver. Unlike the ET-5800 or ET-5850, the ET-5880 includes PCL and PS print drivers. Which is the only difference between the ET-5850 and ET-5880. For those cases where a specific application requires PCL or PS. the ET-5880 is recommended. Having a choice of drivers is like having several browsers installed. Most of the time one will do but when there’s a problem, having alternatives is a life saver. With this AIO there are three drivers included which should cover the needs of any office.
Resolving issues with print drivers from all brands is part of my day job. In my experience I’ve learned some drivers are better than others. Epson’s proprietary driver is top notch. It includes a job arranger, preview option, enhancements, and basic color management. The job arranger combines multiple print jobs into a single output. Combine PDF’s, JPG, and Word docs into one print job. Preview allows you to see your changes before actually printing which can save paper. Text enhancement options for the odd font that doesn’t print right. Bar code enhancement to make shipping labels or QR codes more legible. Not all these features are available with the PCL or PS driver.
The Airprint and Mopria Print service are also standard with the Ecotank Pro ET-5880. They automate the driver install for smart phones, tablets. and Macs. Just point to the Epson and print. Definitely the easiest way to get printing.
Two apps are available for scanning and printing. The iPrint app is for printing files or websites from a smart phone or tablet. It can also capture scans from the EcoTank Pro ET-5880 and send them to the cloud or as email attachments. The Creative Print app is for basic editing or markup of scans before sharing them on Facebook or Instagram. It can also print to the Epson. Both are fine as far as they go, but I like to point out the Mopria Print app has similar functions. The Mopria Print app also works with about every AIO out there, replacing apps from several brands.
The Ecotank Pro ET-5880 comes with some scanning apps. Smart Scan makes scanning easy. It will walk you through acquiring an image to storing it in the cloud. It’s not professional document management software for archiving and retrieval of searchable PDF’s. Yet it is capable of OCR and makes scanning easy. Considering the price and what it does I can’t knock it.
The Ecotank Pro ET-5880 offers significant cost savings over competing laser type All-in-Ones without losing features, quality, or value. With a 2 year warranty and inkjet quality it actually would be a greater value. While the initial cost is more than other AIO’s in this segment, the total cost of ownership turns the tables with the Epson leading the pack in terms of value. If you need a mid volume AIO with a variety of options and flexible growth for your business, you can’t go wrong with the Ecotank Pro ET-5880.
The Copier Guy, aka Dave. I’ve worked on scanners, printers, copiers, and faxes over 23 years. When I’m not fixing them I’m writing about them. Although, I’m probably better at fixing them. I’ve worked with every major brand. As well as several types of processes. If it uses paper I’ve probably worked on one.