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Category: Hardware Published on Wednesday, 03 April 2013

New Line of Epson Printers Take Up Less Real Estate in your Home or Office 

Epson printers have been on a diet.

The smaller, more svelte line of all-in-one business machines now takes up less space on your desk or printer stand, providing a bit more elbow room in otherwise cluttered offices.

Of course, to do this, they had to make a few tough decisions. The most noticeable of these is the elimination of paper trays, which can have you dashing to the printer to refill the top-feed loader more frequently, especially if you've become used to the dual trays offered in the older, larger version of Epson's Workforce line. LCD displays have also been reduced in size.

But, truthfully, these are minor inconveniences, when you consider what these printers can do to make you more productive.

I've been playing with the Epson WorkForce WF-2540 ($129.99) and the Epson Expression XP-400 ($99.99).

The biggest difference between these two slimmed down machines is the XP-400 only prints, scans and copies (no fax), whereas they've kept the faxing capabilities in the WF-2540. Also the document feeder (ADF) is absent on the XP-400. The elimination of faxing seems to be the trend with newer printers and were noticeably absent in those I've been playing with from Canon and Brother. This could be because the models of these printers I played with are being marketed for the "home" and not as so-called "office" printers, where faxing is more of a necessity.

Basically, both of these printers do the same thing - - - they print clean, unsmudged paper versions of whatever's on your computer monitor or being copied.  And they both use four ink cartridges - - - black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Both are also Wi-Fi printers and are easily adapted to Wi-Fi networks, eliminating the need for a USB or Ethernet cable. But there are a few differences in HOW they accomplish this feat.

WF-2540

  • Prints nine pages per minute in black and white and 4.7 per minute in color.
  • Has a 30-page automatic document feeder.
  • You can reduce or enlarge copies ranging from 25 to 400 percent.
  • It can print on all sizes of paper up to 8.5" x 44", but can only copy up to 8.5" x 14" documents due to the size of the flatbed.
  • You can print from your mobile devices using Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print or Epson Connect.
  • Compatible with Macs and PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • It has a 2.5-inch LCD.
  • Paper tray can hold 100 sheets of paper or 10 envelopes.
  • Fax settings include a 160-page memory, stores up to 60 phone numbers for "speed dial," handles balck and white and color and sends and receives faxes at up to three seconds per page.

 XP-400

  • Prints 8.7 pages per minute in black and white and 4.5 per minute in color.
  • Features built-in memory card slots (eliminating the need for a computer. Just print your document from the memory card using the LCD display).
  • Touch-panel 2.5-inch LCD display.
  • You can print from your mobile devices using Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print or Epson Connect.
  • Paper tray can hold 100 sheets of paper or 10 envelopes.
  • It can print on all sizes of paper up to 8.5" x 44", but can only copy up to 8.5" x 11" documents due to the size of the flatbed.
  • Compatible with Macs and PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8.

As you can see, there are very few major differences between the two printers, leaving you with very few decisions to make: fax versus no fax, memory card slots and print speed.

For more information, check out the company's website at www.epson.com.

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Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.