31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Update - 1/6/2012 - A recent firmware release fixed a number of items that I mentioned in my initial review. I'm in the process of investigating all of the changes (I wish that Epson published release notes!) and will rewrite the inaccurate sections when I've finished. I've noticed three changes: The printer can now print a fax receipt after each transmission...the inability to do so was a deal killer for me. Second, printing in Economy Mode and Fast Economy Mode no longer produces slightly rotated images. Everything is now straight up and down, like it should be. Lastly, it's really minor, but the errant dots visible in the "l" and "d" in the 7 point Normal Mode are back in position. (You can see what I'm talking about in the pictures that I posted. I'll shortly remove the outdated pictures and post updated ones.)
It's obvious that someone at Epson reads these reviews and it's gratifying to see that they're willing to work to address the problems. With these changes, I'm moving from my rating up two to three stars. If the printing speed of my test documents has also been improved, I'll bump it up to four.
Here's my original review:
When I received this printer, I hoped that it would replace two machines in my office - a Brother HL3070W color laser printer and a Canon MX-700 inkjet that I used only as a fax machine. Unfortunately, it failed on both counts. Read on and you'll see why.
I unpacked, set up and connected to my wireless network without a problem. Entering the wireless password uses a telephone-like keypad on the touchscreen. It's a bit of a pain to cycle through letters as you push the buttons, but it only has to be done once. After entering the network password, the printer authenticated itself, was assigned a network address and was up and running.
During the setup process, the program asks if you want to check for updated firmware. I recommend doing so. My printer was behind a release (or two) and updated itself...The new version added support for Google Cloud Printing. (YMMV. Your printer may ship with the latest version already installed.)
This printer is screaming fast if you're printing text files in economy mode. Unfortunately, economy mode drops out a significant number of ink dots and small typefaces can become almost illegible. You can see the results in the pictures that I posted. Normal Mode is significantly better, but printing is still a bit ragged. I wouldn't recommend anything below fine mode when printing client material. The next notch up, Quality mode, deposits too much ink on the paper which wicks out slightly. I print on Office Depot Premium Color 24lb. Inkjet paper, which is much better than the run-of-the-mill 20lb copy paper, but isn't the Epson-brand paper that's recommended. Other paper stocks will likely give different results.
Compared to my other printers, two-sided printing is very fast. By default, Epson has reduced the dead time waiting for the first side of the page to dry before rewinding the paper and printing the second side. There's a Print Density button in the print driver menu that allows you to adjust this based upon the type of material being printed. I left it at the default setting (text-only) for my testing, as most users won't change it.
For testing print speed, I printed an eight-page PDF file with mixed typefaces, some reverse printing (white on black) and a few small graphic images. It's a form (the Anthem Blue Cross employee enrollment form) that I frequently use in my business. Here are the results:
Fast Economy Mode - Single Sided - 56.6 seconds
Fast Economy Mode - Double Sided - 89.6 seconds
Economy Mode - Single Sided - 48.9 seconds
Economy Mode - Double Sided - 74.6 seconds
Normal Mode - Single Sided - 212.4 seconds
Normal Mode - Double Sided - 219.2 seconds
Fine mode - Single Sided - 5 minutes, 8.4 seconds
Fine Mode - Double Sided -4 minutes, 46.6 seconds; faster than single sided (?)
Quality Mode - Single Sided - 9 minutes, 51.1 seconds.
After waiting almost 10 minutes for the single-sided quality mode to print, I didn't test the double-sided quality mode.
Just for comparison, I sent the same file to my color laser. It printed a clearer copy than the Epson's Quality mode in 41 seconds. All of the above times include the 11± seconds that it took my computer to process and send the file to the printer. Please note that an eight page Word file or Excel spreadsheet will print much faster than the above times. Basic text files are much simpler files to process in the printer's internal computer.
Economy and Fast Economy mode also printed the output image tilted slightly counterclockwise...I'd guess that it's about a 5 degree rotation. (I'm guessing that the reason behind this is to increase print speed. By skewing lines slightly, it allows multiple ink nozzles to be used to print (formerly) horizontal lines. Otherwise, one nozzle has to continuously fire as the print head moves. It takes a bit of time to recover between the ink drops.) The output seems perfectly straight in all the other modes.
It works. Faxes seem to get there. There is a separate fax utility program (that's only briefly mentioned in the Quick Guide) that helps set up the fax parameters and speed dial lists. Setup can be done from the front panel, but takes a lot of button pushes. A major flaw is the inability to automatically print out a fax confirmation page after every transmission. I have to maintain proof that every outgoing fax was received. The machine maintains a chronological fax log, but then that has to be manually matched against the transmitted faxes...an error-prone and time consuming process. My old Canon printed a shrunken image of the first page of the fax on the confirmation page, which was perfect.
When sending a black and white fax, this printer scans the entire document before dialing the phone and sending the fax. It not only locks down the machine until it's finished, it's a time waster. This isn't a problem in a home, where most people seldom send out a fax. It's very annoying in an office where faxes are sent several times every day. It's completely opposite when a color fax is sent...the printer starts dialing immediately and scans once the connection is established with the receiving machine. I assume they designed it this way because it takes more memory to store color documents. If the printer scanned everything first, the number of color pages that could be faxed would be severely limited.
There are two places where you can start scanning a document. One is the touch screen on the printer; the other is from your computer. From the printer, you have the choice of scanning to a memory card, a JPEG or PDF file, or to a JPEG file that will be sent as an email attachment. The scans use normal default settings - 300dpi and 24-bit color, with the output saved to your "My Pictures" folder. PDF files are run through ABBYY OCR software to make them searchable. That step adds quite a bit of extra time it you're scanning a long document.
You have much more flexibility if you run the scanner from your computer using the Epson Scan software. You can select resolution (50-1200dpi); color, grey scale or black and white; the source (platen or feeder - if you use the feeder, you can scan double sided documents); where the file will be stored, turn off the ABBYY OCR software and just about everything else. The software can be set to three different modes: Home; Office and Professional. As I said in a review of a different Epson printer, this is probably some misguided marketing person's way of addressing different market segments. Set it at Office, leave it alone and you'll be fine for 99% of the things you'll do.
Scanning + Printing = Copying. As a copy machine, the printer works beautifully. I tested one-sided -> two-sided and two-sided -> two-sided. Because it has both two-sided scanning and printing, you can copy multi-page two sided originals without scanning one side and then flipping everything over and doing it again. The issue of a slight print fussiness isn't a problem here...no one expects a copy to be an absolutely identical reproduction of an original, plus many originals aren't that sharp to begin with. Even in draft copy mode, 6 point type reproduced cleanly. That makes me think that the poor printing in Economy Mode is in the software rather than the hardware.
It has card reader slots on the front for just about every type of memory card...even the CF cards that are used in my old Nikon. There's also a USB port on the front for storing scans or printing photos. It has enough juice to charge my iPhone, but couldn't locate the photos that I'd taken so I could print one or two.
There are two paper trays. Each holds roughly 1" worth of paper. The exact number of sheets will depend on the thickness of the paper you use, but I see no reason to question the 500 sheet spec. You can set the printer to print (by default) from tray one, tray two or from tray one and then than tray two (when tray one is empty). This allows you to put plain paper in one tray and letterhead (or blank checks) in the second. Obviously you can select the appropriate tray each time you print something.
There are four ink cartridges - the standard black, cyan, magenta and yellow. The printer is shipped with full high capacity cartridges (Epson #127), which is a pleasant change from the normal "sampler" size.
Web-based printer control
As I mentioned at the top, the WorkForce 845 is Google Print ready. All you have to to is run through a brief setup to sync it in and you can print from anywhere. They haven't quite solved the problem of getting the printout from the printer tray to your hotel room in Istanbul, but it's a start...
Epson needs to buy some other manufacturer's printers and evaluate what features can be controlled via their network interfaces (If you don't know what I'm talking about, point your browser to the network address of your existing printer (assuming that it's on a network!) You'll find a printer control screen there.) Most interfaces have much more capability than the Epson...you shouldn't need a separate program for fax setup, for one example.
I have to say that Epson printers seem a bit erratic. The Artisan 837 (and previously the Artisan 810) is the best home printer that I've ever used. Given the number of printers that I've burned through, that says a lot. This one, and the NX625, only get two stars. It may be a royal "duh", but the main function of a printer is to print. This guy is slow, at least with my test PDF file, and the output doesn't look all that hot. Everything else is frosting.
49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2012
Firstly, this is the most complex and frustrating driver and software driver installation I have ever attempted. Over three hours with Second Level Epson tech support and it still does not work right. All together I have spent over 8 hours troubleshooting and fiddling with software and printer and scanner settings but still don't have full functionality.
If most people rate this is a 5-star printer I wonder what were they using before or if someone might be "padding" the reviews?
Here are the Epson Workforce 845 problems / issues I encountered and consider a "Deal-breaker"
1. Workforce 845 seems not able to scan directly from the printer's front panel to OSX 10.7 Lion computer so I have to use The cumbersome Epson Scan software (After you download all the software drivers and patches)
2. Wireless networking set-up screen does not support standard 64 character AES Passwords, but stops at 63! What is with that? It's like someone forgot one space when they programmed the LCD interface. So if your router does not have push button set-up feature you may have trouble using enterprise grade encryption.
3. Abby Fine Print OCR software crashed when launched under Lion, and it looks like I have to have to buy the full version or somehow get a ser# to get the update that works with Lion. Unless you buy or have an OCR package like Acrobat Pro, that supports the Epson and can get the scanner driver to work, I would not expect to produce any OCR'ed PDFs.
4. Can't get it to print from Tray #2. There seems to be no option in the printer dialog box, and turning on the "Automatic Cassette Switching" option in the printer and scanner properties section does not enable use of Tray #2.
5. Envelope printing is poorly supported, Envelopes don't feed reliably, sometimes it fees two envelopes at once, and unless you set the distance exactly the won't feed at all. Epson Support says not to load more then 10 envelopes, but even then its a pain to get them to feed, when I finally get them to feed the text is often wavy or broken.
6. Automatic Document feeder also fails to feed pages, and often jams in duplex mode. If I scan more then 5 or 10 pages, the scanned and ejected pages often get sucked back into Document feeder causing the ADF to Jam. I tested the same display model in a local store with the same pages and it seemed to feed ok, so I suspect I may have a problematic copy.
7. Automatic document scanner/feeder won't scan pages shorter then standard letter size. And while The automatic document feeder while much better then the Duplex HP 8500 Plus, can't handle much other then fresh printer paper. Something thicker like a bank statement or previously folded paper that would go through a cheap fax machine with no problem typically jams the 845.
8. Print heads drop or leak big, colored ink smudges on about 20% of printed pages and envelopes.
9. Does not support legal sized scans.
10. Overall construction seems cheap, paper trays are flimsy and hard to load and adjust, and when the trays forcefully snap into place paper and envelopes can get thrown past the optiomal pick-up point and not feed.
11. Noisy and slow printing, 1.5PPM to 5PPM for an letter sized page with text is the best I can get depending on "High Quality, Fine, Economy or Fast Draft modes. Fast and Draft modes are pretty poor. Landscape printing is even more painfully slow.
12. The whole bulky ink-tank assembly moves with the print heads with such force my whole (heavy) desk moves and rattles as it prints. Placing the printer on the floor eliminates this annoying issue but makes it difficult to use.
13. Workforce 845 Print yield per cartridge is only about 1/4 of other brands (385 black text pages as per Epson site) so its going to cost a lot more to operate.
14. Output tray is small so it will hold only a portion of one of the 250 sheet feeders. There is no backstop on the output tray so pages also end up loosely stacked or on the floor, requiring me to re-stack and align the pages.
1. Crisp text on plain paper
2. Color Matching seems reasonably accurate.
3. Cheap, I paid $139 but you get what you pay for.
Update : 03-24-2012
Over the last three days I have spent several hours uninstalling and reinstalling drivers with Epson 2nd level support. I also noticed that the 2-sided printing and the #2 paper tray options were not available from some apps. I sent a copy of my review to Epson and mentioned it to a support supervisor, she confirmed that the driver does not provide full functionality with non-apple applications, and can cause certain problems such as printing in 'photo mode' rather then 'normal mode' as set in the print options.
Last night I noticed that OSX system update had a driver update, I installed it and can now initiate a scan from the printer control panel but it takes 3min to scan one page. Epson support confirms that 3mins to scan one page is a normal when using the printer control panel to Scan To PC rather then the Epson Scan utility. #2 paper try and 2-sided printing from MS Word and Adobe applications now seems to work, and it does now seem to print in the quality mode set.
Print speed however is still much slower then the HP Office Jet 8500 plus I have been using, and which on started to seriously malfunction after 3 months and 2500 sheets. Envelope handling on the 845 is still poor and cumbersome, and the way the 845 requires you to place media in the feed trays against the adjustable backstop rather then the forward edge of the paper tray makes feeding odd sized paper and envelopes other then #10 problematic or impossible.
The print head now seems to leak on only about 10% of pages and envelopes printed.
While not perfect or in my case acceptable the Epson 845 and Hp Office Jet but so far they seem to be the best of the worst.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2011
I bought this printer from Staples to replace a quirky HP 7410 and really love it. Setup is simple (note: no USB printer cable supplied)and works like a charm providing fast, excellent quality text and photos. Compared to the HP, leaving aside the quirkiness (sporadically gets hung up on print jobs), the Epson has a cleaner design with a smaller footprint, faster, and much more quiet in operation. Using separate ink cartridges ($17) for cyan, magenta, and yellow versus the single tricolor cartridge in the HP is a big plus as it always bugged me to throw away a $40 tricolor cartridge because it ran out of magenta ink, but still had plenty of cyan and yellow.
It is a shame that 2 reviewers gave this printer low ratings. One did so because of a price difference between Amazon and Staples. I paid $199.99 at Staples for this printer, so I don't understand what he is complaining about. The other reviewer felt the text printing was terrible; my Epson 845 prints text just as well as the HP did.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2012
This printer is known in our office as the spawn of satan. It was a nightmare to set up, it ended up taking an IT guy two trips to get it sorted. It connected to the first computer in the office fine and then refused to connect to any other computer, except to print test sheets. The scanner doesn't work, the whole thing freezes up and god forbid you ask it to print anything; the accompanying beeping and bellyaching as it claims incorrect paper sizes and paper jams that don't exist test the entire office's will to live.
The print quality is only good if set to the highest setting. Toner saving settings are illegible. It's not terribly quick, although also not terribly slow. Today it has decided it just will not do double sided printing and in fact it will only print the second page from your document of choice and then throws a massive hissy fit about even doing that. It is the Mariah Carey of the printer world: demanding, tempermental, high-pitched and a bit rubbish.
The only thing this printer does is extract expletives from whomsoever has the misfortune to use it.
UPDATE 1: This printer cannot handle international paper sizes. We work with pdfs that are often A4 rather than US letter. You have to change all the printer settings individually everytime. The option to automatically rescale to fit page does not work - although of course the printer always prints the first page of the document correctly before claiming an error. It has led to enormous amounts of wastage.
UPDATE 2: this printer is not fully compatible with windows 8. It can connect to machines running windows 8 and will print but printing takes between 15 and 45 minutes for 1 sheet of paper and will make the application freeze until printing is complete. We have had several IT people come and take a look but they find no problem with the installation, it's just the drivers don't work properly.
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2011
We tried the unit, everything worked well except the automatic document feeder on top, it jammed
every time we want to make a copy. Was not able to make a copy even once. We returned the unit and got another same unit thinking we probably got a defective one at first. The second unit had the same problem with ADF. Returned the 2nd unit again. Not buying from Epson again.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
I did a lot of research on printers before settling on this Epson WorkForce 845, and I gotta' tell ya, this is exactly what I was looking for in a printer. It's relatively compact, fast printing, and has a ton of options for printing from the cloud. I currently have mine setup for Google Cloud Printing and it works flawlessly. If you're looking for a printer and your budget is around $150, this is the one to get, no ifs, ands, or buts. The prints are all crisp and clear, the scan quality is great, and the fax functions just plain work. Everything works better than advertised. The touch panel is a little daunting at first, but it grows on you.
That being said, I mainly wanted to post this review because I did run in to a bit of trouble getting "Scan to PC" working and none of the solutions I found online worked. However, I think I've got it figured out. This process assumes you've already installed the printer and are able to print on it over the network and do not intend to keep it hooked up with USB. Here's what to do.
1) Uninstall the printer. On Windows 7, go to Start -> Devices and Printers, right click on the printer, and choose "Remove Device".
2) Download the latest software and drivers for the printer. Those can be found at:
3) Install the drivers and Epson software.
4) Install the printer on your computer. On Windows 7, go to Start -> Devices and Printers, click on Add Printer along the top of the window, and select the printer. Choose "Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer", click on the printer in the list, and click on Next.
5) Run Download Navigator. The default location is Start -> Epson Software -> Download Navigator.
6) Select your printer from the drop down list, check mark everything that pops up, and click "Install".
7) Restart your computer and your printer.
8) Open Event Manager. The default location is Start -> Epson Software -> Event Manager.
9) Under Edit Job Settings at the top of the window, use the drop down to select a function from the printer that you want to customize. To change where your scanned documents go to, halfway down there's a heading "Save Settings". Click the dropdown and select "Select Target Folder". Choose your new save location and click "OK".
10) Repeat step 8 to customize your Scan to PDF and Scan to Email fuctions.
11) Close Event Manager.
12) On your printer, click Scan, then Scan to PC or Scan to PC (PDF) or Scan to PC(Email).
13) If your computer is not listed, restart both your computer and your printer again.
That should fix it. Thanks for reading, and good luck.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2012
Epson has great printers.... some of the best prosumer printers and I've had several. They have the absolute worst technical support. The reps I've been getting have all been in the Philippines, but they might as well be on Pluto for their understanding of my issue. My Epson Workforce 845 does not appear to be able to feed fiber envelopes.... the kind many businesses routinely use. I either get a paper jam or, if the paper goes through, nothing prints on it. All the reps I've been getting have been in the Philippines. The most recent, Debbie in Manilla (Employee #PP00286), says this printer just won't print on anything but the cheapest kind of envelopes, and by the way, if it's not listed in the Epson catalogue of Epson papers, then it won't work. She actually told me that if it's not Epson paper, that this printer won't print on it.
They don't know, and they don't care.... and they don't care that they don't know.
All the good work Epson puts into producing a quality printer goes down the drain with people like this.
I'd welcome comments.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2012
This printer has some really great features but, unfortunately, there are a few things I wish were done differently. Here's how I would rate the various parts:
- Printer = 5 stars
- Scanner = 4 stars
- Fax = 3 stars
- Interface panel = 2 stars
- Wireless = 2 stars
The touch panel interface is nice, but the manufacturer needs to re-examine the layout and choices. Had run out of color ink and had a very hard time getting it to allow an incoming fax. You can select options on outgoing faxes but not for incoming faxes (how hard can a "black only" option be?).
As for the wireless, I've found it to be hit and miss. Sometimes it works fine and other times it just goes away and you have to turn the unit off and back on. It may be there there is some timeout feature, but I can't find a setting to tell it to just stay on. The manufacturer may have tied it to the "power saver" feature and when the unit goes to sleep the wireless just goes away.
Epson has always been a great printer. With the correct paper (laser paper won't work right here!) you get a high quality document. As for the scanning features, I've found that it works best when you run it from the computer (using Windows). When you try to go from the scanner to the computer it can never find it.
Must admit I haven't tried some of the other features for connecting flash cards and such. All in all, not a bad unit.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2012
Just as my second summer session ended, my Brother 490CW finally kicked the bucket. I needed a new printer before the fall semester, so I started scouring the interweb for the best deals. The Epson Workforce 845 received rave reviews here on Amazon, CNET, and other web-based review sites. As such, I felt I was a well informed consumer and that ninety-nine dollars was a real steal. After testing this printer out for a few days, I wanted to address some common concerns I saw in other reviews. In addition, there are some limitations and quality issues that need to be brought up; hence, this review.
First, this printer _can and does_ scan to a PC from the printer. It can also scan to a memory card, which then acts as a network drive. I personally feel this is a much better option than scan to PC, as the computer does not have to be on, and I can then access the scans from any PC connected the the network. I had an 8GB SD card that I wasn't using, so I plugged it into the 845. Documents and pictures do not take up enormous amounts of space, so a 8 GB should be fine for the time being.
The sliders in the trays are no more or less flimsy than the paper adjusters in other trays. In fact, they were much sturdier than the paper size adjusters on the Brother MFC490 it replaced. However, the trays themselves are a little delicate, I have noticed that they bend and twist a bit when they are full of paper. However, I am not worried about breaking them.
Another note about the trays is that the only adjustable tray is tray # 1. Tray 1 is also the only tray that email to print will work from. So, you are somewhat limited in how you can use this printer. Let's say you wanted to leave 4x6 photo paper in one tray and normal paper in the other, you can do that by making tray 2 your default output tray. However, you can't use your email to print function, unless you are only using it to print photos. I also noticed that it is finicky about the paper it accepts. I used some Avery 4x6 name badge sheets I had laying around and they kept jamming up the machine. The 8.5x11 Avery's worked fine though.
This printer is very fast, it is much faster than my 490. But after examining the quality of the print and running a few more comparisons, I was able to figure out why. Many printers have three tiers of quality: draft, normal, fine. The 845 has five: fast economy, economy, normal, fine and quality. The "normal" for the 845 is a tier between another printer's economy and normal, whereas the "fine" setting would be another printer's normal. This allows the Epson to print faster than other printers, but at slightly reduced quality. I compared printed spreadsheets side by side, and noticed that the grids were slightly disjointed on sheets printed from the 845 at "normal"(this reoccurred after multiple realignments and from both trays), but not from the Brother. When the quality was adjusted to "fine", the alignment was perfect and equivalent to my Brother printer. This may not be noticeable in everyday documents, and Word docs looked reasonably fine when compared to other word docs. I should note that "quality" mode printed out near laser quality, but speed was greatly sacrificed.
It wasn't a real chore to set this printer up. I did not use a USB cord, I downloaded the software and followed the instructions. The Epson pretty much did everything itself.
The duplex mode is great, it is very fast and will save paper. In addition, the scanner was fast and duplex function worked well there too. I also felt that the user interface was very intuitive. While CNET was not fond of the touch screen, I felt Epson integrated it into the machine well and it makes the usage simpler and more user friendly.
In conclusion, I am fond of this printer regardless of its flaws. I am a graduate student and having a fast print option for notes and drafts while being able to shift quality for my thesis is a benefit. It is important to be aware of this printer's shortcomings though.
- It does print very, very fast.
- Large capacity paper trays.
- Prints beautiful photos.
- Scans to a memory card, which in turn acts like a network drive (in my opinion, this is than being able to scan to a pc).
- High speed sacrifices quality.
- Tray 1 is the only adjustable tray.
Full disclosure: I tested this printer against documents that my Brother printer had produced before it died.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2012
Several reviews state you need a USB connection for scanning. That is only true for push scanning (where printer is remote from PC) where you scan at the printer and push the results to the PC. If you at the PC you invoke EPSON scanning software and you can do all your scanning wirelessly. In addition this software has three modes; home, office, professional. In pro mode you have lots of picture modification parms including dust removal and restoration like digital ice.
I have this epson and a canon laser AIO and this one is like a swiss army knife compared to the Canon which I use only now for fast BW printing..............highly recommended especially for Apple product and Chrome users who can print from Iphone/Ipad locally or from remote locations to the printer using google cloud print; you can use Epson email print also. The dual paper feed with photo paper in one and regular copy paper in the others is great feature too or any other kind of mixed print media. Fax also allows for color faxing.