Forget that laser printer. Someone is finally serving up an inkjet properly. I won't bother parroting the stats above but, in terms of actual usage, the machine does everything well, with speed and quality. Incredibly easy to set-up. Solid, well-made work horse. Perfect for a small office.
My biggest beef with most printers is having to buy ink every other day. If a printer is perfect in every other way, but I find myself constantly shopping for ink, I will hate it. Not a problem w/ the 4630. The cartridges are large and ink management is optimal.
Printing from a mobile device is easy to set up either via local WiFi, or sending a file from your mobile (anywhere in the world) to your printer's email address. It works for Android, Apple and more. Works much better than Canon's system.
Epson also offers a 4640 model for an additional $100. For that extra cost, you get a larger touch screen & a printer that holds 580 sheets of paper instead of the 4630's 330 sheets. I'm not sure those features warrant spending an additional $100.
This is the first time I've been completely satisfied with how long ink lasts, quality or print & printer, speed & ease of use on one printer. If any issues arise, I'll edit this review. 'Til then, when you factor in the long list of features with my review, you'll understand why I say Epson hit the ball out of the park.
I'm a computer tech and install a lot of printers. So I was excited that Amazon let me try the Workforce WF-3640, WF-7610, WF-4640, and WF-4630. I wanted to compare and find differences--but to be honest the all printed about the same. The biggest difference is that the 4640 and 4630 are about twice as fast at color printing/copying than the the 3640 and 7610. They're all inkjet and great for the low volume home / home office. (If you have volume or need speed, go for a laser).
These printers do a lot and they do everything ok. I don't know of anything better in this price range that does everything better. But there are devices that do one thing better. If you need everything and want it to work pretty well, these Epson Workforce printers are a good deal.
The 4640 hold double the paper so that's really tempting to me over this. But this 4640 is also 50% more. If a 250 sheet paper tray is enough for you, this is a great value. And the color copying/printing is a lot faster than the 3640/3620.
The rest of this review compares all 4 printers.
These are perfectly good inkjet printers. They're not as sharp as laser for black text, and they definitely are not photo printers. You can print photos, but the quality isn't as good as an inkjet focused on printing pictures. But for all around printing with some color printing, these are great!
All four of these printers are around 20 pages per minute or just a bit slower for black and white. The 4640 and 4630 are a tiny bit faster for B&W, but if I wasn't comparing them side by side I wouldn't notice. Color is a different story since the 4640 and 4630 are almost twice as fast (for color)! If you have any kind of volume for color printing, you definitely want the 4640 or 4630!
The 3640 and 7640 both use the 252 cartridges--printers are a little cheaper but the cartridges hold a little less ink. The 4630 and 4640 both use 786 cartridges which hold a little more ink--printers are little more, but you'll get better value if you print more. I would love to compare the ink costs, but Amazon doesn't carry any of the 786 cartridges yet. Amazon carries the standard 252 cartridges, but the 252XL have 3 times the prints for twice the cost--252 standard aren't worth it! I can get the cartridges direct from Epson, but I'm waiting to see how much of a discount I can get from Amazon. If you're like me and your whole life arrives in smile boxes, wait to buy these printers till Amazon carries the cartridges!
MENUS AND BUTTONS:
So the menus and buttons are fine. I like that with the touchscreen that you don't have to see a lot of the copy buttons when you're scanning and so forth. It makes it less confusing. While the touchscreen works fine, I appreciate the physical number buttons. Many of the HP printers dropped the buttons completely and I press numbers much faster with the physical buttons. If you happen to type a lot of fax numbers you'll really appreciate it.
Wireless seems to work well. I tend to connect printers network wired just because I feel the connection is faster and more stable. You can use a USB cord too, but then you lose airprint.
Only the 7610 handles paper larger than legal--up to 13x19.
All 4 of these printers handle letter paper well. The 4640 and the 3640 have 2 paper trays which will hold up to 500 total pages! The 4630 and 7610 have a 250 page paper tray. I've had no issues with any of the printers feeding regular letter paper. But I've found it rare to have feed issues in printers less than 2 months old. So I'll be sure to update if I have issues!
The 7610 doesn't seem to support thick paper according the the manual? The 3640 only takes one piece of up to 68lb card stock at a time--so it's pretty worthless for thick papper too. The 4640 and the 4630 have a rear tray and can handle ten sheets at a time of up to 68lb cardstock. I would call that "cover" and not "card" and ten pages aren't much. But for the once in a long while I need something thicker--at least the 4640 and 4630 can do it.
All 4 printers are rated for 20 glossy sheets at a time. So you can print a picture here and there, but it would be a pain to print your Christmas picture postcards... They will all do borderless so that's a plus. The 7610 will do 8x10 photos! The results are pretty good, but I get better from a six color inkjet.
All 4 printers will do 10 envelopes at a time. That doesn't sound like much, but even many $1000 printers will only handle 10 envelopes at a time these days.
The copying is almost the same on all of these (but again the 4630 and 4640 are twice as fast at color). You can use the feeder or glass on all of these. The copies are fine--what do you say about copying?
Yes, they do the stone age function called faxing.I no longer have a land-line so I didn't test it. But I've faxed on plenty of Epson printers without issue.
They're all slow like inkjets, but they scan. If you have a lot of scanning to do you want a dedicated scanner or a faster laser. But if you need to scan here and there it will work fine. None of them scan larger than legal size. You can't scan directly to email or to a network folder or to ftp. So again, not for the office. Basically if you want to start a scan from the printer you're scanning to the Epson software or to an Epson setup cloud. I don't want to give epson access to my dropbox or for all my scans to go through Epson so that's out for me. You can start scans from the Epson software on the computer too. I just really wish it would directly scan to email or network folder. But it will work fine for most home users with the printer next to a computer.
They all work well for airprint. Make sure the printer is on your network (wired or wireless--doesn't matter on the printer side). If your iDevice is on the same network you can find the printer and print wireless. Works great from ipad and iphone.
So they're jack-of-all-trades master of none. They do fine with everything but nothing perfectly. For the price you can find devices to do one thing better, but if you want general and need color, you're not going to find better.
on August 7, 2014
I have only had it for a day, so with that understanding it so far is a great printer. Prints very fast, good quality etc..nice responsive touch screen and very good menu's on the printer..easy to use. Would be a solid 5 stars if the software was better...install went fine, and was able to print easily...but getting extra features installed and software working took a lot of playing around. Have installed the comparable printer from HP and install was much easier..but I like this hardware better.
Biggest issue for me is that AirPrint is defaulted off..went through all the setup software and even upgraded the printer software (which like most of the other software took two tries before it worked) but couldn't get it to work. Then I just typed in the IP address of the printer on my network and got to the built in menu through my browser..under basic settings there was a slot to turn on Airplay. After doing that Airprint worked perfectly and I was able to get a Mac laptop to print through wifi as well. Airprint should be defaulted on, but isn't.
I set up scan to cloud but didn't see a setting to save to google drive, but had dropbox..I did try scan to email..worked fine, but was really really slow. Rear feed for envelopes is really nice, wish HP would copy that.
Overall if you are willing to play around a bit to get it going you will be happy...but there is no reason it should be that hard to get going.
8-20 Update...Printer is now broken...had it for less then two weeks. It started printing green over everything..even black and white prints. will try to upload a picture. Technical support was just o.k..typical outsourced overseas help...they had me clean nozzles etc. and then declared it broken. They offered me several options including an advanced replacement with a credit card hold, they pay all shipping. I am very disappointed that this happened as the printer was working very well with good quality and speed. I am now concerned about long term reliability. Taking review down by one star because of this. lets hope this is a fluke and others don't report similar issues and failures.
I have never been a fan of ink jet printers, but begrudgingly had one for ad hoc color and photo printing. My tepid acceptance was further extended with all-in-one offerings because everything jammed into the box seemed to be an expensive compromise. Yes, things worked, but they always required special drivers or software packages that cluttered up the computer, or operation just didn't seem to be as simple as it should be. This printer excels at simple.
As a printer, this thing is just fast. They are not kidding when they say 20 pages per minute, and the quality is quite good. Even on my cheap bargain basement Staples paper, the print quality is good with crisp edges. Better paper would certainly improve the quality. Photo printing quality is very good, but not outstanding. I will say that the rear paper feed works impressively well.
Duplex printing is easily supported, but I urge the use of good quality and heavier paper here, especially if the printing is dense. Even though Epson states the ink dries quickly (and it does), dense printing on duplex will result in a noticeably damp piece of paper. And you know what happens when the paper gets damp, it gets ripply.
It prints and it prints very nicely. But that isn't what is so grand about this device.
First, set-up is a dream. The printer has a touch screen with decent and intuitive navigation. Putting it on your network will be easy in that it doesn't require you to find a USB cable, load their proprietary software on your computer and configure the printer. You can do that if you want, but the touch screen requires just a few clicks and you can be on your wireless or wired network.
Once set-up and ready (the printer will require about 10 minutes of whirring and thunking of ink cartridges upon initial power-up -- *follow the directions*), the only thing left to do is set up the computers to use it. Mac OS X users will notice the printer responds via Bonjour and the necessary software is added without any fuss. After installed, you'll be able to control all print and scan functions from your Mac. The one Windows 7 installation was just as uneventful.
Copying and scanning can all be done without the computer. As you expect, open the tray, drop your document and press copy. That's it, a few seconds later out comes the copy. The preview on the screen lets you see the copy before you print, avoiding wasting paper and ink when the orientation isn't quite what you wanted.
Scanning is equally impressive, giving you the option to drop it to a USB device or a cloud share. If you control the scanning operation from your computer, the scan will be on the computer without the need to sneaker-net around a USB drive or access your cloud sharing account. Scan output formats are PDF, JPEG or TIFF, controlled from software or the touch screen.
I was able to get one test of an incoming and outgoing fax and it worked fine. If you use the printer at home, you can configure the fax feature not to auto-answer so it doesn't pick up on your home line. Worked fine over my VoIP line.
One thing to note is that this is a substantial printer. It is surprisingly more heavy than other AIO devices I have used. You'll need a larger and more sturdy printer stand.
Four stars, very nice device.
Edit: How could I forget a possible buy-feature? The scanning and copy functions utilize a top sheet feeder that provides seamless duplex scanning and copying. Just place your documents on the sheet feeder, first page on the bottom with an orientation of facing-up, press your function (scan, copy and monochrome or color) and off you go. It is that simple. I was able to easily handle multiple pages of two-sided copy without any fuss. This is cool for SOHO applications, and just as useful for home use. Upgrading to 5 stars because really, who doesn't want their own photocopier? I tried to overload it and I ran out of things to try to copy. Anyone here need copies of my junk mail? Going once...
One thing I have noticed however, is that like their peers, Epson inkjet printers are prone to the maintenance cycles where the heads clog and require time consuming head cleaning periods.
on June 6, 2014
Since I wrote this, I've gone through several returns. I'll have a printer that works great for a while, but inevitably it will start making streaky prints and cannot be fixed by nozzle cleaning. While it's a great printer when working, and I know people who have had one that stays working, based on my own experience I can no longer recommend this printer.
I bought this today for my small business because I wanted faster printing with lower cost per page, auto-feeder scanning and auto-duplex of printing, scanning and copying. So far, I am amazed by what Epson's managed to do. They made some lofty claims about this one, and from what I can see so far they're not kidding. This is a seriously high performance printer.
This printer is FAST. Printing documents at normal quality it prints whole pages in 4-6 passes of the print head, so it really does knock out pages faster than most laser printers. In 2-sided printing, it's slowed down a bit because it has an extra step in the process of pulling the paper back in so it can feed out upside down, but it's still quick and will print a 20-page document to 10 sheets of paper in 2 minutes. That's good.
In Best quality it will do a decent job printing photos. It could print several a minute, and on Epson Bright White paper it actually looks quite good. Not as good as my R1900 pro photo printer on good glossy paper, but a lot better than a color laser printer. The limiting factor on photo printing speed is how fast your computer can get a full page photo to the printer over wifi. The printer will print a part of the page very quickly, then wait for the data received to catch up.
Scanning works well. Unfortunately my cloud storage of choice is Microsoft OneDrive, and the Epson system doesn't support that, but I do have Google drive, which is supported. (So is Dropbox and you can scan to Evernote straight from the printer.) You can manage scanning from the printer or from the computer, using the included Document Capture software. You can copy using the touchscreen on the printer, and you have BW/Color and 1>1, 1>2, 2>2 and 2>1 sided options. You can save paper by having copy mode always default to 2-sided printing.
If I have a real complaint, it's that the printer comes with starter ink cartridges, which contain less ink than standard cartridges. This is getting to be a common practice these days. It's not shown prominently in Epson's product literature that this is the case.
Still, it's a phenomenal printer and it's pretty amazing that this comes in under $300.
on May 2, 2015
We purchased this printer late last year for ocassional home office use. To date, we have printed less than 600 pages. About 1 month ago some of the lines of printed text appeared to be smeared. The print quality was poor enough that an airline had a problem scanning the boarding pass. I have cleaned the printer nozzle numerous times and could never get the print test to come out 100% accurate.
Today we needed to print 40 copies of a document and it was printing really bad on regular paper - even after cleaning the nozzles. Since we were short on time I tried printing it on glossy photo paper and with the best print quality and it worked fine. About 2 hour later I then decided to print out another test sheet and was shocked. I have attached a scanned version of the print test and labeled it "before". I then cleaned the nozzles again and printed out another test result with "after" written on it. There are still some gaps in the test result. I have also attached a sample of the printed website and circled some of the smeared ink. I do realize in the printer test pictures it appears the alignment is off but even when it is aligned it still has the smearing issue. Speaking of alignment, most printers these days have the user print out a sheet and then feed it back in to automatically align. This printer does not have that option. Also, the pictures of the printed pages were not scanned using this machine.
on September 16, 2015
Do not buy this printer.
You know...I've always hated printers. Out of all computer technology, why is it that they're the only ones that still suck as much as they did in the 90s? Everything else has evolved, but printers still suck, so my thinking was "Printers always suck, but I bet if I buy an expensive one, it will be made with some quality and I won't have as many problems with it".
Now, I rarely have a use for a printer, but when I do, it's important. I buy this, set it up without any hassle, give it a few test pages, and it works flawlessly. Great!
Flash Forward 4 months later and I'm printing up my tax information. The printer only wants to print in red and giant lines are missing in the page.
"Okay, even though the ink cartridges are brand new, maybe they dried up or something."
So I order a new set off amazon (~$100 if I recall), install them, and they still print red and all screwed up.
I spend 2 days doing all the troubleshooting tips I can find online, in the printer OS, and online. Nothing works.
Oh, and I cannot return it. Past Epson Warranty.
Right now, it's a very large scanner in my house.
on April 7, 2015
What a difference a month makes.... Received our original printer. Absolutely loved it. Very easy to set up and EXTREMELY quiet. Worked well for about a month (light print loads, less than 5 pages per day). My first print of that day received a "paper jam" error messages. Their technical support takes forever to get a hold of....and they walked me through various things to try and fix printer. Long story short, no paper jam, turned out to be glitch with the printer. They offered to replace and I thought okay, good service. THEN, it takes 5+days to get new one. AND, it was not going to be new but refurbished. I complained and had to call back next day to talk to supervisor. Agreed to send new printer instead of refurbished and send overnight. Back to happy. Arrived as expected, set up new one. My first clue something was off as being new, and as box indicated, should have had all the instruction manuals, cords, etc. But nothing was in box but printer. I pulled out manual I got with first printer and installed everything. Second clue was how noisy this printer is....the paper feed is noisy, the printer head is noisy. It's as bad as my old HP that I got rid of, and certainly awful compared to the first Epson. Very disappointed that a new item a month old would have so many problems, the second items would have so many issues, and extremely disappointed with their customer service policy.
on August 5, 2015
So sorry I bought this printer! After about 6 months of VERY light use. We started seeing random dots of green and blue all over the page. That morphed into huge green and blue lines across everything that printed. I did the head alignments and all the other recommended trouble shooting on the Epson sight. Now the only thing that prints is dark lines. See the attached photo. I am in the process of calling Epson for hopefully a replacement. But honestly I would prefer my money back. Don't buy this printer!!
on December 9, 2014
I have had a terrible time with this printer. It set up easily and worked fine for 2 months. Then it starting printing out paper with columns of black ink and no print. I called Epson. After a conversation they said they were sending me a new printer and I should put the old one in the box and Fed Ex would pick it up. Fine! I thought. The new one came and I spent a couple of hours packing up the old one, arranging pick up, and setting up the wireless printing on the new one that came in a box that said refurbished. I guess that should have been a clue.It was not new. After printing the first 2 or 3 items, it quit. The operating screen showed the same previous code that indicated it wasn't going to work. I have not called Epson yet because I do not want another refurbished printer. I am hoping Amazon will help me out on this one.