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Customer Review

219 of 250 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Programmed to Die at 20,000 pages, June 16, 2012
This review is from: Epson WorkForce 845 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax, iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible (C11CB92201) (Office Product)

After a few months of using this printer in the household, I started receiving error messages about my waste inkpad reaching the end of its service life. Finally, I couldn't exit the menu and all it does now is flash its buttons everywhere. The waste ink pad is where the ink that is used for non-printing tasks, such as ink head cleaning and borderless printing, is placed -- into an absorbent rag or sponge that holds the ink. Regardless of how often you do borderless printing or cleaning your print heads, the printer is programmed to die once you've printed 20,000 pages.

That's bad enough for an office "workforce" printer, but what's more is that I really don't think I printed 20,000 pages. I mean, this is just a household printer. Sure, members of the family print from this for maps, articles and schoolwork, but we're not printing 200-page business books or anything. I can guess that the little counter built in the printer is inaccurate.

The scanner will not work either when this happens. Fax too. Good luck removing your cartridges too.

Customer service acknowledges that the printer self-destructs at 20,000 pages. Just hope that you get to this death message before your 12 months of warranty are up.

So if this is for the office DO NOT BUY IT. If this is for a large family DO NOT BUY. If it is for you and one or two people, it will be ok for a few years, until you reach that self-destruct limit. If you think you'll never print 20,000 pages, be my guest and buy this.

Furthermore, the stuff you probably already know:
Fast printing, good color and photo printing, good text quality, large paper capacity, excellent scanner, doesn't jam much

Print head jams quite often (making streaks in your prints), uses a lot of ink, ink is expensive, macintosh cannot use both paper trays, send-email function cannot print double sided or with both paper trays and is limited to 10mb files.

If it didn't have a self-destruct mechanism, I would give it 2-3 stars.

The fact is that all these positive Amazon reviews are subject to a bias -- they perhaps have not had the printer as long as I've had it or have not printed 20,000 pages and do not know that the printer will terminate itself in the next few months/years. Trust me, if any of these 5 star reviewers (who are the reason I bought this in the first place) encounter the same "problem" I've encountered, they wouldn't be giving this 5 stars. However, by the time their printer dies no one will care about this old model of printer anymore.


If you don't believe me, Google it. The semi-good news is that there is a reset utility, but you must provide your printer serial number which will void any warranty. The bad news is that it's a pain and not worth it, because it only extends your printer life by a ~hundred pages before you have to do it again.

UPDATE: Epson has given me a new 845 workforce, citing that my life duty cycle ended before the 20,000 pages for some reason (as I suspect the internal counter was inaccurate). All I had to do was wait for the replacement printer and then ship the broken printer in the same box with the included FedEx label. But still, 20,000 page LIFE duty cycle?? That just means this new printer will die in a year or so. Boo!
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 24, 2012 1:15:47 PM PDT
Ms. - says:
I don't believe a word you say. First, no company is going to admit that their product is programmed to die after "X" amount of pages printed. Second, this printer model has only been on the market 6 months and nobody outside of an office or home office setting will print anywhere near that number of pages. You admittedly use this in a home setting.
Perhaps you have a defective model and should be having it replaced under warranty, or, perhaps you've reviewed the wrong model.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012 2:48:07 PM PDT
MaestroMan says:
If you don't believe me, which is fine, why don't you try to look up this issue yourself?

Also, try out the math on 20,000 pages over 8 months since release. That's about 80 pages a day. Try 20,000 pages over the 12 months of warranty. That's 55 pages a day. Is that too ridiculous for a "workforce" class printer? 6 people in a family can do that easy. An office? Forget about it. Besides, I'm pretty sure the internal page counter is inaccurate.

Bottom line: you're not necessarily supposed to take to heart everything I say. You're supposed to consider what I say, research it (to verify that I'm not blowing hot air, which I'm not), and then make your own informed decision based on your printing needs. Don't just say you don't believe somebody and buy the printer! As I said in the review, if you or your office are comfortable with a 20,000 page limit, buy it! Otherwise, beware!

Yes, I am aware that this is an Epson Workforce 845...but thanks for the insult?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 1:48:15 PM PDT
Gregory says:
Google searches yield nothing. Why don't you provide links to reputable pages, Mr. MaestroMan?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 7:09:57 PM PDT
MaestroMan says:
It is on the website that it has a 20,000 page duty cycle; people assume this is a monthly duty cycle but it is assuredly not. I was at Officemax the other day and they said "yeah we know about the duty cycle, your rep should have told you about that." At the end of the duty cycle you get an "end of service life" message, where you need to have ink pads replaced which costs more than the printer. Google harder! It's on most epson consumer models.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 7:24:41 PM PDT
Gregory says:
Ah -- yes, that is different. Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 6:48:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 4, 2012 6:53:23 PM PDT
Objective says:
From PC World after Googling "Printer Duty Cycle".

"Monthly duty cycle: The specs for all business printers and most personal printers will include a number indicating the maximum number of pages the device can print per month without failing. The typical personal printer's duty cycle will be somewhere under 5000 pages, while a lower-end business printer will dwell in the 20,000-page range. Higher-end workhorses boast duty cycles of 100,000 or more pages. Your print volume should fall well below the duty cycle of the model you're considering--if it doesn't, look for a printer with an even higher limit (or expect your printer to poop out a lot sooner). The duty cycle number is also indicative of the printer's durability: The higher the duty cycle, the better-built it probably is."

If the duty cycle is PER YEAR, this would be only a bit over 1,600 pp per month. A bit over three reams per month. And that isn't the "lifetime" limit; it is the volume within a given time frame. So even if was "per year" that still would not make sense that it is "end of life" at 20,000 pages.

...and from E-How:

"Printers can only print copies on a continuous basis for so long before they begin to overheat, or experience wear and tear due to excessive continuous usage. Even when a printer is capable of printing dozens of copies per minute, after a while, the printer components need a rest period. Duty cycle is a manufacturer recommended number of copies per month that a printer should handle to avoid overuse and overheating."

Read more: What Is a Printer Duty Cycle? |

So from this, it appears the wrong usage is being applied to the term "duty cycle."

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 12:04:18 PM PDT
MaestroMan says:
Good point, Epson seems to be using the term incorrectly. However I may point out that all they say is "duty cycle" and not "MONTHLY duty cycle" or "duty cycle PER YEAR." They leave the ambiguity to the consumer, which is a main reason for my 1 star review

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 8:25:06 PM PDT
Objective says:
Some of these ad and marketing people were probably imported from the used car industry.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 7:47:59 PM PDT
R.Todd says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Aug 23, 2012 5:44:27 PM PDT
masterbill says:
Interesting review. 20,000 pages is a lot, and the Epson Workforce printers are basically light to medium duty, disposable printers. Most people for home use wouldn't print 20,000 pages in 8 years or so. I am pretty sure that I will die before I print 20,000 pages. Also, at least Epson replaced the printer for you. In my opinion, you need to get a heavy duty laser printer for your text documents, and you can use an ink jet of your choice for photos. Many people who criticize reviewers take these reviews too seriously and are biased. It is everyone's right to use his own judgement in rating a product. The 3, 2, and 1 star reviews are at least as valuable as the positive reviews in providing information to consumers. However, I don't believe that any inkjet printer for less than $300 will handle the volume that you and your family print.
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