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Epson L485 review: A good fit for small work-groups with moderate printing needs
Epson is popular name in the digital printer market and the company has infact established a strong foothold in the said domain. Being one of the oldest players, the company's long journey has given it the experience to learn and evolve, and ultimately bring fresh ideas and revolutionary products to market. Thanks to these innovations, our lives have become much easier.
- Wireless connectivity
- Speedy printing
- SD card reader
- Average print quality
- Higher priced than its competitors
While the company has been catering to consumers and businessess, we got a chance to try out one of the company's popular product Epson L485 all-in-one printer which also comes under the company's Ink Tank series. The printers in this series basically comes with a separate ink box attached on the left side.
The Epson L485 is an advanced Ink Tank printer and comes with multi-functional features such as copying, scanning and printing. The printer is priced at Rs 17,499 on the company's own shopping website. The printer is available from third-party online retailers as well. On Flipkart it is priced at Rs. 17,900 and Rs. 17,395 on Amazon at the time of writing this article.
In any case, what does Epson L485 has to offer and is it a worthy product? Lets find out in this review.
When we opened the case, the L485 resembled any regular printer. However, on carefully looking at the device the printer appeared to have an 'Ink Tank' attached on the right side. Now this basically means that this printer does not make use of catridges which is a good thing. Catridges are expensive and they have one basic problem - the catridge ink usually dries up if the printer is not used for some time. No to mention the catridge cost. Thus using an Ink Tank printer is quite convinient you can change it whenever you want.
That being said, the model that we received was in all-Black colour and has a matte finish. We didn't notice much fingerprints and smudges. The lid however has a glossy finish.
The device weighs in at 4.5kg where its weight comes from the large Ink Tank. So it might be as protable when compared to some of similar products from brands like HP and others. Dimensions of the printer include 482x300x145mm. As for the build the outer components of the device is made out of plastic but feels quite sturdy. The trays are the back and front as usual and the machine also has a microSD card reader at the front along with a power and a USB connector at the back.
At the front there is a Home button, four navigation buttons with a central 'Ok' button and two more buttons on the right side to cancel the current operation and take a copy or scan. There is also a 1.44-inch LCD screen at the centre for easy operation. The display was quite useful when we wanted to print from the memory card as the files are displayed on the screen. Printing was direct and easy.
Overall, the Epson L485 looks and feels sturdy but it does have a bulky appearance mainly because of the attached Ink Tank. However, having multiple functions makes it a bit more appealing than a regular printer for home use or even small business use.
The Epson L485 comes with all the basic functions like printing, copying and scanning but it has some unique features that helped us carry out functions with ease. So the plus point here is that the printer comes with Wi-Fi support (including Wi-Fi Direct). We were able to print documents without connecting our laptops via a USB cable with the machine. The printing can be done using a phone as well. And with the help of Wi-Fi direct, almost four device can be connected to the printer without a router.
As for wireless connectivity, the Epson L485 takes a while in connecting with a Wi-Fi network. Setting up the link and entering the Wi-fi password was a bit of a task as the options provided for entering the details is not user friendly.
Once connected, it runs smoothly. The printer also supports functionalities such as Epson iPrint, Email Print, Remote Print Driver and Scan to Cloud. These features basically allows users to print documents wirelessly from the source device, directly from emails, to any compatible Epson printer in the world using internet connectivity. At the same time users can scan documents and save it in the cloud storage.
All the network and other settings can also be setup from the display. There is setup option which allows to adjust the setting as per the requirements. The printer also comes with an installation software disk but it might not be actually needed because when the printer is connected via the USB cable to the computer the drivers are installed automatically. In case, the drives are not installed, the software disk could be used or users can download it from the website.
Print Quality and Performance
Moving on, as per the company the printer comes with a maximum print resolution of 5,760 x 1,440 dpi. However during our tests the device performed quite okay in terms of quality. From the printouts that we took from the Epson L485 the device's Contact Image Sensors (CIS) delivers satisfactory result. We were expecting a higher quality result though.
The images come with a some sort of greenish tint and the images was slighly off in terms of color as compared to what was visible on the screen. The colour reproduction could have been a bit better at the given price point. But it should suffice the need for delivering assignments, presentations and projects. Further, we noticed that the Blacks are not pitch black and from the number of printouts that we took out the overall image was slightly faded.
We also encountered one problem with the review unit. Some of the printouts that we took had several horizontal lines running from top to bottom of the page. This was quite surprising but it could have been some hardware issue.
As for the printing speed, Epson L485 on an average can print a colored image under 10 seconds. In our tests, the device printed 11 pages in a minute and this was achieved when the printer was connected with a cable. Using it on Wi-Fi takes a few more seconds. A black and white image prints a bit faster. But again the speed also depends on the print quality. As for normal text document the printer can deliver up to 30 printouts in a minute.
The printer supports different paper types and sizes including A4, A5, A6 and B5 and has an input paper capacity of up to 100 sheets. The maximum paper size it can support is 8.5x44 inch.
Talking about the scan function, the first thing is you have to setup. Make sure the driver is installed. Once that is done scanning the document was quick and the colour reproduction was much better. Scannig a full page (A4) image took us around 20-25 seconds.
If you are a regular user and looking for a printer then the Epson L485 pretty much has everything. It delivers prints fast and is quick in scanning images. Wireless connectivity and SD card reader is a plus point on the Epson L485. The ink tank is easy to fill and what's good about this printer is that the new refill ink pack is quite cheap compared to catridges. Understanding the functionalities and installing drivers was not that hard. All in all, Epson L485 offers users an ultra-low printing costs.
However, we were expecting a better quality output. Epson L485 is impressive in every way except it lacks slighly behind in print quality. The Epson L655 that we reviewed earlier was top of the line product from the company without compromise on quality and performance.
As for recommendation, the only thing that concerns us is the pricing. Today there are a lot of printers from different brands that come with the same scanning, printing and Wi-Fi abilities and they are available at a much lower price point. So for home use this might be an overpriced device but Epson L485 could be the right product for small/medium businesses.