This page offers a review, evaluation, and comparison of the Epson ET-2800 and XP-7100 printers. These printers offer a relatively low purchase cost of about $200 to $240 depending on sale pricing. This page offers some introductory details and then lists of the pros and cons for each printer. As additional features, benefits, and drawbacks are discovered those will be added to this page later.
- The ET-2800 is a low-cost ink tank (EcoTank) printer with long-term low cost of ownership, well suited for those who print frequently. It is small and light.
- The XP-7100 is optimized for photo printing and has trays for photo paper and CD printing options. The front menu display provides easy setup and operation. The smaller cartridges may result in higher cost of operation over time.
Size and Weight Comparison
- The ET-2800 is relatively small and light, and has the following specifications:
- Size: 14.7-inches wide x 22-inches deep x 7-inches tall. Note the printer is 13.5-inches deep when the front paper output tray is closed. The height is about 12-inches when paper is in the rear paper tray, but 7-inches tall when there is no paper inserted.
- Weight: 15.3 pounds
- The XP-7100 is larger and heavier than the ET-2800, and has the following specifications:
- Size: 17.2-inches wide x 23.5-inches deep x 8.1-inches tall
- Weight: 21.5 pounds
Epson ET-2800 Low Cost Printing
- Cost — The ink bottles are easy to use for filling the printer. Because the ink reservoirs are large, each filling should provide about 4,500 pages of black or 7,500 pages of mixed black and color output. This would provide an average person with 2 years worth of printing. Replacing the bottles of ink is about $55 every two years. [View] By comparison, the XP-7100 printer ink is $73 for the high capacity cartridges that provide only 500 pages. [View] So about $600 cost of ink compared to $55.
- Input Tray Capacity — It’s nice to have a stack of 100 pages for feeding into your printer. The feed is intuitive and the pages drop-in with gravity holding the stack.
- Recycled Page Feed — This printer does very well with different types of re-used paper. Pages that are slightly curled in different directions, not stacked smoothly, having textured surfaces, or crinkled did not seem to be a problem for this printer. The rear feed provides a direct paper path, which helps in paper handling reliability.
- Scanner Lid – The scanning lid is very light. This makes it very easy to lift and place down again. When scanning a lot of pages or receipts, it results in less fatigue than if you’re living a heavy feeder unit each time.
- Scan Quality — Epson is known for high quality scanning, since they’ve been building dedicated scanners for years. Their all-in-one printers like this one offer excellent scanning quality, especially for photos.
- Setup — Using the Epson Smart Panel software on a smartphone, setup of the printer was quite easy and did not require setup of an Epson user account. Other manufacturers, like HP, require a user account be established during setup.
- Size — The small size makes this printer a good choice for those with limited desk space.
- Weight — At about 15 pounds, this printer is easier to handle.
- No Auto Duplex — This printer lacks the automatic duplex printing to both size of a page.
- No Scan Feed — For those scanning packets of papers, the lack of a paper feeder could be a drawback. Not having a paper feeder is one less thing to break, and reduces the size/weight of the printer.
- Rear Dust Cover — There is a flexible piece of hinged plastic across the back of the printer. It covers the paper tray (input). It may become detached. It feels flimsy, but is probably the most practical way to achieve what was needed for a simple cover.
- Slow Speed — The printing is rated at 5 pages per minute in color and 10 pages per minute in black and white. This is slower compared to the XP-7100 printer that offers 10 pages per minute in color and 15.8 pages per minute in black and white.
Epson XP-7100 Document and Photo Printing
- Large front color display for the operation menu and settings. This makes it easier to setup and use.
- Printing is fast.
- The copy function works well.
- Cost of $200 on sale (normally $240) makes it a good balance of features and value.
- Of the 20 pages I printed, using a variety of recycled previously used pages, each page was pulled through the printer properly. Epson printers are known for good paper handling, and this model is consistent with that reputation.
- The ink cartridges are somewhat small, which suggests they may need frequent replacing.
- There are five ink cartridges which is typical for printers with higher quality photo printing capabilities. In addition to the black ink, cyan (blue), magenta (red), and yellow, there is also a photo black cartridge (a special dark ink for photos). So, that’s an additional cartridge that will need to be replaced periodically.
- There are four trays. Tray #1 is for photo paper. Tray #2 is for regular paper and is limited to what seems to be about 30 to 40 sheets of paper. Tray #3 is a plastic media retainer that can allow printing to a CD surface. Tray #4, the one in the back, only accommodates one sheet of paper at a time.
- The initial printer alignment process is a bit time consuming and requires printing many pages, then examining them visually and completing an on-screen survey regarding print clarity. I suppose that’s a one-time process so not a big issue.
- Some of the printer components are sort of robotic and motorized and move on their own — such as the front display panel and the tray that printed pages land on. This suggests more things to go wrong. Also, the motorized pieces don’t feel very secure.
- The “main” paper tray (#2) is a little difficult to remove, and (by design) the pages do not line up against the back of the tray. The back of the tray is ramped / angled.
- The printer is fairly heavy.