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Review: Epson WorkForce WF-7015

The Epson WorkForce WF-7015 is a high-performance machine with great features. (Photograph: Epson)

The new WorkForce WF-7015 from Epson is a beast of a machine, both in terms of size and performance.

The WF-7015 comes with a host of features that make it a great printer for business use. These include WiFi and A3 printing. Of course, given that it prints great photos, the printer could also find its way into the homes of users who can afford its R1 709 price tag.

Look and feel

The WF-7015 is a bulky machine that will crowd the average office desk. The printer takes up more than half a square metre of desk space and weighs in at just over 12kg. I have to say though, given its features and performance, the size of the machine is not unexpected.

Power and USB inputs are located to the left and at the back of the machine, leaving the front open for easy paper access. The paper tray folds away, making the machine fairly compact while not in use.

The matte-black body and rounded corners give the printer an executive feel. However, I was surprised that it did not have a touch-screen control panel. It only has four buttons – Network, WiFi, Page Feed and Ink Check – and I found that once the network settings were complete, I only needed to use the ink and paper feed buttons.

Usability

Setting up the WF-7015 is fairly easy. Windows users can simply run the manufacturer-provided install disk and follow the step-by-step instructions, whether installing the printer via USB, network cable or WiFi.

Things are a little trickier on a Mac-based system because users have to download the drivers, putting them at the mercy of a stable Internet connection. However, once the drivers are downloaded, the printer can be installed using the disk provided by Epson.

Once set up, using the printer is relatively hassle-free.

Features

One of the main reasons for the size of the WF-7015 is its ability to print on both sides of a page without the user having to re-feed the paper, as well its ability to print on A3-sized paper.

Other features include a built-in watermark function, which allows users to print a full-page overlay over any document, including PDFs, and poster printing, which lets users scale a single image across several A4 pages. It also has scaling built in the opposite direction, allowing users to easily print multiple pages to a single sheet.

Performance

The photo-print quality is phenomenal. Simply allowing the printer to handle all the colour profiling yields great results, and it is well worth the effort and expense to use high-quality, Epson Photo graphic paper.

What I often find with lower-end inkjet printers is that they battle to reproduce large areas of high saturation reds and dark blues; however, the WF-7015 excelled on every test I threw at it. I found photos printed out with bright colours; images were also well-defined, with no blurriness or dead pixels. Even black and white images were superb.

The Epson WF-7015 also prints out black and white documents in excellent quality. Characters are clear with no smudging. I also had no problems with lining and I didn't experience paper jams, even when setting large print runs.

Ports and connectivity

The WF-7015 is easily shared via a WiFi network. Once the machine is connected, users can print wirelessly from any device connected to the network.

Users can also connect the printer directly to a network router via a LAN cable or to a single machine via USB. Even when connected via the latter, you can still set it up for network sharing with relative ease.

In a nutshell

The WF-7015 is a high-quality workhorse, but it won't be cheap to run. It is set up for the printing functions usually reserved for more economical laser printers, like A3 and dual-sided printing, but both the ink costs and general wear and tear will probably limit the use of these functions.

However, users looking for a high-performance inkjet printer will not be disappointed. The printer delivers excellent quality prints, with photos that look like they have been professionally printed.

The machine may be a bit pricey for home users, but at R1 709, it is not outside the budget of small businesses.


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