Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4540 is its immense paper capacity--nearly 600 sheets can fit in the various paper trays at one time. Not to mention the outsize inkjet cartridges that promise 2,400 black and 1,200 color pages (and which are not exorbitantly priced). Or maybe it's the decent print speeds, which averaged about seven seconds per page at normal quality. Or perhaps the price--only $299 at last check. It's not perfect, though. Like some other Epson printers, Mac users will need extra time (a lot in my case) to download from Epson's Web site the drivers and software to make the WP-4540 work. You'll need a big desk to put it on, since the WP-4540 isn't small by any measure. And if you have questions (which tray is photo paper supposed to go in?), get ready to hunt for the online user's guide. Gripes aside, this printer is an excellent value.
Printing speeds for the WP-4540 were competitive with other (more expensive) inkjet printers, with a four-page Word document taking a bit longer than half a minute to print (about 15 seconds for the first page, and just over six seconds per page after that). By comparison, the Epson WorkForce 845
took 19 seconds to print just a single page of a Word document. A graphics-heavy four-page PDF had its first page done in 22 seconds, with subsequent pages taking only seven seconds per page after that. Add lots of time to print duplex, of course, with first pages taking 36 seconds to print and then 20 seconds per page subsequently.
This inkjet printer also did a great job at printing photos, though not quite as fast as the Kodak Hero 9.1 did, needing 46 seconds from start to finish. Still, that's perfectly respectable time for an all-in-one.
Overall quality of prints made with the WorkForce WP-4540 was very good. Black fonts in particularly were sharp and clear. While graphics looked decent, they weren't great--for great, you'll have to bump up the print quality a notch and wait a bit longer for results. If you print duplex, be aware that the printer doesn't wait for ink to dry before printing the other side of the sheet, as some printers do. The result is what Epson calls "cockle," or page curl, a term I'd not heard before--but I'm adding to my glossary. Cockled pages do lie flat after the ink gets absorbed.
Bells and Whistles
The WP-4540 is an all-in-one printer
that's made for offices and so it offers every feature that an office could want, including built-in wireless, an automatic document feeder and automatic duplex printing, and an extra paper tray that sits on the bottom of the printer. There are unfortunately no card slots for SD or other media except for a USB stick on the front panel of the printer.
The 5.8-inch touchscreen control panel doesn't tilt; and there's a separate number pad for the fax machine, which seems redundant to me (the touchscreen becomes a number pad when setting up the Wi-Fi connection, for example). The overall feeling is that it's a bit cluttered and they're not yet making the best use of a touchscreen.
Like other Epson printers such as the WorkForce 845, the WP-4540 can print via the cloud using Epson Connect Email Print, iPrint, Apple AirPrint, and Google Cloud Print. It was a pleasure to be able to print from an iPad without even being in the same room.
One thing to keep in mind about this printer is that it's fairly loud when it first gets going, so if you've got a home office, keep it in the far corner.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy