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Epson WorkForce 840 All-in-One Printer

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Epson Workforce 840 All-in-One Printer

Epson Workforce 840 All-in-One Printer

Photo courtesy Epson

The Bottom Line

The Epson WorkForce 840 all-in-one inkjet printer for small-business owners and busy home users. It's fast, offers two paper trays, an automatic document feeder and duplex printing, and a fax, scanner, and copier. Wi-Fi b/g/n networking is built in, and multiple memory-card slots are located on the front of the machine. It's a good step up from the WorkForce 635 as it offers multiple paper trays, so I'd recommend it if you frequently use two paper trays. Otherwise, it's a lot more expensive than the 635, and printing speeds are about the same.
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Pros

  • Two 250-sheet paper trays
  • Built-in wired / wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n) networking
  • Very good print quality, excellent photo quality
  • Automatic document feeder
  • Built-in duplex printing

Cons

  • Less than perfect results on cheap paper
  • Inconvenient placement of USB port
  • Slow photo printing

Description

  • Color inkjet printer
  • Automatic duplex printing
  • Fax, copier, scanner
  • Two paper input trays for total capacity of 500 sheets; plus automatic document feeder
  • Ethernet / wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n) networking
  • Up to 5760 x 1440 dpi print resolution
  • 3.5-inch LCD display on tilting control panel
  • Supports a wide array of memory cards on the front of the machine
  • Supports a wide array of memory cards on the front of the machine

Guide Review - Epson WorkForce 840 All-in-One Printer

A while back I reviewed the Epson WorkForce 635, saying that it "comes with all the bells and whistles any small business could want, and enough family-friendly features to make it a great home printer as well." My reservations about the 635 included its lack of a second paper tray and rather small (2.5-inch) LCD screen. The new Epson Workforce 840 solves both of these problems with two large-capacity paper trays and a 3.5-inch TFT screen. Is that worth an extra $150 to you? I think an additional paper tray is one of the handiest accessories a printer could have in an environment where different kinds of paper are regularly used; so instead of 250 sheets, you've got 500 ready to go.

Like the 635, the WorkForce 840 comes with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n networking which was easy to configure and which seemed quite fast. I did have a few issues surfing the Web while printing, so it may be that larger jobs were temporarily overwhelming the connection. In either case, the issue did not last more than a few seconds.

Epson's specs show the 635 to be slightly slower than the more expensive 840 (7.2 color pages per minute as compared to the 840's 9.3 color pages per minute); in practice, I found both printers roughly the same, at about 10 seconds per page for the 840 and about 11 seconds per page for the 635. A single page from the Web took about 17 seconds to print. Quality on cheap paper was unimpressive, with some bleed into the paper resulting in somewhat sloppy-looking pages. On good paper, however, print quality was uniformly excellent. As with the 635, when you use the duplexer, you are reminded to reduce the ink density, a simple procedure that makes pages look better with no discernible drop in quality as long as you don't overdo it.

Color photos looked great, with very sharp images and realistic colors. A 4x6 print took about 1:14 from start to finish--not bad but not particularly astonishing, either. Again, this is not aimed particularly at the home audience, so I suspect this won't be a problem for home users.

Photos took a long time to print--almost 1:20 for a 4x6 photo, which is not all that competitive with other all-in-one printers. But the Durabrite ink does an excellent job (it comes out dry and is water resistant). Colors look vivid and clear as well as very sharp. There's not much in the way of photo editing on the printer itself, so if you print a lot of photos you'll want to do your editing using graphic-editing software.

If I have any qualms about the WorkForce, it's the placement of the power and USB ports. It seems that most printers have power ports on the back right of the printer (as you look at it), while the WorkForce gets plugged in on the back left; and the USB port is along the left side of the printer rather than in the back, where I find it a lot more convenient. Something to keep in mind in case you have limited spaces to put the machine.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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