The Epson EcoTank ET-1810 inkjet printer clearly has designs on being one of the best printers in its price range, and one of the most affordable to run: it uses refillable ink tanks rather than ink cartridges to try and get your money to stretch to more printed pages.
Note that this is an inkjet printer and nothing else – there are no scanning or copying features available on this model, which you might not mind so much considering the best smartphones and their associated apps can cover most people's scanning needs anyway.
Given both its upfront price and ongoing costs – both of which are on the reasonably low side – this is a contender for one of the best student printers around too. Read on for our full ET-1810 review, which should help you decide whether this is the right printer for you.
Epson EcoTank ET-1810 review: price and availability
The Epson EcoTank ET-1810 is out now and available to buy in the UK from a lot of the regular retailers, including Amazon (opens in new tab) and Argos (opens in new tab). The widget embedded below will guide you towards the best online deals for this printer at the moment, but at the time of writing the device is being sold for as little as £160 from some outlets. In Australia it's priced around AUD$299, while Europe's prices are around the €189 mark.
Epson EcoTank ET-1810 review: setup and design
Design-wise, the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 is a fairly standard block of black plastic: it's reasonably easy on the eyes, but nothing here feels particularly sturdy, from the ink tank holder to the paper trays. We're definitely at the budget end of the printer market in other words, and that's fine – most people will be happy with a relatively cheap-looking and flimsy printer if the actual output is decent enough.
If you like to get a tape measure out before buying anything for your home office, the printer measures 375 x 347 x 169mm at its most compact (with all the trays closed), and it tips the scales at 2.9kg (not that you'll really be carrying it about all that much). The power cable attaches around the back, and that's the only wire you're going to need, because this is a fully wireless unit with no option to hook it up directly to a computer with a USB cable.
For those who are fortunate enough to not have had to set up a printer recently, it's all about the apps these days. You get step-by-step instructions through the Epson Smart Panel app for Android or iOS – we're not sure about the instant messenger chat approach the app takes, but it does at least do a good job of getting the printer connected to your Wi-Fi and assists you in loading it up with ink and paper.
All in all, this printer should take you about 30 minutes to setup from start to finish. It's getting the ink in place and initialised that takes up most of that time. You get four bottles of ink with your printer – black, yellow, magenta and cyan – and the Epson app shows you how to pour the ink into the tanks inside the printer.
Epson EcoTank ET-1810 review: performance and features
When it comes to this printer's key specs, the rear paper tray can hold up to 100 A4 sheets, and the print speed is rated at 10 pages per minute for monochrome, and five pages per minute for colour. A full, borderless, 10 x 15cm photo print is done in a little over a minute, and all those estimates matched up with what we saw in testing. It's not the fastest, but it's fast enough, and it operates fairly quietly too – it's not going to be waking up your neighbours.
The real selling point here is the EcoTank system: Epson reckons the four ink bottles you get in the box can last you for up to 4,500 pages of black ink and 7,500 pages of coloured ink (the equivalent of 72 standard ink cartridges). Based on how quickly the ink levels were going down while we were reviewing the EcoTank ET-1810 that seems a bit on the optimistic side in terms of how far your ink will go. Nevertheless, it does appear to be capable of getting you more pages per pound in terms of ongoing costs.
As for the printing resolution, it goes up to a decent 5,760 x 1,440, and we were more than happy with the quality of our resulting documents and photos. Text looks crisp and sharp, colours are well reproduced, and the EcoTank ET-1810 is certainly capable of producing results that are up there with the best inkjets around. If you're printing out anything for college, work or the local fair we don't think you'll be disappointed.
The printer is able to work with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and iPadOS, so wherever your documents and pictures are, you can get them to the Epson EcoTank ET-1810. The lack of any kind of display means that switching between devices can be a bit tricky – there's a Wi-Fi direct mode available for connecting straight to a phone or tablet – but generally speaking we didn't have too many problems interpreting the various lights on the front of the unit.
Epson EcoTank ET-1810 review: verdict
It's clear what the strengths and the weaknesses of the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 are: it's got a tank refill system that'll save on costs and will print a lot of pages; but it's a little flimsy in build, there's no scan/copy function, nor any on-product display to assist with jobs.
We're not fully convinced that you can get as many pages out of these tanks as Epson says you can – sadly we were unable to print thousands of pages during our time with the printer – but this is clearly a better value for money proposition than buying new ink cartridges every time. Getting the ink into the printer is straightforward enough, and we'd happily switch over to this method for our own printing.
In terms of performance, printing quality is very good, and printing speed is reasonably good. More expensive printers will get you better results – particularly in terms of glossy, high-resolution photographs – but the output you get with the EcoTank ET-1810 is certainly more than good enough for the price. Family photos, school projects, long reports... the printer will handle them all with aplomb.
Epson EcoTank ET-1810: also consider
Take a peek at our best printers list and you'll see numerous alternatives to the Epson printer that we've reviewed here. The Epson EcoTank ET-2750 is an interesting upgrade on the ET-1810 for example: it keeps the economical ink tank system, but it adds a display to the printer, and it can copy and scan as well. It's worth a look if you're happy to spend a bit more money.
Then there's the Canon Pixma TS6350: Canon has a reputation as strong as Epson's when it comes to high-quality inkjet printers for the home and office, and the Pixma TS6350 offers excellent output results as well as the option to scan and copy documents as well as print them. It's reasonably compact in terms of its size too, and shouldn't cost you much more than the Epson EcoTank ET-1810.