on February 11, 2012
For years I tortured myself printing color brochures on a color laser. I thought speed and automatic duplexing were the most important things. Color and accuracy of photos? I figured I could tinker with settings until I got it right. Well, I never got it right, until I gave up and just went for quality instead, which is where this printer shines. Unlike the color laser, or other printers I have suffered with, what you see on screen is what you get on this printer. Working on a Mac with this printer has been a dream. I am now a happy printer, and an Epson convert.
Speed is good, and paper handling is great. No jams after 100's of prints. The rear tray for thicker paper holds only 20 sheets for manual two-sided printing. But the paper feeds accurately, no jams for me. I printed 100's of color pages (both sides, heavy text and images) out of the box with the starter carts. And when the printer flashed to tell me I was running out of yellow, the color and quality were consistent, from the start right up until the point when the yellow ran completely out. And after I replaced the cart, there was absolutely no difference in the quality of the next print. 48 lb. paper, no problem. Specs say cardstock up to 68 lb. is ok. With glossy paper, incredible results for just 4 colors. Cartridges couldn't be simpler to install. Haven't used the duplex yet, but plain text documents are very speedy and the text is fine, laser quality.
I suggest aligning the print heads after you receive the printer from UPS, those guys tend to drop things. My box was dented on the corners.
Bonus: my office does not reek of laser toner anymore. And the lights don't dim every time I print a page.
on August 22, 2012
After a rough start with lots of paper jams in the first couple weeks of using this printer, everything smoothed out and was working great for 8 months or so. I didn't love the flimsiness of the output tray, but print quality was good, speed was acceptable, duplexing worked (although it was slow). I printed a couple hundred pages per week of black and color.
Several weeks ago, yellow ink started printing inconsistently. Multiple cleanings didn't help. I swapped to a new yellow cartridge, which leaked all over the place (inside the printer case, all over my floor, etc.). I returned that cartridge and swapped to a fresh one, which stopped the leak, but the yellow printing was still inconsistent. I started spending more of my time cleaning print heads than actually printing.
I spent a couple hours on the phone with Epson support. Epson support phone lines are terrible quality - I had to almost shout to be heard, and ask the techs to repeat themselves over and over. This did not lend to my relaxation or calm demeanor on those calls.
Eventually, Epson agreed that the printer was broken, and to ship me a warranty swap unit. The unit took over 10 days to come in, during which time the old printer totally stopped working - it would no longer detect any ink in the yellow cartridge, and won't print even black unless it's got ink in all cartridges (this is a stupid design, as far as I'm concerned), so I was without a printer at all for over a week.
This printer ought not be advertised as a business-grade printer - it's clearly not. This is my first Epson in quite a while, and will likely be my last.
on May 3, 2012
Originally, I really liked this machine. The color printing was good assuming brochure or Epson paper was used and I liked the rear feeder for envelopes and such. It was just what this small office needed.
8 months later, one of the ink heads broke and leaked all over. I talked to Epson, who graciously sent a replacement- A REFURBISHED printer... That one wouldn't even get past the initialization stage (but of course used up a set of ink cartridges). Epson then sent ANOTHER REFURBISHED printer that ate another set of ink cartridges and STILL says it doesn't have any ink. I'm using original Epson ink cartridges (not trying to sneak in refills or anything). I literally watched the ink levels drop. Where is it going? I've put in over a hundred dollars of ink and it still says it's empty.
I'm guessing there is a reservoir that holds the ink aside from the ink cartridge. But still, after draining multiple new ink cartridges it still claims to be empty and won't even attempt a black only print job.
So, in the last 2 REFURBISHED replacements of the original broken machine, I've put in close to $200 in ink. All for a machine that's only $100...
I'm frustrated and I'm done with Epson.
I haven't owned or used an Epson printer for over 15 years and I was a little anxious to see how The WorkForce Pro 4020 would perform as I have been using "all-in-one" printers for the past ten years and have been mostly satisfied with their performance. However, I was looking for a printer that would make two sided copies and print them faster than any of the all-in-one printers I have used previously. The WP-4020 is a solid performer and is a quality product. I was not disappointed.
It is important to keep in mind that this is not an all-in-one printer; it is just a printer and nothing more. However, having said that, if you are looking for clear, fast, and economical two sided printing, then this machine is for you. I still recommend having an all-in-one printer for scanning and faxing but use the WP-4020 as your main device for printing needs.
The WP-4020 is a somewhat bulky and clumsy printer, approximately 18"x18", plain black and without much in the way of style or impressive user interface. The size of the printer had to be taken into consideration when I was setting it up. This is a much bigger printer than I have ever had before, and as a result it would not fit in my computer desk in the designated printer space. I had to find another place to keep it, but since it's a wireless device, you can pretty much put it anywhere within range of your network...even in a closet or in the garage.
The setup directions are fairly clear and logical, but I ran into an issue with the initial set-up. The directions state that the printer is to be turned on, the front panel to be opened and the ink cartridges inserted. The directions state that you should then close the front panel and the printer will start priming the cartridges for use. There is a warning to not power-cycle the printer until the automatic priming finishes. However, I waited and waited for the priming to begin, which it didn't do until after I power-cycled the printer. This is a not a big deal, but it can be a huge waste of setup time if you are more patient than me and follow the directions exactly.
Installing the printer to work wirelessly on my home network was easier than I expected and much easier than with the HP or Canon wireless printers I had used previously. The software installer guided me through the process and explained what to do at each step.
Once it's connected, the WP-4020 is immediately available and is easy to use. It shoots out pages very quickly and the quality of print is excellent. In the past I have had issues with other inkjet printers showing space-banding on color copies and uneven or crooked lines when printing in black and white. The WP-4020 does not seem to have any of these issues.
The printer has several different settings for changing output and printer features. The two-sided printing feature is especially useful and is easily turned on and off through the interface There are numerous settings for handling different types of documents and the printer has the ability to create custom shortcut settings. I have never seen this feature on a printer and I have found it to be very convenient.
The Epson WorkForce Pro 4020 printer is one of the very best and fastest printers I have ever used. It's easy to use and the print quality is excellent. If you are looking for a printer that is fast, easy and economical to use, then you should definitely consider purchasing the HP-4020 for your printing needs.
on October 8, 2012
I have always liked Epson printers for durability, reasonable ink prices and good color. This one was defective, however, despite good reviews. I wouldn't write off Epson, just had bad experience with this one--it would not initialize/prime the ink cartridges--all lights just kept blinking. Good return experience with Amazon.
on February 12, 2013
I just loved this printer for the first eight months but then I started getting yellow ink splotches staining even my black and white printouts. After trying the nozzle check and doing a head cleaning, to no avail, I called Epson support. After hearing my description of the trouble, the agent immediately said it was a hardware failure (I could see dripped yellow ink inside the printer.) and that they were sending me a replacement printer right away. Of course, since the failure wasn't within the first 30 days, it would be a refurbished printer. My hopes are not too high for it after reading some of the other one-star reviews here but I hope it will last long enough for me to use my expensive ink cartridges.
Additionally, they don't want me to send the printer back to them. It's mine to keep! Imagine my luck. Now I can also pay to dispose of that properly.
Thank goodness I have another, old printer to use while waiting the two to seven business days the refurbished one will take to reach me. Just stay away from this printer!
UPDATE 2/18/13: The replacement printer Epson sent does not work. I called Epson back and after taking me through hoops with installing/re-installing ink cartridges, they are sending me four new ink cartridges. I have to wait 7-10 business days for those! I am pretty sure the cartridges are not the problem. (Background: The replacement printer came with four ink cartridges but they were mostly empty. I had to go into my inventory of new Epson XL ink cartridges and they didn't work in the machine either. I keep getting a "cartridges not recognized" message from the printer software.) Epson is not sending me a second replacement printer at this time. I guess they think I can go forever without a printer. I am livid and don't mind saying so.
Setup for the Epson WP-4020 was easy enough, but it was still a long process. A USB cable (not included) and software installation are required if you need to manually configure the printer's wi-fi settings for your network. The printer also supports Wi-fi Protected Setup for those who have and use the feature in their routers.
When I first turned the printer on, it went through a 10+ minute long initialization process, during which it made all sorts of terrible noises. Don't worry, it's supposed to do that. Once it was done, I downloaded and installed the latest version of the Epson software from their website and went through their setup wizard. It provides you with paths for the different connection options: direct USB, wi-fi, and network cable. I chose the manual wi-fi setup option, which prompted me to select my wireless network and enter my WPA key. I noticed during this step that the WP-4020 did not detect my router's 5GHz wireless-N band, so I had to go with 2.4GHz. Once the network was configured and the drivers installed, the printer was immediately detected and usable.
Once the printer is setup, you don't actually need the software anymore. I was able to install the WP-4020 on a separate Windows 7 computer by just adding a network printer and pointing it to the drivers that I had downloaded. However, the Epson software is actually pretty good for monitoring ink levels and running diagnostics, so it doesn't hurt to install it on at least one computer.
+ Great print quality.
+ Very fast and quiet printing.
+ Relatively easy setup with software that's actually pretty decent.
+ Supposedly very economical with ink.
+ Supports USB 2.0, 10/100 ethernet, and 2.4GHz wireless B/G/N. Also supports Apple Airprint.
+ Full-duplex printing!
- The starting kit is a bit stingy. My black ink level is at about 1/3 full and the maintenance kit is at about 2/3. As usual, no USB cable, but you'll need one if you want to manually configure the wi-fi settings.
- Not really a huge issue, but it's a pretty large printer, especially if you plan to use it at home. Check out the dimensions to make sure you have enough room for it!
- Again, this is kind of a small issue, but the build quality feels cheap. The various trays feel flimsy and don't click in as smoothly as I would like.
on June 13, 2012
Two units in a row arrived defective. They would briefly work, then go into fatal error mode. FAIL.
DIRECT LINE TO LEVEL 3 TECH SUPPORT IN CALIFORNIA: (532) 290-4000. Wait for the operator and ask to be transfered to Level 3 tech support. :-)
If you have Mac OS 10.7+ you may not be able to install it from the CD or from Apple's software update. If this happens to you, you can:
a) call tech support at 562-276-7202 (and i HIGHLY recommend you immediately ask for Level 2 or you will waste a LOT of time).
b) 1)browse your HD and go to Library/Printers/Epson/ and trash the entire Epson folder and then
2) go to Library/Printers/PPDS/Contents/Resources and find the file called "EPSON WP-4020 Series.gz" and trash it, and ONLY that file. Then Empty your trash can.
4) Then go to system preferences/Print and Scan and click the + symbol to add the printer, find the 4020 and add it and then follow the instructions do download and install the driver. At this point you should be good to go.
This is an ink jet printer, and pretty much that's it. No copy, scanner other all in one add-ons, no fax mode or other extra's. What it does is print, and very very fast. If I had a complaint its that it's big, I could never put this under my keyboard like my HP Print and Scan combo. I wonder sometimes what happened to those little Apple printers I used to see in the mid 90's, ones that had such a small footprint. It's hard to believe that inkjets like this, have gone back to the size they had in the late 80's. Still not to complain too much, because this is an office printer, and at a 20000 per month duty rating, it's built to last, and last a long time.
Speed, it beats the hell out of my Cannon, like their online commercial video, prints several copies before my Cannon even warms up. Beats my HP as well, and even worse when the printing starts. Woe is me, they only include enough ink in the small cartrides, not the optional monster size, to last 900 color and 1000 BW pages. Well should I share that it took me 5 years to use 500 sheets of paper, I'm sure the ink will dry up on it's own, long before I get to that many prints, but it's nice to know I don't need a lot of replacement cartrides. I once bought a spare printer just for the ink.
Quality here is fine as well, even at these speeds. Does two sided copies, and I could easily see using one like this everyday at work. Maybe we even have a few of the older models. I don't know if you want to have this for your home, if you don't need to make a lot of prints. You need probably two or three kids, dad and mom, all needing prints a few times a week, to do this justice. It's a real workhorse WorkForce to make a bad pun, and now I need to open a print shop.
on August 11, 2012
Followed directions: 1) Unpack, 2) Turn on, and it started making grinding noises and all the lights on the front panel started blinking on and off at the same time. 3) Install ink cartridges. Nothing happened.
Removed from AC power, checked for packing material and other obstructions.
Each time I turn it on it grinds for about 30 seconds and then the lights start blinking.
No toll-free support. Called the support number.
Spoke with two techs, both were courteous with no wasted steps in the debugging process. They could not have been more helpful. They are sending me a new printer and instructions for returning the one I have now. Epson is paying all expenses.
After my tech service call I bumped the review from one star to two.
Epson sent the new printer, started up seamlessly, wireless was a breeze, works with Ubuntu, iTouch, and Windows XP. I couldn't be happier. Bumped to four stars, (took off one star because the first one didn't work).