There is no denying that a lot has changed because of the pandemic and the printing business is no exception. Be it your regular official A4/Legal prints, your favourite photos or your (or your kids) projects. All must be done at home now thanks to the never-ending work-from-home. You don’t have the luxury to print office work on the office printer, and most of us are avoiding going to a printing shop for such jobs. So much so that I even printed my passport size photos at home to avoid visiting a photo studio.
Well, that sets the context of this review – a pro printer AIO that does it all – Print, Scan, Copy & Duplex – that has become essential for all your printing, scanning and copying needs. The good old basic printer isn’t sufficing anymore as the number of prints that we need to take has gone up exponentially.
So, let’s go ahead check out what comes in the box, the specs and then start the review of Epson EcoTank L8180.
In the box, you get the Epson EcoTank L8180, 6 ink bottles, USB Cable, Power Cable and the documentation.
Printer Type: Print, Scan, Copy & Duplex
Maximum Print Resolution:5760 X 1440 dpi (with Variable-Sized Droplet Technology)
Minimum Ink Droplet Volume:1.5 pl
Automatic Duplex Printing: Yes up to A4
Print Direction: Bi-directional printing, Uni-directional printing
Technology: Micro Piezo technology
Nozzle Configuration: Black-360 Nozzles; Colour-720 Nozzles
Printer Control Language Emulations:(ESC/P Raster) / (ESC/P-R)
Automatic 2-sided printing: Yes
Maximum Copies from Standalone:99 copies
Reduction / Enlargement: 25 – 400%, Auto Fit Function
Maximum Copy Resolution:720×720[dpi]
Maximum Copy Size: Legal
Draft, A4 (Black / Colour):Approx. 37 cpm / 38 cpm
Scanner Type: Flatbed colour image scanner
Sensor Type: CIS
Optical Resolution:1200 X 2400 dpi
Maximum Scan Area:216 x 355.6mm (8.5” X 14”)
Scanner Bit Depth (Colour):48-bit internal, 24-bit external
Scanner Bit Depth (Grayscale):16-bit internal, 8-bit external
Scanner Bit Depth (Black & White):16-bit internal, 1-bit external
Scan Speed(Mono / Colour):Approx. 6 Sec at 200 dpi (Black) / Approx. 11 Sec at 200 dpi (Colour)
USB Interface: USB Host
Interface: Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet (Ethernet 10Base-T, Ethernet 100Base-TX), Wireless, Wi-Fi Direct
SD Card Slot: Built-in slots (SD Memory Card)
Epson EcoTank L8180 comes with a 10.9 cm/4.3 inch colour touchscreen on its control panel, which tilts upward almost 90 degrees. The screen is great for navigating menus for stand-alone operation. The only physical button on the control panel is for the power. There is a USB port, an Ethernet port, plus support for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct. There is also an SD memory card slot.
Like other EcoTank models, the ET-L8180 has windows into the ink tanks on its front panel, so you can see if you’re running low on ink. What I didn’t like is the fact that when you print ink levels, it doesn’t print it graphically but just a line about ink levels. Just because the ink levels are visible through the front panel doesn’t mean someone would not want to see it graphically printed on a sheet.
The Ink chamber has placeholders for 6 separate ink tanks for the 6-colour Epson Claria ET Premium Ink in Black, Pigment Black, Grey, Cyan, Yellow.
You get two paper trays and a feeder. The Rear Paper feeder can accommodate 50 sheets, the upper front tray allows 20 sheets and lastly, the Lower Front paper tray has space for 100 sheets. This is apart from the CD/DVD printing tray that lets you print DVD/CDs directly.
Dimensions & Weight of Epson EcoTank L8180
Weight: 11.1 kg
6.6″ H x 15″ W x 20.6″ L
It is relatively simple to set it up, all you need to do is open the top lid and move the transportation lock to unlock position and start printing. But that’s after you have removed a plethora of tapes from all over. Also, it is advisable to do a test print first before you start printing the actual prints. That way you get to know if everything is working fine, alignment, ink levels and what tray the paper is being pulled from. Yes, there are multiple paper trays/feeders on this printer, so you need to know/select where you have put the paper.
Thanks to the 10.9cm colour touchscreen, everything is very simple to set up and has a video demonstration for each step for easier setup and use. For example, I was guided through the screen on how to unlock the transportation lock.
If you are not comfortable doing it through the touchscreen, then you can simply download the Epson Smart Panel app for your Android or iOS device (download links below) and follow the steps (screenshots) below.
You are most likely to receive a firmware update for the printer as soon as the setup is complete. Which is a good thing considering that Epson is constantly working on improving user experience and safety features. All things IoT need to be updated regularly to keep them safe and wary from hackers.
By no means, this is an ordinary printer. It’s heavy-duty in size, performance, and price. But after the initial investment, it is one of the most economical to use.
The initial set of ink bottles should last you a while, however. The bottle of black ink is rated to print 7,500 pages, while each bottle of colour ink lasts an estimated 2,300 photos.
Large integrated EcoTanks and highly affordable ink bottles at just Rs 989 each.
In terms of printing speeds, users can print 16 pages per minute for Black and White A4 size prints, and 12 pages per minute for Coloured A4 size Prints. And for duplex prints, it is reduced to 6ppm for Black and White, 5ppm for coloured. The max print resolution is 5760×1440.
While the Epson L8180 is advertised as an A3+ printer, it can only print A4 size pages in Duplex mode and also cannot scan A3 sheets. So if you are an architect, artist or someone who wants to scan A3 size sheets, then let me inform you that this printer cannot do that.
The type of paper it can print on includes – Plain, Glossy, Photo, Matte, Presentation, Brochure and much more. The Photo Paper Size includes – 3.5×5, 4×6, 5×7, 8×10 etc. The paperweight starts from 64 gsm up to 300 gsm.
In terms of power consumption, it uses 17W when in active mode, 7.6W in standby and 0.9W in sleep mode.
Now let’s talk about the Copier capabilities of this printer. It can copy at the speed of 31 pages per minute for both B&W and Colour pages at a maximum resolution of 720×720.
A maximum of 99 pages can be copied in one go. So for more than 100 pages, you will have to give a command after every 99 pages. The Copy feature allows for enhancement, zoom, ID copy, Legal Document copy and much more.
As mentioned earlier this printer cannot scan A3+ pages, the maximum scan size is legal (8.5×14″) with its flatbed scanner. The max scan resolution is 1200X4800 DPI. The scanned document can be previewed on the coloured touchscreen or your smartphone. The scanned copy can be saved in JPEG, BMP, PDF, PNG formats.
L8180 is loaded with connectivity options and interface, you can print directly from your smart device, from an SD Card, a USB drive, it supports all WiFi printing standards including Apple iCloud Print, Wireless Direct Printing, PictBridge etc. For some reason, it doesn’t have native Google Print support.
The L8180 connects with the Epson Smart Panel app that app enables you to control your printer from your smartphone or tablet. Users can Print photos, copy documents, set up and troubleshoot the printer, and access a wide range of artistic templates.
Thanks to the large 10.9cm coloured touchscreen, users will be able to do most of the tasks without the need of a smartphone or using the Epson Smart Panel App. But for things like printing directly from the phone or using templates, you would require the app. And for things like different layouts you would also need to download the Epson Print Layout app.
Link to download the apps:
Android: Epson Smart Panel App and Epson Android Apps
iOS: Epson Smart Panel App and Epson Print Layout app
Epson EcoTank L8180 – The Unbiased Verdict
The Epson EcoTank L8180 is a one-stop solution for all your printing needs. And like most things tech, the pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of personal printing solutions. Hence, when we got an opportunity to test this printer, we welcomed it with open arms. As expected, it turned out to be a real solution for all our printing needs.
The printer’s ADF enables quick copying and scanning, there was never an anomaly and all was as expected from a workhorse professional printer like this one. The Micro-Peizo Heat Free technology is not only faster to print but also prints uniformly from top to bottom.
Priced at INR 54,999/-, it is not an ordinary run of the mill printer. This printer can print CDs/DVD’s, Photos, and sizes as big as A3+ and that too at the lowest cost possible thanks to the EcoTank 6 colour High-yield Ink bottles. Since it is a professional printer for business, if you are considering home use, make sure you have enough space on your desk to match its dimensions (mentioned above).
One thing I’m confused about is the warranty. According to the official brochure, the warranty is 1 year or 50,000 prints but on the same brochure, it is mentioned that the standard warranty is 30,000 prints or 1 year.
All things considered, if you need a workhorse for heavy print and copy duty—while keeping ink costs extremely low—you will most likely find the Epson EcoTank L8180 to be a no brainer.