Weight: 4.4 kg
Print system: InkJet
Max resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi (with Variable-Sized Droplet Technology)
- Max Black Draft Text- Memo (M):- 33 ppm /15ppm(Bk/CI) ISO 24734, M:-9.0 ipm /4.5 ipm (Bk/CI))
- Max Photo Draft-1 Ox15cm/4×6″: – 27 sec per photo (W/Border)
- Photo Default- 1 Ox15cm/4×6″: – 69 sec per photo (W/Border)
- Max. Black Draft Text- Memo (M):-5 sec (Draft)
- Max. Color Draft Text- Memo (A4): – 10 sec (Draft)
Scanner Type: Flatbed color image scanner
Tray capacity: 100 Sheets
Max paper size: 85×44 inches
- Factory Continuous Ink system
- Superb quality
- Fast printouts
- Has that transport valve quirk
- Scans can be a touch dark
If you go through a lot of printed pages, this will end all of your frustration.
As far into the future as I can see, I don’t think we will make that transition to a completely paperless office. It is just far too convenient and far too natural to switch to a completely digital work environment, at least for the foreseeable future. As such, the printer, and its close cousin, the scanner, will remain an integral part of the office.
The problem with this is that it often costs an arm and a leg to keep these devices running. Ink cartridges are notoriously expensive, and, being a consumable, is a continuing cost. People have resorted to different ways to keep this part of printer ownership down, from refilling cartridges at stalls or at home, to so-called “infinite” ink systems that rely on an external reservoir of ink. These solutions are far from ideal, though, as the ink can be of dubious quality; the installation, shady; and the results, inconsistent. Epson, a company that has been in the business for decades, has seen the effects of such practices, and have taken it upon themselves to give consumers a solution that keeps price reasonable and quality up. Enter the L350 and its continuous ink system.
The L350 is a printer/scanner combination device around the size of a mid-sized CPU that not only brings with it Epson’s long printing expertise, but an innovation that adds unprecedented value for the consumer. The printer comes out of the box with its own factory-installed external reservoir. This eliminates the need for expensive ink cartridges, third-party ink solutions or any of the hassle associated with either.
Setup is simple. Unpack, plug in, and off you go. Right off the bat, you can use the device as a copier by loading the original onto the scanner bed, and hitting either the “black and white” or “color” copy button on the front of the device. Copying takes about half a minute for color and about half that for a simple black and white print. Copies come out a little on the dark side (a consequence of the scanning process), but very nicely saturated.
Printing, on the other hand, yields copies that are very nicely detailed and appear impressively close to what you see on-screen. The printer, at the highest setting does take two or three minutes to produce the final product, but at a quality that I was not expecting from a system running an external tank. Colors came out perfectly, and the accuracy was razor-sharp. Lines don’t appear broken, and even under close scrutiny, everything looks picture-perfect.
Documents come out quick. The first page comes out in about 10 seconds, and the page is done less than five seconds after. If you’re looking to print your thesis in a rush, this is going to be the printer you want to do it on. Even on the lower settings, the text appeared perfectly aligned, with no blurring on the edges or stripes across.
Its performance on photo paper is just as solid. The ink was dry the moment it came out, and had I not done the printing myself, I could have sworn the print was picked up from a photo developing store. If I were a more talented photographer, I could have put the shot up on one of the office walls.
Once the ink from the external tanks run dry—which is after several hundred pages—refill is brainlessly easy. Slide the tanks off the cradle, pop open each of the tanks and pour in more ink. The ink bottles cost far less than traditional cartridges, and aren’t nearly as messy as other refilling solutions. Basically, if you can pour a beer, you can refill the tanks on the L350.
Something worth nothing on the printer, though, is that on the cradle onto which the tanks attach is a small dial that you twist when you need to transport the printer. This shuts the valves from the tanks to the print head. If you happen to forget that this dial is in the “transport” position, and you print a page, the heads will run dry, and you’ll be stuck with an image that is devoid of any ink. If this happens, don’t panic. Just run the printer’s cleaning cycle a few times, and everything will go back to looking great. Also remember to check it before you print, just to spare yourself the headache. This is a small price to pay for the savings and convenience of the L350’s ink system, and something I would be more than willing to put up with.
Would I use this printer? Yes. Many times over. We’re a magazine, and we print out pages and pages of each issue before the final newsstand run. Not only will a printer like this save us a bundle in printing costs, maybe the office will mind less when I use the office machines to print out my own, admittedly terrible attempts at art.
Words by Ren Alcantara
First published in Gadgets Magazine, August 2013