Review: Epson B-510DN

SHARE

By Benjamin Arnold

Nowadays, every brand of printer is boasting about the amount of money you will save by using their printers paired with their economically developed inks. Who can argue with that, since every cent counts in this tight-budgeted economy we live in today? Perhaps that is why the Epson B-510DN business color ink jet printer was developed.

Within its boxy exoskeleton, this printer holds four high-capacity color cartridges that contain DURABrite Ultra pigment ink. These Individual, high-yield ink cartridges can—according to the manufactures—print out around 8,000 pages in black and white or 7,000 full-colored pages  before replacing cartridges. We put this to the test by printing out a variety of documents and photos ranging from simple black and white text documents to full color page layouts. After recycling nearly a full ream of paper to print out stories, filling up multiple photo frames with pictures of our loved ones and printing out the entire September issue twice, we didn’t even put a dent into the ink level.

But with all this ink, there is one thing that doesn’t fit right with me as a graphic artist—the actual color of the ink. The colors come out a little dull and slightly darker. But then again, this printer was designed to be an office printer. When it comes to standard prints such as text documents or forms that have simple graphics like logos or colored text, this printer is more than sufficient to do its job and costs only about Php 0.26 for a black and white print and around

Php 1.36 for a full-colored print.

We tested the printer to see how quickly it could print out a variety of documents from simple text documents to full color photos. When it came to simple black and white text documents it could spit out around 9 pages per minute (PPM) with the high-speed option turned off and around 35 ppm with the high-speed option turned on. For pages that had a slight mixture of text with colored images, with the high-speed turned off, it printed around 3ppm while on high-speed, around 15 ppm. For full page colored graphics and photos, the printer was able to print out around 2 ppm with the high-speed turned off, and around 0.55 ppm with the high-speed on. In addition to ppm, the click-to-print takes an average 11.2 seconds.

Though printing with the high-speed option on can save you a lot of time, there is a draw back—the detail or accuracy of the printouts degrade with the higher speed applied. Degrading comes in the form of misaligned prints, horizontal and/or vertical banding, loss of color density as well as loss of sharpness in photos and text edges. Using it on high-speed all the time can also shorten the lifespan of the printer.

 

One of the unique features of the printer that could be useful in any office would have to be the back-to-back printing option. The printer can automatically print on both sides of a piece of paper, simplifying the thought process of how to put the paper into the printer properly so that it will print on both sides in the right direction.

The  Epson B-510DN is fitted with two paper trays: a front tray that can hold up to around 500 pieces of paper; and a rear try that can hold up to around 150 pieces of paper. The problem though is that with the dual tray, I had a difficult time printing on certain types of paper, because I had to manually adjust which tray should be used for what—though there is an automatic setting, but that only determines the tray based on the size of the paper, not the type of paper.

In the end this printer is an excellent addition to any office that has a high output volume of documents on a daily basis, because—based on our tests—this printer will last your company a very long time while cutting down the cost of ink and paper.

Specifications
Ink Type: DURABrite Ultra pigment ink
Interface: Desktop: Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Network interface: 100Base-Tx / 10Base-Tx Ethernet
Network Printing Protocol: TCP / IP, LPR, PORT9100
Dimensions (WxDxH): 18.9 inches x 21.6 inches x 12.3 inches
Weight: 24lbs

What’s Hot:
 • High yield ink cartridges
• Fast printing speeds
• Can handle a wide variety of paper types
• Ink doesn’t smear easily
• Can hold up to 650 sheets of paper
• Can automatically print back-to-back
• Save on usage costs

What’s Not:
 • Color isn’t that bright
• Noisy when in high-speed mode
• Confusing paper trays

Bottomline:
The Epson B-510DN is an efficient high-yield business inkjet printer that can save you time and money plus the environment.

Buy Meter: 8.8

[This review originally appeared in the September 2011 issue of Gadgets Magazine]