I read the reviews for many different printers, but I chose this brand due to the Unique Micro Piezo Inkjet Print Head Technology developed by Epson and contained in this printer.
This printer appears to be the big brother of the Award Winning WF-3520, and as near as I can tell, the only difference between this printer (WF-3530) and the WF-3540 is that the WF-3540 has a larger touch screen display. The display on this printer (WF-3530) is a little smaller and is not a touch screen, however the Control Panel is perfectly smooth like glass, and all of the buttons appear to be the capacitive touch screen type. Only the active buttons for each function are illuminated and active, so selecting the correct buttons is made much easier for the user.
You may or may not know that most Inkjet printers use a "Thermal" Print Head. These Print Heads use a very fine wire that when powered on, generate heat which in turn causes a bubble to form in the inkjet tube which then forces out a single drop of ink onto the paper. Each drop of ink is exactly the same size. The problem with this technology is that the Ink is used to cool the print head heat element, so if your printer runs out of ink, and the printer continues to attempt to print, the wires in each inkjet tube will get too hot and burn out, leaving you with a permanently damaged print head and a printer that will never work right again unless you replace the expensive Inkjet Print Head. Most thermal print heads are easy to remove from the printer for replacement, but they are expensive.
Epson invented a different way of injecting the ink onto the paper and also controlling the size of each ink droplet (5 different sizes) on a dot by dot basis. This allows more precise printing, possible use of less ink, and most of all, a more durable inkjet print head that should last the life of the printer. Check out this Wiki Page for more information on this Unique Micro Piezo Inkjet Print Head Technology developed by Epson. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_Piezo
The printer arrived quickly and was packaged well. It contained a set of Epson Standard OEM 126 Cartridges (4 total, Black, Magenta, Yellow, Cyan). Note that there is NO USB Cable with this printer. I unboxed it, removed all of the protective packaging, tape and wrap, plugged it in and then followed the Quick Install Guide included with the printer documentation. After turning on the printer, you simply follow the prompts on the color LED Display and wait until instructed to install the ink cartridges. After about 5 minutes of internal priming operations, you are ready to install the software to connect the printer to your PC or Router or Wireless Network. I used the Wireless option and simply used the front panel controls to locate and connect the printer to our home network. Really Simple to connect. Once Connected, I printed a status page that showed all of the details about the status of the printer and the connection to the home network.
Next, I inserted the CD and followed the instructions to install the Printer Driver, Scanner Driver/Interface and Printer Status and Control Panel software and FAX Software on my PC. The software must be installed on every PC that you wish to use the printer with. If you prefer, you can download all of the needed software from Epson's web site and install from a single file. Also, the web site software may be newer than the CD Software included with the printer, so it's a good idea to check and update as needed.
Currently, this printer can use Epson OEM 126 or larger capacity 127 cartridges. Epson uses Pigmented Ink, but this type of ink tends to clog print heads more quickly then Dye Ink does. This is particularly a problem for home users because the printer simply doesn't get used enough to keep the ink flowing without drying out. I have decided to use a Dye Based ink which tends to clog less, and work a little better for us home users.
You can use original Epson Ink in this printer or opt for a generic ink cartridge. My research has led me to several different vendors that can provide a variety of different ink delivery systems in addition to simple replaceable ink cartridges. For heavy users, there is something called CISS or CIS which stands for Continuous Ink Supply System which uses a set of external ink tanks, hose and customized print cartridges to deliver an endless supply of ink to the printer. Others included a refillable cartridge that contains a resettable computer chip on each cartridge, and another solution provides an external reusable shell into which you snap a pre-filled ink tank each time it runs empty. Most vendors offer both Pigment or Dye based inks as well as specialized inks, like edible inks for cake decorators. My experience has been good using ink from a variety of different vendors, and the price is just a fraction of the cost of purchasing Original OEM Epson brand Ink Cartridges. Some have suggested that you disable any automatic Firmware Update functions if you intend to use compatible ink cartridges or CISS systems with printers to insure that they continue working properly. Do your research and find the best ink solution that meets your needs at a reasonable price.
Overall, the printer seems to work well and I'm very happy with the print quality. It is much faster than my prior inkjet printer, and is a few inches taller, but about the same width and depth as my prior single bin all in one 6 year old Canon printer.
The Printer goes to sleep on it's own after a few minutes, and stays asleep until you shoot a print job to it. Once the job is sent, it only takes a few seconds for the printer to wake up and begin printing.
It is strongly recommended that you perform a "Nozzle Check" on the printer about once per week to keep the ink flowing in the printer. This is particularly important for home users that don't use all of the colors frequently. Using the "Cleaning" function of the printer is generally not going to fix a clogged print head, and, in fact, may actually make it worse. Also, Clean uses a lot of ink to try to flush ink through all of the inkjet holes to get things moving again, and it's not unusual to go through a few Cleanings only to find that the problem is worse that it was when you started. If you have a severe clog problem, you will likely have more success using a special cleaning solution and following instructions on you-tube to clean up clogged print heads.
There are many ways to print directly to this Epson Printer from most any device, and from anywhere in the world if you want to go through some additional setup steps. I really don't have a need for these great features, but if you do, the capability is available with this printer.
In summary, I think this is a great value for a Small Office / Home Office (SOHO) Dual Bin Duplex Printing All in One Wireless Printer, and I expect it to last well beyond the 1 year included warranty.
I have recommended this to a friend, and installed it for him last week, so we'll see how these hold up.
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