Epson Rolls Out Printers for the Smallest SMBs

By Lauren Simonds | Posted August 20, 2008
Quickly following the July announcement of its B-300 and the B-500DN inkjet printers, Epson continues it drive into small business printing with four new models specifically aimed at micro-businesses ‑ that's the term Epson (and other industry types) use to define companies with fewer than five employees.

The new WorkForce line includes two all-in-one printers with scan, print, copy fax and ‑ in one model ‑ photo-print capabilities, plus two dedicated, single-function printers for companies looking for high-volume print capabilities.

In a company statement, R. Craig Allen, a product manager for Epson's consumer inkjet division, elaborated on what these new printers bring to the smallest of small businesses, including freelancers and home-based businesses. "The WorkForce suite provides printing, scanning and image output tools that are critical for this unique consumer to look professional and remain competitive."

Here's how the WorkForce fleet breaks down in terms of features, pricing and availability.

WorkForce 600 (all-in-one print, scan, copy and fax)

Epson calls the 600 its flagship model, and it claims to print twice as fast as "competitive models." Company data sheets list the print speed at up to 27 ppm for black text and up to 19 ppm for color text in default, normal printing mode. Epson also describes the resulting print text as "laser-quality."

Other features include built-in Wi-Fi and wired networking, a 2.5-inch tilt LCD screen and a built-in 30-page automatic document feeder for copy, scan and fax speeds of as little as three seconds per page. It also accepts Epson's extra high-capacity black ink cartridges, which help reduce overall cost-per-page.

The 600 comes with a two-year limited warranty, and Epson said that registered WorkForce owners receive free lifetime phone support (without charge) even beyond the warranty period. Epson estimates the printer's street price at $199.99. It's available starting this month.


 The Epson WorkForce 600
The WorkForce 600, the flagship in Epson's new line of all-in-one and single-function printers, targets companies with fewer than five employees.

WorkForce 500 (all-in-one print, scan, copy, fax and photo printing)

Epson refers to the 500 as a "personal business and photo center). The 500 comes with built-in 30-page ADF, duplex (double-sided) print capability, faxing speeds at up to three seconds per page, and print speeds of up to 33 ppm in both black and color.

The 500's data sheet indicates the 2.5-inch tilt LCD screen is designed to let you view and edit images, and the built-in memory card slots and PictBridge support let you transfer files and print images with or without a computer.

Epson estimates the street price for the Workforce 500 at $129.99, and it's available starting this month.

WorkForce 30 and the WorkForce 40

Epson said it designed both of these inkjet printers for people who need fast, volume printing for increased productivity. The WorkForce 30 claims print speeds up to 27 ppm in laser-quality black and up to 11 ppm in color in default mode. Other features include duplex printing, and a dual-cartridge black ink system. Note: the WofkForce 30 does not come with networking capability.

The WorkFoce 40 provides print speeds of up to 27 ppm in laser-quality black and up to 19 ppm color. It also comes with both Wi-Fi and wired network capabilities, and it can accept Epson's extra high-capacity black ink cartridges.

Epson estimates the WorkForce 30's street price at $69.99 and is available this month, while the WorkForce 40 comes in at $129.99 and will be available in September.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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