Epson’s recent EcoTank Pro rollout is a big deal for small-to-midsize offices seeking a bulk-ink all-in-one printer for medium-volume output. Part of this new wave is the EcoTank Pro ET-5880 All-In-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer with PCL Support, the next step up from the Editors’ Choice-winning ET-5850 reviewed here. Aside from a few variations in features, the primary difference between them is that, in addition to Epson’s default printer language, the ET-5880 emulates Adobe PostScript and HP’s printer command language (PCL), which expands the printer’s prowess into the realms of graphics design and desktop publishing (which we’ll look at in some detail shortly). If you or members of your team require graphics and document design- or prepress-friendly output.
The EcoTank Pro ET-5880 specifies at 16.7 by 19.7 by 18.1 inches (HWD) and a neat 39.2 pounds, compared to competing inkjet and midrange color laser models, this slender and relatively light all-in-one packs a lot of productivity into a comparatively small footprint.
Other convenience and productivity features (compared to most other EcoTank and bulk-ink AIOs in general) abound, starting with its 50-page single-pass auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF).
Most midrange printers in this class, including HP’s OfficeJet Pro Premier, previous models MFC-J6945DW, and Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-C5790 (yet another inkjet-based laser alternative), come with auto-duplexing ADFs. Of these three, though, the HP’s ADF holds only 35 pages and is reverse auto-duplexing, meaning that instead of scanning both sides of a two-sided page in one pass, the mechanism must, after scanning the first side, pull the sheet back in, flip it, and then scan the other side.
You can control walk-up tasks, such as scanning to a local drive or the cloud, making copies, or making configuration changes, via the ET-5880’s spacious 4.3-inch color touch screen, which as you can see in the image below, except for power, home, and help buttons, makes up the entire control panel.
When it comes to connecting to computing devices and cloud sites, like most higher-end business-oriented all-in-one printers nowadays, the EcoTank Pro ET-5880 has you covered. Hardware interfaces include Ethernet (up to 100Mbps), connecting to a single PC with USB, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth BLE (Bluetooth Lite Edition). Those last two provide peer-to-peer connections that allow you to connect your smartphones and tablets to the printer without either it or them being part of the same local area network (LAN). You can also print from and scan to USB thumb drives via a port located on the left side of the chassis.