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Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Mar 30, 2022 at 10:49 am
Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Picture
7.8
Family
7.5
Small/Home Office
8.1
Student
7.6
Black & White
7.5
Photo
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
Yes

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is an all-in-one supertank printer designed for small or home offices. It's nearly identical to the discontinued Epson EcoTank ET-2760, but it doesn't have an SD card slot like the older version does. This printer is similar to other entry-level EcoTank models, with very high page yields, a low cost-per-print, and a flatbed scanner. Unfortunately, it prints slowly, which isn't ideal if you need to produce long, multi-page documents.

Our Verdict

7.8 Family

The Epson ET-2850 is decent for family use. It prints thousands of pages before you need to refill its tanks, and when you need to buy new ink bottles, they're cheap for the number of pages you get out of it. There's a flatbed scanner to scan old pictures, drawings, or pages from a recipe book. However, while it prints very nice photos with lots of detail, it's bad at printing colors accurately, so your photos will look noticeably off from the originals.

Pros
  • Incredibly high page yields.
  • Very low cost-per-print.
  • Great photo printing quality.
Cons
  • Bad color accuracy.
  • Slightly bluish tint to photos.
  • Slow printing speed.
7.5 Small/Home Office

The Epson ET-2850 is okay for small or home offices. Even if you're printing off hundreds of pages a week for your business, it'll take a while before you need to think about buying new ink bottles, thanks to its supertank system. The ink bottles are pretty cheap for what you get out of them, too, which helps you save money in the long run. Unfortunately, it doesn't have an automatic document feeder, so it isn't the best for high-volume scanning. Also, it prints slowly, which isn't ideal if you're on a time crunch.

Pros
  • Incredibly high page yields.
  • Very low cost-per-print.
Cons
  • Slow printing speed.
  • No automatic document feeder.
8.1 Student

The Epson ET-2850 is great for students. You can print hundreds of pages a week and still have enough ink to last you months, which is great if you're handing in lots of essays and reports. It has a flatbed scanner, so you can easily scan any textbook pages or handwritten notes. You can print wirelessly either by connecting to the printer or using the mobile app. Unfortunately, it's slow at printing, so you'll need to be very patient while it prints out your long documents.

Pros
  • Incredibly high page yields.
  • Very low cost-per-print.
  • Supports wireless printing.
Cons
  • Slow printing speed.
7.6 Black & White

The Epson ET-2850 is decent for black and white printing. You can print many thousands of pages before the black ink starts running low, which is great if you print in high volumes for your small business or schoolwork. The high page yield, paired with the inexpensive ink bottle cost, results in a very low cost-per-print. Unfortunately, its printing speed is slow, which is annoying if you often print off long, multi-page reports.

Pros
  • Incredibly high page yields.
  • Very low cost-per-print.
Cons
  • Slow printing speed.
  • No automatic document feeder.
7.5 Photo

The Epson ET-2850 is decent for photos. While its photos look nicely detailed, the printer is bad at printing colors accurately, so your photos won't look the way you see them on your screen. On the bright side, its cost-per-print is very low for photos, since the ink bottles are cheap and you don't have to replace them too often.

Pros
  • Incredibly high page yields.
  • Very low cost-per-print.
  • Great photo printing quality.
Cons
  • Bad color accuracy.
  • Slightly bluish tint to photos.
  • Can't print 2" x 3" photos.
  • 7.8 Family
  • 7.5 Small/Home Office
  • 8.1 Student
  • 7.6 Black & White
  • 7.5 Photo
  1. Updated Sep 08, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Updated Aug 25, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  3. Updated Mar 30, 2022: Review published.
  4. Updated Mar 24, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850's body is cheap-feeling plastic, but it still feels somewhat sturdy. There's a lid dampener that holds the flatbed scanner open and closes the lid slowly without you needing to guide it down at all. However, while the ink tanks are easy to reach, you need to lift the flatbed to open the ink tank cover. It's different from the Epson EcoTank ET-2800, which lets you remove the ink tank cover without needing to move any other parts out of the way.

Design
Dimensions
Height 7.2" (18.4 cm)
Width 14.8" (37.5 cm)
Depth 13.5" (34.4 cm)
Height When In Use
9.9" (25.2 cm)
Width When In Use
14.8" (37.5 cm)
Depth When In Use
22.0" (55.8 cm)
Weight
12.5 lbs (5.6 kg)

The weight written above includes the ink since these measurements are from after the Epson ET-2850's tanks were filled.

6.0
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Expected
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

Like all inkjet printers, the Epson ET-2850 requires some maintenance to help with clogging issues. It has some helpful built-in maintenance tasks, like printhead cleaning, power cleaning, printhead alignment, printhead nozzle check, and paper guide cleaning. It's easy to reach the ink tanks, but you need to lift the scanner first to open the ink tank cover. They're simple to refill since the nozzle of each bottle is designed to fit only with its corresponding tank, so you won't need to worry about accidentally refilling the wrong tank. The process can be messy, but at least you don't need to do it often, thanks to its incredibly high page yields. The paper tray can only hold 100 pages, so you have to add paper if you print many long documents. Note that once you refill the tanks, you need to reset the ink level counter each time since the printer can't measure exactly how much ink you have left. The sheet rollers are accessible by removing a panel at the back or by lifting the flatbed scanner.

After sitting unused for nearly two months, the magenta and cyan printheads were clogged. It took four printhead cleanings in a row and letting the printer rest for 12 hours before the printheads worked as intended. That said, you won't experience this amount of clogging if you use your printer regularly.

6.0
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
1.5" (3.7 cm)
Touchscreen No

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850's display screen is small and isn't a touchscreen. It has good viewing angles whether you're sitting or standing, and you can tilt the entire display panel up if needed.

10
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
3
Black Cartridge Model
T502 Black
Tested Black Page Yield
374 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
7,106 prints
Color Cartridge Model
T502 Multi-Color
Tested Color Page Yield
186 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
3,957 prints
Third Party Cartridge
No Cartridges
Ink Type
Dye And Pigment
High Yield Cartridge
No Cartridge

The Epson ET-2850 yields an incredible number of pages thanks to its supertank system. Instead of using small, traditional cartridges, it has four tanks that you refill yourself with ink bottles. However, supertanks don't have an ink level sensor, so they don't know the exact ink levels left. Instead, it monitors ink usage internally to estimate when the ink levels run low, meaning you’ll have to keep an eye on the ink levels and manually reset the printer settings when you choose to refill the tanks. Make sure you don't let the ink levels run too low, as this could introduce air bubbles into the print tubes and damage the printheads.

The cyan ink yields significantly more pages than either magenta or yellow. While it isn't clear why this is the case, it's perfect if you print many blue-colored images often for a graphic design project using a specific palette or for landscape photos that feature the sky or ocean.

6.1
Design
Scanner Features
Scanner
Flatbed
ADF Capacity
N/A
Scan Speed
1 PPM
Duplex Scanning
No
Max Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
Max ADF Scan Size
No ADF
Flatbed Hinge Adjustability
0.00" (0 mm)
Fax
No
Copy
Yes
OCR Included
Software

Exactly like the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 it replaces, the Epson ET-2850 has a flatbed scanner and no automatic document feeder. The Epson Scan 2 software lets you scan your documents as a searchable PDF, letting you easily search and copy the text in your scans. If you need an automatic document feeder, check out the Epson EcoTank ET-3850.

7.0
Design
Scan Quality
Max Scan Resolution
1,200 DPI
Max Scan Color Depth
24Bit

The Epson ET-2850's default scanning resolution is 200DPI; this is enough for text-only documents, but the letters look a little blurry. If you want sharper-looking text, you can increase the resolution to a maximum of 1200DPI.

Design
In The Box

  • Start here guide
  • Setup CD-ROM
  • Power cord
  • Epson T502 bottles
    • 1x black
    • 1x cyan
    • 1x magneta
    • 1x yellow

Design
Battery
Advertised Battery Life
N/A
Tested Charging Time
N/A
Document
8.0
Document
Black & White Documents
Color Ink Needed For Black & White
Yes
7.5
Document
Color Documents
10
Document
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
19.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
38.95 US$
Black-Only Printing Cost
0.003 US$/print
Color Printing Cost
0.010 US$/print
Photo Printing Cost
0.026 US$/print
Ink Subscription
No

The Epson ET-2850's cost-per-print is very low, thanks to its high page yield and inexpensive ink bottle cost.

6.1
Document
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
8 PPM
Color Document
4 PPM
Photo Printing Time
100.0 s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
15.0 s
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
100 pages

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850's print speed is similar to other EcoTank printers. It's slow at printing, which isn't great if you have a 50-page report to print. Also, it takes time to print a single page after the printer goes unused for an hour.

Document
Document Printing Sizes
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") No
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Max Paper Weight
297 g/m²

The Epson ET2850 supports most standard paper sizes. You can also set custom sizes where the width can be between 3.5” and 8.5”, and the length can be between 5” and 47.24”.

Photo
8.0
Photo
Color Gamut

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 prints a wide range of colors. You can see the zigzag line throughout the photo, but it gets a bit lost in both extremities, like the red-to-pink and orange-to-red sections. It means the printer struggles with printing highly saturated colors in these hues. The black transition into color is smooth, and it has a nice dark tint, though it's bluer than it should be. The transition from white to color and between colors are good, but they're a bit grainy.

4.0
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
11.24

The Epson ET-2850 has bad color accuracy. It isn't an issue when adding color to a report or assignment. However, it won't be good enough for photos since most colors look different from their originals. Also, the bottom left corner of the color grid has a yellow spot where ink leaked during printing. It only happened on two printed pages, so it shouldn't happen to you often. If you have this printer and experience this problem, let us know in the discussions!

8.5
Photo
Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
4800 x 1200
9.5
Photo
Photo Printing Sizes
Glossy Paper (4" x 6") Yes
Glossy Paper (5" x 7") Yes
Glossy Paper (8" x 10") Yes
Glossy Paper (8.5" x 11") Yes
Glossy Paper (13" x 19") No
Borderless Printing
Yes
Mobile App And Connectivity
7.0
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
No
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
Yes
External Storage Support
No
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

Unlike the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 it replaces, the Epson ET-2850 doesn't have an SD card slot.

10
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App
Mobile App Yes
App Name Epson Smart Panel
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Android and iOS
PDF
Android and iOS
Microsoft Office Files
Android Only
Text Files (TXT)
Android Only
Webpages (HTML)
Android and iOS

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is compatible with the Epson Smart Panel app, available on iOS and Android. You can print, scan, and copy from the app, and you can also check ink levels and start a printhead cleaning. There are also some extra features, like Access to Class, which lets you print assignments and documents from Google Classroom, and there's the Creative Print and Epson Gallery website for artistic prints or printing on different media formats. There's also a Guest Connection feature that creates a QR code that lets your friends easily connect to your printer. However, some file types don't work on Apple devices. The formatting messes up when you print through the app, but you can still use Apple AirPrint without issue.

Mobile App And Connectivity
OS Compatibility
Windows Fully
macOS Fully
Chrome OS Fully

You need to manually install drivers to print on Windows. While there's no printing app, there's a maintenance tab in the Printing Preferences that lets you access printhead cleanings. You don't need to install drivers for macOS or Chrome OS to print and scan from the Epson EcoTank ET-2850.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 in white, but it's also available in black. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is an all-in-one supertank printer that replaces the Epson EcoTank ET-2760. It's nearly identical, but the updated version doesn't have an SD card slot. The Epson ET-2850's page yields and cost-per-print are similar to other EcoTank models, but its photo printing quality is much nicer, so it's a better choice than others if you like printing pictures.

See our recommendations for the best home printers, the best cheap ink printers, and the best all-in-one printers.

Epson EcoTank ET-3850

The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is the step-up model of the Epson EcoTank ET-2850. They're very similar, but the ET-3850 has more helpful features for a small office, like a larger display screen, an automatic document feeder, and an Ethernet port. It also has a higher page yield and a faster printing speed.

Epson Expression ET-2750

The Epson Expression ET-2750 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are very similar printers. Both are supertanks, but the ET-2850 yields slightly more pages, so you can print another thousand black pages and hundred color pages before you need to refill the tanks. Otherwise, they perform very similarly, but the ET-2750 is discontinued, so it's much harder to find in stock.

Epson EcoTank ET-2800

The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are similar supertank printers. The biggest difference is that the ET-2850 prints more black pages and can print double-sided sheets automatically. In contrast, on the ET-2800, you need to flip over the sheets manually when the printer prompts you. However, the ET-2800 has much better color accuracy, so the colors in your photos will look more like the originals.

Epson EcoTank ET-4800

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 and the Epson EcoTank ET-4800 are both supertank printers in the same price range, but they have different strengths. The ET-2850 is a better choice if you print in black a lot since it can print thousands more pages. Also, it prints double-sided automatically, while on the ET-4800, you need to flip over the sheets yourself. The ET-4800 has an Ethernet port, an automatic document feeder, and built-in fax, meaning it's a better choice if you need these features for your office work.

Canon PIXMA G6020

The Canon PIXMA G6020 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are both supertank printers. If you print monochrome documents most often, the Epson is a better choice. It prints thousands more black pages than the Canon, so you won't have to refill the tank as often. On the other hand, the Canon can print more color pages. This, paired with its lower ink bottle cost, gives it a lower cost-per-print for color printing and photos. It's also much faster at printing photos.

Epson EcoTank ET-3760

The Epson EcoTank ET-3760 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are very similar printers, but the ET-3760 has more features. It has an automatic document feeder, a faster printing speed, and an Ethernet port. Also, it can print more color pages. On the other hand, the ET-2850 has better photo printing quality, and it's easier to find in stock since the ET-3760 is discontinued.

Epson EcoTank ET-2760

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is the newer model of the Epson EcoTank ET-2760. The two printers are nearly identical, but the ET-2760 has more features. It has an SD card slot that was removed on the ET-2850, and it has a higher page yield for both black and color pages. On the other hand, the ET-2850 has better photo printing quality. Also, it's easier to find in stock since the ET-2760 is discontinued.

Canon PIXMA G3260

The Canon PIXMA G3260 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 both use a supertank system, but they have different strengths. The Canon yields far more color pages, supports much heavier media like cardstock and magnetic photo paper, and it's faster at printing photos. While its printed images have more banding than the Epson's, it has much more accurate colors, so your photos will look truer to reality. On the other hand, the Epson is better if you primarily print black-and-white documents. It has a higher black page yield, and it can print double-sided sheets automatically, so you don't need to flip them over yourself like you do with the Canon.

HP Smart Tank Plus 551

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 and the HP Smart Tank Plus 551 are both supertank printers, and they have different strengths. The HP can print many more color pages, giving it a lower cost-per-print, even though its color ink bottles cost a bit more than the Epson's. On the other hand, the Epson can print many more black pages, which makes it a better choice if you print a lot of monochrome reports and essays. Also, it can print double-sided automatically, whereas you need to flip over the sheets manually on the HP.

Canon PIXMA G7020

The Canon PIXMA G7020 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are both supertank inkjet printers, but the Canon performs better overall. The Canon is a better choice if you need to scan often since it has an automatic document feeder. Also, it prints much more accurate colors, making your photos look better than they would on the Epson. While the Canon doesn't print as many black pages as the Epson, the slightly lower ink bottle costs help keep its black cost-per-print identical to the Epson's, meaning you won't save more with one or the other if you mostly print in monochrome.

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are very similar supertanks. They perform similarly, but ET-2850 is newer and better overall. It yields more black pages, so you won't have to refill the tank as frequently if you print a lot, and it prints a bit faster. It can print double-sided sheets automatically, meaning you don't need to run two print jobs to print on the second side like you do with the ET-2720. Also, it can print on much heavier paper, like light cardstock or heat transfer paper, making it a better choice for crafts.

Brother MFC-J4335DW

The Brother MFC-J4335DW and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are both good options for a home office. If you scan often for work, the Brother is a better choice since it has an automatic document feeder that scans very quickly. Also, it prints much faster, and it has an Ethernet port if you want to plug it directly into your router for a more reliable connection. On the other hand, if you print often, the Epson is a better choice. It has much higher page yields, and its ink bottle costs are much cheaper than the Brother's cartridge prices.

Epson EcoTank ET-4700

The Epson EcoTank ET-4700 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are very similar supertank printers. The ET-2850 is a better choice if you print a lot since its page yields are much higher, especially for black-only documents. Also, it prints double-sided automatically, while on the ET-4700, you need to flip over the sheets yourself. However, the ET-4700 has an Ethernet port, an automatic document feeder, and built-in fax, meaning it's a better choice if you need these features for your office work.

Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5180

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5180 is much better than the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 for most uses. The ET-5180 yields significantly more color pages and prints faster. It also has more features like duplex scanning capability and more connectivity options. The ET-2850 prints better quality photos, but the ET-5180 is more color-accurate.

Brother MFC-J4535DW

The Brother MFC-J4535DW and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are both designed for home offices. The Brother is a better choice for scanning tasks since it has an automatic document feeder that scans very quickly. Also, it prints much faster, and it has an Ethernet port if you want to plug it directly into your router for a more reliable connection. On the other hand, the Epson has a much higher page yield thanks to its large tanks. This helps give it a much lower cost-per-print, especially since the ink bottles cost much less than the Brother's cartridges.

Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is a bit better than the Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank. The Epson prints significantly more pages, and since its ink bottles cost much cheaper than the Brother's cartridges, it has a much lower cost-per-print. On the other hand, if you often need to scan many documents in a row, the Brother is a better choice since it has an automatic document feeder. However, the Brother is discontinued, so it's much harder to find available.

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

The Epson EcoTank ET-15000 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are both supertank printers. The ET-15000 has an automatic document feeder for quicker scanning, built-in fax, and an Ethernet port if you want to plug it directly into your computer, so it's a better option if you need these features for your office. It also prints much faster, and its paper tray holds more paper. On the other hand, the ET-2850 has a much higher black page yield, and its color page yield is only slightly lower than the ET-15000, so it doesn't make a drastic difference in cost-per-print.

Brother MFC-J1205W

The Brother MFC-J1205W is a good budget inkjet printer, but it doesn't yield as many pages as the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 does. The Epson prints thousands more pages than the Brother does, giving it a much lower cost-per-print. The ink bottle costs are also a bit cheaper than the Brother's cartridges, which also helps keep those running costs lower. Also, the Epson can print double-sided automatically, so you don't need to flip over the sheets manually. On the other hand, the Brother prints nicer-looking photos with much more accurate colors.

Brother MFC-J995DW

The Brother MFC-J995DW and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are both good home office options. The Brother takes much less time to scan documents thanks to its automatic document feeder, so it's a good choice if you scan often for work. Also, its photos look much nicer since it handles colors much better than the Epson. On the other hand, the Epson yields significantly more pages, so it's a better choice if you primarily only print documents, both in color and black-only.

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