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Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Review updated Mar 13, 2024 at 02:04 pm
Latest change: Writing modified May 09, 2024 at 11:24 am
Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Picture
7.8
Family
7.5
Small/Home Office
8.1
Student
7.6
Black & White
7.5
Photo

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is an all-in-one printer designed for small or home offices. It replaces the now-discontinued Epson EcoTank ET-2760 and is similar in design and performance, with one difference: there's no SD card slot like its predecessor. It has USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, an 8.5x11 flatbed scanner, and a 100-sheet input tray. It supports duplex printing but not duplex scanning since it lacks an automatic feeder.

Our Verdict

7.8 Family

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is very good for family use. It can print thousands of pages before you need to refill its tanks, and replacement ink is cheap. There's a flatbed scanner to scan old pictures, drawings, or pages from a recipe book. However, while it prints very sharp, detailed photos, color accuracy is poor, so most images won't necessarily come out looking like the original.

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

The Epson ET-2850 is good for small or home offices. Its supertank system ensures that you can print hundreds of pages a week without buying new ink bottles, which are pretty cheap given the number of pages you can print from a refill. 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.
  • Good document printing quality.
Cons
  • Slow printing speed.
  • No automatic document feeder.
8.1 Student

The Epson EcoTank 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 printed essays and reports. It has a flatbed scanner, so you can easily scan textbook pages or handwritten notes. You can print wirelessly by either 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.
  • Good document printing quality.
Cons
  • Slow printing speed.
7.6 Black & White

The Epson ET-2850 is good for black-and-white printing. You can print 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. Document quality is also pretty sharp. Unfortunately, its printing speed is slow, which is annoying if you often print long, multi-page reports.

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

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is good for photos. While it has a wide color gamut and prints nicely detailed photos, its color accuracy is poor, with some images having a decidedly bluish tone and many shades being reproduced inaccurately. On the bright side, its cost-per-print is very low because the ink tank yields a large number of prints, and replacement ink is cheap.

Pros
  • Incredibly high page yields.
  • Very low cost-per-print.
  • Great photo printing quality.
Cons
  • Bad color accuracy.
  • Can't print 2x3 photos.
  • 7.8 Family
  • 7.5 Small/Home Office
  • 8.1 Student
  • 7.6 Black & White
  • 7.5 Photo
  1. Updated May 09, 2024: Added mention of the Canon MegaTank MAXIFY GX2020/GX1020 as an alternative with an ADF in the Scanner Features section.
  2. Updated Mar 13, 2024: We've updated the review for clarity and conciseness.
  3. Updated Mar 22, 2023: We've updated the text in the review to account for the new or updated tests in Printer Test Bench 1.1 and Printer Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Updated Mar 09, 2023: Added mention of the Epson EcoTank ET-4850 as an alternative with better scan quality in the Scan Quality section.
  5. Updated Sep 08, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  6. Updated Aug 25, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  7. Updated Mar 30, 2022: Review published.
  8. Updated Mar 24, 2022: Early access published.
  9. Updated Jan 27, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  10. Updated Jan 26, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  11. Updated Oct 02, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

There are two color variants of the Epson EcoTank ET-2850: 'Black' and 'White.' We tested the 'White' variant. There's also an Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Special Edition variant, which is a Costco exclusive that comes with an additional bottle of black ink.

See our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is a good inkjet printer compared to other models in its class. It stands out for its wide color range, high page yields, and low cost-per-print. However, its slow print speeds might be a dealbreaker for some. Also, although it produces good-quality documents, you can find lower-end models that perform better.

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

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-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, an automatic document feeder, and an Ethernet port. It also has higher page yields and faster printing speed.

Epson EcoTank ET-2800/ET-2803

The Epson EcoTank ET-2800/ET-2803 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are very similar supertank printers. The biggest difference is that the ET-2850 prints more black pages and can print double-sided sheets automatically. However, the ET-2800 has much better color accuracy and produces more fine details in photos. It also produces higher-quality scans.

Epson EcoTank ET-4850

The Epson EcoTank ET-4850 is much better than the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 for most uses. The ET-4850 has a sturdier build and a better display. It also has an automatic feeder and Ethernet connectivity, both of which the ET-2850 lacks. The ET-4850 produces higher-quality black-and-white documents and scans, prints faster, and yields slightly more pages.

Epson EcoTank ET-4800/ET-4810

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 and the Epson EcoTank ET-4800/ET-4810 are both supertank printers in the same price range but 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 capabilities, meaning it's a better choice if you need these features for your office work.

Epson EcoTank ET-2840 Special Edition

The Epson EcoTank ET-2840 Special Edition is better than the Epson EcoTank ET-2850. The ET-2840 SE produces higher-quality scans and black-and-white prints. It also has much better color accuracy. It prints faster than the ET-2850; however, unlike the ET-2850, it doesn't support automatic duplex printing, meaning you'll have to flip the pages manually when printing double-sided sheets.

Epson EcoTank ET-2400

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is better than the Epson EcoTank ET-2400 for most uses. The 2850 feels a little better built, has a display screen, supports automatic double-sided printing, and offers a broader range of wireless connectivity options, including Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service. However, the ET-2400 is a little easier to maintain, is capable of printing faster, and prints sharper images with better color accuracy and a wider color gamut.

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. It also prints much faster. 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.

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 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 (manual) and more connectivity options. The ET-2850 prints better-quality photos, but the ET-5180 is more color-accurate.

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.

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.

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.

Canon PIXMA G3260/G3262

The Canon PIXMA G3260/G3262 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 is 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.

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 less 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 capabilities, 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.

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 a 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.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e

The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e is better than the Epson EcoTank ET-2850. The HP feels better built, has a larger touch-sensitive display, and is capable of printing sharper, more detailed documents substantially faster. The HP is also a faster scanner capable of automatically processing double-sided documents. On the other hand, the Epson is the better buy for value-conscious consumers, as its supertank design allows for a much greater page yield. Combined with the relatively inexpensive ink refills, the cost-per-print is significantly less than the HP.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9135e

Although both are all-in-one inkjet models, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9135e and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are very different. The HP is a more office-oriented printer with features like an automatic feeder, duplex scanning, and Ethernet connectivity. It also produces sharper documents and prints faster. On the other hand, the Epson has a wider color range and a higher print resolution, allowing it to produce more detailed and colorful photos. The Epson is also a supertank model that yields significantly more prints, making it cheaper to maintain.

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 capabilities, meaning it's a better choice if you need these features for your office work.

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 are very similar supertanks. They perform similarly, but the 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-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.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.5
Design
Build Quality
Type All in One

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850's body is made of cheap-feeling plastic, but it still feels somewhat sturdy. The power cord is removable, making it easy to replace if damaged, and there's a dampener to prevent the flatbed scanner from slamming down. The ink tanks are easy to reach, but you need to lift the flatbed to open the ink tank cover. It's different from the Epson EcoTank ET-2800/ET-2803, which lets you remove the ink tank cover without moving 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 includes the ink, as we took these measurements after filling the printer's tanks.

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

Like all inkjet printers, the printheads can clog if you don't print for a while. If you experience print quality issues, there are a few built-in maintenance functions that can help resolve them, like printhead cleaning, printhead alignment, printhead nozzle check, power cleaning, and paper guide cleaning. It's easy to reach the ink tanks for refills; you just need to lift the scanner first to open the ink tank cover. Refilling the tanks is straightforward since the ink bottle have keyed nozzles that only fit 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. 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. The paper tray can only hold 100 pages, so you have to add paper if you print many long documents.

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.

See the user guide here.

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

The display is passable. It's small but easy to see, whether you're sitting or standing. You can adjust the panel's tilt to improve visibility if needed. The physical control buttons are clicky and responsive.

10
Design
Cartridge
Technology Inkjet
SuperTank
Yes
Photo Cartridge
No
Color Yes
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

This printer yields an incredible number of pages thanks to its supertank system. There's no ink level sensor to precisely measure the remaining ink. Instead, the printer monitors ink usage internally to estimate when the ink levels run low, meaning you'll have to keep an eye on the ink levels to avoid completely emptying the tank, as doing so could introduce air bubbles into the print tubes and damage the printheads. You'll have to manually reset the ink levels when you refill the tanks. The printer will continue printing even when it's out of ink. While there's no formal warning for low ink levels, you will receive this reminder once ink levels drop roughly below a quarter full.

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

The OCR (optical character recognition) feature is software-based, meaning you need to install the Epson Scan 2 software to use it, and you can only initiate an OCR scan from your computer. If you need an automatic document feeder, check out the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 or the Canon MegaTank MAXIFY GX2020/GX1020.

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

The scan quality is decent. All text is legible, if a little blurry, but finer details and thinner lines are very hard to see. The image processing significantly boosts the contrast and color saturation, which you may or may not like.

Design
In The Box

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

The print quality of black-and-white documents is great. Printed text looks sharp, and all of the fine details are present and easily visible. However, white text within a gray background is hard to read.

7.5
Document
Color Documents

The print quality of color documents is good. Text looks sharp and clear, but finer details look faint, like the lines in the graph, and the colors are a tad washed out.

Note: There's some ink leakage at the top right of the second sample image.

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 cost-per-print is very low, thanks to this printer's high page yield and inexpensive ink bottle refills.

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 photo printing speed is particularly slow compared to most inkjet models.

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

This printer can print on A5 paper, but you need to set a custom size to do so. You can set custom sizes with a width of 3.5" to 8.5" and a length of 5" to 47.24".

Photo
8.0
Photo
Color Gamut

This printer has a great color gamut. It mainly struggles with bright, highly saturated tones and darker shades of green. Color transitions are a bit grainy but still better than most office inkjet printers.

4.0
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
11.24

The Epson ET-2850 has bad color accuracy. While this isn't an issue when adding color to a report or assignment, it is if you print photos regularly. Printed images are colorful, but most shades look drastically different from how they appear in the original image, especially browns, greens, and blues.

8.5
Photo
Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
4800 x 1200

This printer does an amazing job of reproducing fine details in images. The halftones (dot effect) aren't overly distracting, though they soften the edges of objects.

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

The Epson ET-2850 supports borderless printing, but there might be a slight loss in print quality.

Mobile App And Connectivity
7.0
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
No
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Wireless Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
Yes
External Storage Support
No
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes
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 Smart Panel app is feature-rich. It lets you print, scan, copy, check ink levels, and start a printhead cleaning. Some extra features include Access to Class, which lets you print assignments and documents from Google Classroom, and the Creative Print and Epson Gallery website lets you access artistic prints or printing on different media formats. A Guest Connection feature creates a QR code so your friends can easily connect to the printer. Microsoft Office and text files don't appear properly on the iOS version of the app, as the app alters the formatting, so you'll have to print them in whichever app you use to view those files.

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

You don't need to install drivers on macOS and Chrome OS devices, but you do on Windows devices, which you can get here. While there's no printing app, there's a maintenance tab in the Printing Preferences that lets you access printhead cleanings.