The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is an all-in-one supertank inkjet printer compatible with Epson's T502 ink. It connects via Wi-Fi, USB, or Ethernet, supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service, and is compatible with the Epson Smart Panel mobile app. Its scanner is equipped with an automatic feeder but doesn't support duplex scanning or lacks fax functionality. It has a 250-sheet input tray and supports automatic double-sided printing.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is great for family use. It has plenty of connectivity options, making it easily accessible to everyone in the household, and it doesn't cost much to maintain because the ink tanks yield a large number of prints, and replacement ink is cheap. As for its print quality, documents look very sharp, and photos look detailed and colorful, albeit grainy and not particularly color-accurate. Unfortunately, it's slow to print color documents and photos, so you may have to wait a while if you have many people in the house sharing the printer.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is very good for small or home offices. It produces high-quality documents, and its ink tank yields an incredible amount of black or color pages, which is great for offices that print a lot. It prints black documents fairly quickly, but sadly, it's slow with color documents. Also, it doesn't support duplex scanning, so you'll have to scan double-sided sheets manually.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is excellent for students. Thanks to its supertank system, it has outstanding page yields for both color and black-only documents, resulting in a very low cost-per-print. It also has a flatbed scanner with extendable lid hinges so you can fit thicker items like textbooks. On the downside, it takes a little while for the printer to initialize and print the first page after inactivity.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is great for printing black and white documents. It produces sharp-looking documents, and thanks to its supertank system, you can print at high volume without worrying about maintenance costs. While its printing speeds are decent, it does take a bit of time for the printer to warm up and produce a page after a period of inactivity.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is good for photo printing. It produces very small details and a wide range of colors, but the photos look grainy, and the colors aren't very accurate. The main benefit with this printer is its low maintenance cost, as the ink tank yield a lot of prints, and the ink bottles are cheap. Unfortunately, it prints very slowly, taking around a minute and a half to print a 4" x 6" photo.
We tested the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 in white. It's also available in black in some regions. There's also a Walmart-exclusive variant, the Epson EcoTank ET-3843, and a Costco-exclusive variant, the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 SE. Both variants are identical in features and performance to the ET-3850. The only difference is that the Costco variant comes with two additional bottles of black ink.
You can see our unit's label here.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is a good printer overall. Its ink tank yields a very large number of prints, even compared to other supertank in its class, making it one of the best options for high-volume printing. It also has a great color gamut compared to other similar printers, but it produces photos with a lot of grain.
For more options, check out our recommendations for the best Epson printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best inkjet printers.
The Epson Ecotank ET-4850 is almost identical to the Epson EcoTank ET-3850. The only difference is that the ET-4850 has a touch-sensitive display and a dampener to prevent the scanner bed from slamming shut.
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.
The Canon PIXMA G7020 and the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 are both supertank printers that offer outstanding page yields and a low cost-per-print. The only differences are that the Epson prints faster and produces higher-quality scans. The Canon has better color accuracy, but not significantly.
The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 and the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 are both all-in-one supertank printers, but the ET-3850 performs better overall. The ET-3850 has higher page yields for both black and color documents, faster printing speeds, an automatic document feeder, and Ethernet connectivity. On the other hand, the ET-2800 produces better-looking photos with more details and better color accuracy.
The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 and the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 are both all-in-one inkjet printers with a refillable ink tank. The main difference is that the ET-8550 is a photo printer but can also serve as an office printer, while the ET-3850 is an office printer that can print good-quality photos. If you want the best photo printing quality, the ET-8550 is a better choice as it has a wider color range and better color accuracy. Otherwise, the ET-3850 is better for everyday use. It has an automatic document feeder, which the ET-8550 lacks, and it's more cost-effective because it yields more prints, and its replacement ink is cheaper.
The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 are two all-in-one supertank printers, but the ET-5850 performs much better overall. The ET-5850 has faxing abilities, and its ADF can perform duplex scanning. Also, it has significantly faster print speeds, produces higher quality photos, and its colors are much more accurate-looking. On the other hand, the ET-3850 yields significantly more pages for both color and black only documents.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 and the Epson EcoTank ET-4800 are very similar supertank printers, with a few differences. The ET-3850 has a larger display, much higher page yields, and faster printing speeds. Also, the ET-3850 can print double-sided automatically, whereas you need to flip over the sheets manually with the ET-4800. On the other hand, the ET-4800 has built-in fax and prints photos with better detail and color accuracy.
The Canon PIXMA G6020 and the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 are both supertank printers with an outstanding cost-per-print. However, they have some slight differences. The Epson has an automatic document feeder to easily scan multi-page documents and prints faster overall. It also produces better quality documents and scans, and its black page yield is significantly higher. On the other hand, the Canon has a higher page yield for color documents.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is the successor to the Epson EcoTank ET-3760. Both printers perform very similarly. The only notable difference is that the ET-3850 has higher page yields for both black and color documents and a larger input tray capacity.
The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5180 and the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 are both all-in-one supertank inkjet printers. The main difference is that the ET-5180 is a higher-end model with slightly more features, like duplex scanning and fax functionality. Also, its scanner can process more pages per minute through the automatic feeder.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 feels relatively well-built. The body feels sturdy, but the automatic document feeder on top feels a bit thin and flimsy, and it squeaks when moved. The design is fairly user-friendly, as it allows easy access to the ink tanks and paper jams. The main complaint is that the scanner’s lid doesn’t have a dampener, so it'll slam shut if you don’t raise it slowly and make sure it’s in the locked position. It’s also difficult to get the lid to lock in that open position.
Like most inkjet printers, the Epson EcoTank ET-3850's printheads can clog if you don't print for a long time. There are a few maintenance functions built in to resolve any clogging or print quality issues, like printhead cleaning, power cleaning, printhead alignment, and nozzle check. There's also a paper guide cleaning, which helps remove the build-up of dust that could smear prints as they pass through the paper feeders. The printhead cleaning task usually resolves clogging issues, although you may have to do it repeatedly to get good results. There's a maintenance box that collects ink flushed during printhead cleanings, which you eventually need to replace. There's a feature in the menu that lets you see when the maintenance box is full.
As for ink refill, you won't need to do it often since the ink tanks yield a large number of prints. You just need to keep an eye on the ink levels and not let them get too low because doing so can introduce air bubbles into the tubes and damage the printer. Refilling the tank is easy; you only need to lift the scanner to access the ink tank's cover. For paper jams, you can access the sheet rollers through a panel on the back of the printer or by lifting the automatic feeder's cover. The input tray holds 250 sheets of paper, which is a pretty good size, so you likely won't need to refill the tray all that often.
You can see the user manual here.
The Epson ET-3850 has an okay display. It's easy to see whether you're sitting or standing, and you can also tilt the front panel to improve visibility. However, it's hard to see from the side. It isn’t touch-sensitive, and there’s no numeric keypad, so entering in passwords to connect the printer to Wi-Fi can be tedious as you have to use the arrow keys to navigate.
The Epson ET-3850 has four refillable ink tanks that yield a large number of prints, making it a great choice for high-volume printing. You can easily see the ink levels from the front of the printer, which is good because this printer doesn't have an ink level sensor. It only monitors ink usage internally to provide an estimate, which means you'll have to keep an eye on your ink levels and manually reset the ink levels in the printer settings when you refill the tanks. As noted in the maintenance section, letting the ink levels run too low or emptying the tank can introduce air bubbles into the print tubes and damage the printer.
As for specific color yields, the cyan ink yields significantly more pages than either magenta or yellow. While the reason behind this isn’t clear, it’s good to know if you intend to print blue-colored images often for a graphic design project using a specific palette or for landscape photos that feature the sky or ocean.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 has decent scanning features. Its automatic feeder is on the slower side and doesn't support duplex scanning, but it's still more convenient than scanning each page manually. Its optical character recognition feature allows you to save your scans as PDFs for quick keyword searches. It works well but misspells words at times.
The scan quality is outstanding. The scanner captures everything well, including very fine details. It boosts the contrast and color saturation to make the scan look more vibrant, which is good for text documents beacuse it makes the text easier to read; however, it might not be ideal if you're looking to digitize photos and expect the scan to look as close to the original picture as possible.
The print quality for black and white documents is outstanding. Text looks sharp, and all of the finer elements are present. However, colored areas look grainy, and there's some minor vertical banding.
The print quality for color documents is good. Text looks clear, and colors look good, albeit grainy. There's sometimes a purple tint when printing, as you can see in the sample document's header. Finer elements come through, but not as well as when printing in black and white only.
The Epson ET-3850's cost-per-print is superb. Thanks to its high page yields, you won’t have to refill the ink frequently, and the replacement ink is cheap, so your maintenance cost will remain low over time.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850's overall printing speed is decent. It prints black documents fairly quickly, but but it's slow with color documents and photos. It's also slow to initialize from an idle state and get a single page out.
The Epson ET-3850 supports most standard paper sizes. You can also set custom paper sizes with a width of 3.5" to 8.5" and a length of 5" and 47.24".
The Epson ET-3850 has a great color gamut. It can reproduce a wide range of colors, including bright, saturated tones, like blues, greens, and yellow. However, it struggles with bright magenta , as well as darker shades of green and yellow. Unfortunately, color transitions look very grainy.
The Epson ET-3850 has bad color accuracy. It reproduces most colors inaccurately, especially blues and greens, and grays have a purplish tone. This level of accuracy is fine for printing the odd casual photo, as printed photos still look relatively natural; however, it isn't ideal for professional-level work that requires exact color reproduction.
The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is excellent at reproducing small details. The main issue is the halftones (dot effect). They're very noticeable, and they make edges and distant objects look less defined.
The Epson ET-3850 can connect with voice assistants, like Apple's Siri or Amazon Alexa, allowing you to use voice commands to initiate printing or scanning and to check the printer's status.
The Epson Smart Panel mobile app has lots of features. You can use the app to print, copy, scan (with smartphone's camera or printer), and perform various maintenance tasks like nozzle checking or printhead cleaning. You can also buy replacement ink through the app. Unfortunately, the iOS version of the app can’t print Microsoft Office files directly, as it doesn’t display the document properly and displays a mobile version of the print instead.
You need to install drivers and the Epson Scan 2 application to get full functionaility on Windows. You can also get the Epson Photo+ software for extra photo printing features. You don’t need any drivers or additional programs on macOS and Chrome OS.