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Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Review updated Oct 12, 2023 at 03:30 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Jan 19, 2024 at 09:34 am
Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 Picture
8.6
Family
8.4
Small/Home Office
8.9
Student
8.3
Black & White
8.8
Photo

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is an all-in-one photo printer with a refillable ink tank. It supports Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet connectivity, and you can also print directly off an SD card. Its flatbed scanner supports up to legal-size paper but lacks an automatic document feeder and fax functionality. In addition to the usual cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink, it uses gray and photo-black ink to produce more detailed photos. It's a wide format printer that supports up to 13" x 19" paper size. There's a smaller variant called the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500; it has a smaller 8.5" x 11.7" flatbed scanner and only supports up to 8.5" x 11" paper size.

In Europe, the ET-8550 is known as the Epson EcoTank L8180, while the ET-8500 is known as the Epson EcoTank L8160.

Our Verdict

8.6 Family

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is excellent for family use. A full ink tank yields thousands of pages, and replacement ink is fairly inexpensive, so your maintenance cost remains low over time, even if you print a lot. Although it lacks an automatic document feeder, the scanner produces exceptional scans, which is great for digitizing your old family photos. It also prints high-quality documents and detailed, colorful pictures. It has plenty of connectivity options so that every household member can access the printer easily, and it's compatible with Epson's mobile app, allowing you to print directly from your smartphone.

Pros
  • Prints detailed and colorful photos.
  • Prints high-quality documents.
  • Refillable ink tank yields thousands of prints.
  • Exceptionally low cost per print.
  • Can print borderless photos up to 13" x 19".
  • Produces high-quality scans.
Cons
  • Some colors are visibly inaccurate.
8.4 Small/Home Office

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is great for office use. It's a well-built all-in-one with plenty of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and Ethernet. It prints high-quality black-and-white documents at a decent speed, and its ink tank yields thousands of pages, meaning it requires very little maintenance. It has a scanner but lacks an automatic document feeder, which isn't ideal for offices that often scan long, multi-page documents.

Pros
  • Prints high-quality documents.
  • Refillable ink tank yields thousands of prints.
  • Exceptionally low cost per print.
  • Produces high-quality scans.
Cons
  • No automatic document feeder.
8.9 Student

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is excellent for student use. Its refillable ink tank yields a large number of black and color prints, so you don't have to worry about refilling the tank for a while. Also, the ink bottles are fairly inexpensive, which helps keep maintenance costs low. It prints high-quality black and color documents at a decent pace and supports automatic double-sided printing. It has a flatbed scanner with extendable hinges to accommodate thick items like textbooks, but it doesn't have an automatic document feeder, so it isn't the best for scanning long, multi-page documents. You can connect to the printer via Wi-Fi or USB, and it supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service.

Pros
  • Prints high-quality documents.
  • Refillable ink tank yields thousands of prints.
  • Exceptionally low cost per print.
  • Produces high-quality scans.
Cons
  • No automatic document feeder.
8.3 Black & White

The Epson ET-8550 is great for printing black-and-white documents as it produces high-quality prints at a decent pace, and its ink tank yields thousands of pages, making it very cost-effective for high-volume printing. It has a flatbed scanner that supports up to legal-size paper but lacks an automatic document feeder to process long, multi-page documents. The input tray capacity is on the lower side, so you'll have to refill the tray often during large print jobs.

Pros
  • Prints high-quality documents.
  • Refillable ink tank yields thousands of prints.
  • Exceptionally low cost per print.
Cons
  • No automatic document feeder.
8.8 Photo

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is excellent for photo printing. It prints very detailed pictures with reasonably accurate colors and supports borderless printing up to 13" x 19". Its ink tank yields thousands of prints, which leads to a remarkably low cost-per-print and less maintenance.

Pros
  • Prints detailed and colorful photos.
  • Refillable ink tank yields thousands of prints.
  • Exceptionally low cost per print.
  • Can print borderless photos up to 13" x 19".
Cons
  • Some colors are visibly inaccurate.
  • 8.6 Family
  • 8.4 Small/Home Office
  • 8.9 Student
  • 8.3 Black & White
  • 8.8 Photo
  1. Updated Jan 19, 2024: We've updated the Differences Between Variants section, as these printers have a different model name in Europe. The ET-8550 is known as the Epson EcoTank L8180, while the ET-8500 is known as the Epson EcoTank L8160.
  2. Updated Oct 12, 2023: We've updated the review to improve clarity and readability.
  3. Updated Jun 27, 2023: Small text changes to include information about the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 variant's Max Flatbed Scan Size in the Scanner Features and the Differences Between Variants sections.
  4. Updated Sep 08, 2022: Review published.
  5. Updated Aug 26, 2022: Early access published.
  6. Updated Aug 15, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  7. Updated Aug 01, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  8. Updated Jul 25, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.
  9. Updated Jul 16, 2022: The product has won our suggestion poll, so we'll buy and test it soon.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 all-in-one inkjet printer. It has one other variant, the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500; you can see the differences in the table below. In Europe, the ET-8550 is known as the Epson EcoTank L8180, while the ET-8500 is known as the Epson EcoTank L8160.

Model Paper Support Max Flatbed Scan Size
ET-8550 Up to 13" x 19" 8.5" x 14"
ET-8500 Up to 8.5" x 11" 8.5" x 11.7"

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is among the best photo printers we've tested. It stands out for its photo printing quality and exceptionally high page yield. However, there are significantly cheaper printers with better color accuracy, like the Canon PIXMA TR8620a.

For other options, see our recommendations for the best photo printers, the best home printers, and the best inkjet printers.

Epson EcoTank ET-3850

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.

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 and the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 are both excellent photo printers. The Canon prints higher-quality documents and photos with better color accuracy and finer details. However, the Epson is more versatile because it has a scanner, and its ink tank yields more prints, resulting in a significantly lower cost per print.

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is better than the Epson EcoTank ET-15000. The ET-8550 produces significantly higher-quality documents and photos, and it prints a little faster overall. The ET-8550 also produces higher-quality scans, but unlike the ET-15000, it lacks an automatic document feeder. Regarding the cost per print, the ET-15000 yields more prints, and its replacement ink is cheaper, so it costs less to maintain over time than the ET-8550.

Canon MAXIFY GX7020

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 and the Canon MAXIFY GX7020 are both all-in-one inkjet printers with a refillable ink tank. However, the Epson is a photo printer that prints significantly better pictures, while the Canon is more of a general office printer with more features, like an ADF and duplex scanning. The Canon also has faster printing speeds and a much larger 600-sheet input tray for big print jobs.

Epson Expression Premium XP-7100

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 and the Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 are very different printers designed for different uses. The ET-8550 is a premium photo printer with a refillable ink tank, while the XP-7100 is a general-purpose printer for home use. The ET-8550 is better than the XP-7100 for most uses, but it's significantly more expensive.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build Quality
Type All in One

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 feels very well built, even though it's entirely plastic. Unlike most supertank printers, the ink tank's tubing mechanism is in a protected area, so it's out of the user's way when removing paper jams. The power cord is removable, making it easy to replace in case of damage. The scanner lid has a thick foam backing to smooth out uneven sheets and extendable hinges to accommodate thicker items like textbooks. There's also a separation down the middle so that you can hold the document in place while lowering the lid.

You can access paper jams through the back panel, the front (by removing the input trays), or by lifting the scanner. However, there isn't much space from the front and under the scanner, so it may be hard to grab jammed sheets. The input trays have spring-loaded covers that can sometimes be in the way when you load paper as they bounce back on their own, closing the trays. The output tray retracts, but it doesn't do it automatically, and you can only retract it by clicking on the 'Output Tray' icon on the display.

Design
Dimensions
Height 6.5" (16.6 cm)
Width 20.6" (52.2 cm)
Depth 14.7" (37.3 cm)
Height When In Use
16.5" (41.9 cm)
Width When In Use
20.6" (52.2 cm)
Depth When In Use
30.3" (76.9 cm)
Weight
25.2 lbs (11.4 kg)
8.0
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Expected
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

This printer doesn't require much maintenance. Like most inkjet printers, the printheads can clog if left unused for an extended period. There are maintenance functions built-in to resolve any clogging issue, like printhead nozzle check, printhead cleaning, and power clean. You can also perform a paper guide cleaning and check on the remaining capacity of the maintenance box, which stores surplus ink collected during printing or printhead cleaning. You don't need to refill the ink tank often because a full tank yields thousands of pages. You can easily access the ink tanks by lifting the printer's top and the tank's cover; the printer doesn't need to be on for the refill. However, you need to set the ink level after the refill (the menu pops up when you open the tank cover). There are two front input trays; the first holds 20 sheets of 5" x 7" photo paper, while the second holds 100 sheets of plain or A4 paper. The rear input tray holds 50 sheets of plain or 5 sheets of A3+ photo paper. The rear straight pass can only take one sheet at a time. You can see the user guide here.

9.5
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
4.3" (10.9 cm)
Touchscreen Yes

The display is outstanding. You can adjust the tilt to make the screen easier to see when standing or sitting, and it also has good viewing angles, so it's visible from the sides. The user interface is very responsive and user-friendly.

10
Design
Cartridge
Technology Inkjet
SuperTank
Yes
Photo Cartridge
Yes
Color Yes
Number Of Color Cartridges
5
Black Cartridge Model
Epson 552 Black
Tested Black Page Yield
262 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
4,978 prints
Color Cartridge Model
Epson 552 C/M/Y/Pk/Gy
Tested Color Page Yield
156 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
3,319 prints
Third Party Cartridge
No Cartridges
Ink Type
Dye And Pigment
High Yield Cartridge
No Cartridge

This printer has six tanks for cyan, magenta, yellow, gray, black (pigment), and photo black (dye) ink. The printer always displays a message during print jobs as a reminder to keep an eye on ink levels, as emptying the tank can introduce air bubbles into the tubes and damage the printer. Another message pops up to indicate the current ink level. You do get a message when the ink starts to run low, but the printer will continue printing. When it's to refill the tank, the printer stops printing and will only resume when you've refilled the tank or reset the ink levels in the settings menu.

6.2
Design
Scanner Features
Scanner
Flatbed
ADF Capacity
N/A
Scan Speed
2 PPM
Duplex Scanning
No
Max Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 14"
Max ADF Scan Size
No ADF
Flatbed Hinge Adjustability
0.59" (15 mm)
Fax
No
Copy
Yes
OCR Included
Software

The Epson ET-8550 has mediocre scanner features. Its lack of an ADF means you'll have to scan each page manually, which isn't ideal if you often scan long, multi-page documents. To use the optical character recognition feature, you need to scan the document as a searchable PDF via the Epson Scan 2 application. It works well but sometimes makes mistakes when there are special characters. The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 variant has a smaller 8.5" x 11.7" flatbed scanner.

9.5
Design
Scan Quality
Max Scan Resolution
1,200 DPI
Max Scan Color Depth
24Bit

The scan quality is outstanding. Text looks sharp, and all the fine details are present. The white text on a red background is a little harder to see, but still not too bad. The image processing boosts the contrast and makes colors look more saturated, which is helpful when scanning documents, but it might not be ideal if you want to digitize photos and expect them to look exactly like the originals.

Design
In The Box

  • Quick Setup guide
  • Power cord
  • Six Epson 552 ink bottles:
    • 1x Photo Black
    • 1x Black
    • 1x Cyan
    • 1x Magenta
    • 1x Yellow
    • 1x Gray

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 Epson ET-8550 is great at printing black and white documents. There are some vertical lines when printing in the Standard Quality mode, but they aren't present when printing in the Best Quality mode. Emptying the tank completely can damage the printer, so we consider color ink necessary for black and white printing.

8.0
Document
Color Documents

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 prints color documents well. Some colors look a little muted, but all the fine details are present, and the text looks clear.

10
Document
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
19.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
87.45 US$
Black-Only Printing Cost
0.004 US$/print
Color Printing Cost
0.026 US$/print
Photo Printing Cost
0.070 US$/print
Ink Subscription
No

The cost-per-print is remarkably low because a full tank lasts a long time, and replacement ink is relatively inexpensive. Although the printer uses black and photo black ink when printing black and white documents, the black (pigment) ink runs out faster than the photo black (dye).

7.8
Document
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
15 PPM
Color Document
10 PPM
Photo Printing Time
48.1 s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
12.0 s
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
170 pages

The overall printing speed is good. It doesn't take long to initialize and get a single-page document out. It prints documents fairly quickly, and it can print double-sided documents automatically, meaning you won't have to flip the pages yourself. Epson advertises that it can print a 4" x 6" photo (Draft Quality on glossy paper) in 15 seconds; however, it's closer to 36 seconds from the moment you initiate the print job.

Document
Document Printing Sizes
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") Yes
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Max Paper Weight
300 g/m²

In addition to the listed paper sizes, this printer also supports 11" x 14", A3 (11.7" x 16.6"), and A3+ (13" x 19") paper sizes. However, the smaller Epson ET-8500 variant only supports up to A4 paper size. You can use the rear paper feed (Straight Pass) to print on specialty paper or long paper, up to 1.3 mm in thickness.

Photo
9.0
Photo
Color Gamut

The Epson ET-8550 has an outstanding color gamut. It only struggles with darker shades of blues and yellows. It prints bright, saturated blues and yellows well but less so with bright purples and greens. There's no banding, and color transitions look relatively smooth.

6.8
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
6.48

This printer's color accuracy is okay. The printer tends to oversaturate colors to make photos look more vibrant. The pictures are still visually pleasing; just don't expect the colors to be exactly like the originals.

9.5
Photo
Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
5760 x 1440

The Epson ET-8550 prints small details exceptionally well. Fine details look clear, and the halftones (dots) aren't overly distracting or obscuring smaller elements. It has the same print resolution as the Epson Expression Premium XP-7100, but the image looks more detailed as the use of gray ink helps create better shading.

10
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") Yes
Borderless Printing
Yes

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 variant only supports up to 8.5" x 11" paper size.

Mobile App And Connectivity
9.0
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Yes
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Wireless Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
Yes
External Storage Support
Yes
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

This printer can print directly from an SD card. You can find the SD card slot above the USB port on the printer's front left side.

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 ET-8550 is compatible with Epson's Smart Panel mobile app; however, it's a special version with a different look and functionalities than with other Epson printers. This special version loads as soon as you connect the printer. You can use it to print, scan, copy, and perform maintenance tasks, as well as access how-to videos and the user guide. You can also print both sides of an ID card on a single page, make borderless copies of documents, and create a QR code to let guests connect to the printer. It has Google Classroom integration, which allows you to log into your Classroom account and print assignments. It contains links to the Creative Print app and Epson's Gallery website; the former lets you create collages and apply effects to your prints, while the latter lets you access a collection of patterns and templates. The iOS version of the app has an additional 'Professional Printing' tab that opens the Print Layout app, allowing you to print photos and change various settings, like the paper type and size, the paper source, and the color space (Adobe RGB vs. sRGB).

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

This printer is fully compatible with Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS. You don't need to install drivers or a third-party app to print or scan.