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 also uses gray and photo black ink to produce more detailed photos. There's a smaller variant called the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500; it only supports up to 8.5" x 11" paper size, while the ET-8550 is a wide format printer that supports up to 13" x 19".
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.
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.
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 your maintenance cost 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.
The Epson EcoTank Photo 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.
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.
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.
|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.
The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 printer 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Epson ET-8550 feels very well built and sturdy, even though it's entirely plastic. Unlike most supertank printers, the ink tank's tubing mechanism is in a protected area so that 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, extendable hinges to accommodate thicker items like textbooks, and 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.
The Epson ET-8550 only requires a little bit of maintenance, as 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.
The Epson ET-8550 has an outstanding display. 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. It's very responsive, and the settings menu is user-friendly.
The Epson ET-8550 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 also pops up to indicate the current ink level. You 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.
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 can sometimes make mistakes when there are special characters. The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 variant has a smaller 8.5" x 11.7" flatbed scanner.
The scan quality is outstanding. The image processing boosts the contrast and makes colors look more saturated. The text looks very sharp, and all the fine details are visible. The white text on a red background is a little harder to see but still not too bad.
The Epson EcoTank 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. Again, emptying the tank completely can damage the printer, so we consider color ink necessary for black and white printing.
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.
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).
The Epson ET-8550's overall printing speed is good. 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.
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 slot (Straight Pass) to print on specialty paper or long paper, up to 1.3 mm in thickness.
The Epson ET-8550 has an outstanding color gamut. It mainly 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.
The Epson ET-8550's color accuracy is okay. The printer tends to oversaturate colors, so while they're a little inaccurate, the photos are still visually-pleasing.
The Epson ET-8550 prints small details exceptionally well. You can easily see the Tokyo Tower's structure and even the individual metal bars at the top. 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.
The EcoTank Photo ET-8500 variant only supports up to 8.5" x 11" paper size.
The Epson ET-8550 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.
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 on other Epson printers. This special version loads as soon as you connect the printer. You can use it to print, scan, copy, 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).