Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed Jun 30, 2021 at 10:39 am
Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 Picture
8.9
Family
9.2
Small/Home Office
9.0
Student
8.8
Black & White
8.0
Casual Photo
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
Yes

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is an all-in-one supertank printer for small businesses with outstanding page yields and a remarkably low cost-per-print. Its body feels sturdy, with good access to paper jams, and its output tray slides out automatically when printing. Photos have good quality and impressively accurate colors, and it features an automatic document feeder that can duplex scan. Wired and wireless connectivity options are superb, including directly printing from USB flash drives. It also comes with two sets of black and color ink bottles, which should last you a long time, even if you print frequently. However, the flatbed scanner's hinges raise only slightly for scanning thicker items, and it takes a while to warm up to print the first page.

Our Verdict

8.9 Family

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is an amazing printer for families. Its cost-per-print is incredibly low, and it produces photos with good quality and impressively accurate colors. It can print directly from USB flash drives, and its companion app has a fantastic depth of functionality. Its flatbed scanner has a good scan resolution and color depth for digitizing your most important photos.

Pros
  • Sturdy body with easy access to paper jams.
  • Superb page yields and cost-per-print.
  • Produces good-quality photos with impressively accurate colors.
Cons
  • Flatbed scanner hinges raise only slightly.
9.2 Small/Home Office

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is a fantastic printer for small or home offices, with superbly high page yields and an impressively fast print speed for black text documents. Its automatic document feeder can duplex scan for easy processing of double-sided multi-page documents, and it can connect to Ethernet or Wi-Fi for networking. However, it takes a while to warm up to print the first page.

Pros
  • Sturdy body with easy access to paper jams.
  • Superb page yields and cost-per-print.
  • Automatic document feeder supports duplex scanning.
  • Remarkably fast printing speed for documents and photos.
Cons
  • Takes a long time to warm up to print the first page.
9.0 Student

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is a remarkably good printer for students. Its cost-per-print for black and color prints is superb, and you can print in various ways, including Wi-Fi Direct and directly from USB flash drives. It also has a flatbed scanner to digitize media, but its hinges don't raise very much. Unfortunately, you can't print via Bluetooth, and it takes a while to warm up to print the first page.

Pros
  • Sturdy body with easy access to paper jams.
  • Superb page yields and cost-per-print.
  • Remarkably fast printing speed for documents and photos.
Cons
  • Takes a long time to warm up to print the first page.
  • No Bluetooth support.
8.8 Black & White

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is excellent for black-and-white printing, with a supertank system that gives it an incredible black page yield and cost-per-print. It prints amazingly quickly and automatically prints double-sided, and its automatic document feeder supports double-sided scanning. It also has outstanding connectivity options. However, it takes a while to warm up to print the first page.

Pros
  • Sturdy body with easy access to paper jams.
  • Superb page yields and cost-per-print.
  • Automatic document feeder supports duplex scanning.
  • Remarkably fast printing speed for documents and photos.
Cons
  • Takes a long time to warm up to print the first page.
8.0 Casual Photo

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is great for printing casual photos. They're produced with good quality, a good tone, and impressively accurate colors. However, there's some graininess present. The cost-per-print is superb, and it supports 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" glossy photo paper formats.

Pros
  • Sturdy body with easy access to paper jams.
  • Superb page yields and cost-per-print.
  • Produces good-quality photos with impressively accurate colors.
Cons
  • Doesn't support 2" x 3" format paper.
  • 8.9 Family
  • 9.2 Small/Home Office
  • 9.0 Student
  • 8.8 Black & White
  • 8.0 Casual Photo
  1. Updated Jun 30, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Jun 23, 2021: Early access published.

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White EcoTank Pro ET-5850
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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build & Design Quality

The Epson ET-5850 feels very well built with a sturdy body, which gives good access to paper jams either from the rear or inside by lifting the flatbed. The two front input cassettes have sliders for different paper formats, while the rear input tray has a cover to close and conceal it when not in use; however, it can feel flimsy or cumbersome to close. The ink tank levels are clear and visible, and the output tray slides out automatically when printing. You can also press the dedicated output tray touch button to slide it back in when the print job is complete. The scanner lid stays open on its own, and the hinges can raise, but only slightly, for scanning thin objects like magazines. The power cable is removable, which makes it easy to replace if it gets damaged.

Design
Dimensions
Height 13.8" (35.0 cm)
Width 16.7" (42.5 cm)
Depth 19.7" (50.0 cm)
Weight
40.2 lbs (18.2 kg)
8.0
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
4.5" (11.4 cm)
Touchscreen Yes

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 has a great display, with a quick, easy-to-navigate menu with good tactile feedback. There are dedicated touch buttons on either side for Home, Output Tray, and Help, which launches how-to videos on the screen for different tasks. The screen has good visibility whether you're seated or standing, and it can also tilt up and down.

Design
In The Box

  • Start Here guide
  • Power cable
  • CD-ROM for Epson software
  • Epson 542 ink bottles:
  • 2x black
  • 2x cyan
  • 2x magenta
  • 2x yellow

9.5
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
3
Black Cartridge Model
Epson 542 Black
Tested Black Page Yield
259 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
4,921 prints
Color Cartridge Model
Epson 542 C/M/Y
Tested Color Page Yield
119 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
2,532 prints
Third Party Cartridge
No
High Yield Cartridge
No Cartridge
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 has a fantastic supertank ink system that uses large, refillable ink tanks instead of disposable cartridges. The incredibly high yield for both black and color documents means that you shouldn't need to refill them often, even if you print frequently. Note, however, that if you run out of one color of ink, the printer won't let you continue printing until you refill the empty tank.

While you can technically fill the supertanks with any third-party ink, we didn't try it, and we don't recommend doing so. Low-quality ink could damage the print heads, and unlike standard inkjet printers, you can't simply remove the ink if there's a problem. Using third-party supplies could also void your warranty.

9.9
Design
Scanner
Scanner
Yes
Scan Flatbed
Yes
Scan Sheetfed
Yes
Automatic Document Feeder
Yes
Duplex Scanning
Yes
Scan Resolution
1,200 DPI
Scan Color Depth
24 Bit
Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
Fax
Yes
Copy
Yes

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850's scanning features are superb, including a flatbed with a good scan resolution and color depth and hinges that raise only slightly for scanning thicker items like magazines. It also has an automatic document feeder with double-sided scanning, which can scan Letter or Legal-size paper, with a capacity of up to 50 sheets.

Printing
10
Printing
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
29.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
68.95 US$
Black Only Printing
0.006 US$/print
Color Printing
0.027 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.072 US$/print
Ink Subscription
No

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850's cost-per-print is superbly low, as its large ink tanks yield many black and color documents and don't need refilling often.

Even if you print only in black, most inkjet printers continue using the color tanks for servicing tasks, so you may still need to refill them eventually.

8.3
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
25 PPM
Color Document
25 PPM
Photo Printing Time
29.1 s
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
20.4 s
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
550 pages

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 takes a disappointingly long time to warm up when printing the first page but prints documents and photos remarkably quickly afterward.

During our initial test, we measured much lower than advertised speeds, but after unplugging the printer overnight and retesting, we experienced the speeds listed above. We don't expect this to be an issue as our unit has been working as intended since, but if you own this printer and are experiencing similar problems, let us know in the discussions below.

8.4
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
8.38

The Epson EcoTank ET-5850 reproduces colors with impressive accuracy and should be great for documents and casual photos. However, it still isn't recommended for tasks that require professional-grade color reproduction.

7.6
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
Yes

The Epson EcoTank ET-5850 produces good-looking photos, with a good color tone across the whole picture. However, there's some graininess present. Epson specifies that the printer supports borderless printing but that the print quality on the top and bottom areas may decline, or the area may be smeared depending on the media.

Note: When we initially tested for photo printing quality, we used the borderless printing option, which resulted in many red, vertical streaks across the image, as seen here. However, after leaving our unit unplugged overnight, we reprinted the photo, and the lines no longer appeared. We haven't been able to recreate the problem and are unsure if it's an issue with our unit, as it's been working as intended ever since. Let us know in the discussions below if you own this printer and have experienced similar issues.

These results are based on the actual physical photo, not the scanned image provided for reference above, which may not represent the printer's photo print quality.

Printing
Printing Size
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) No
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Photo (2" x 3") No
Photo (4" x 6") Yes
Photo (5" x 7") Yes

Epson specifies that the front input cassettes of the Epson EcoTank ET-5850 can hold up to 250 sheets each for a total of 500. The rear feeder can hold an additional 50 sheets.

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

The Epson ET-5850 can print directly from USB flash drives.

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

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is compatible with the Epson Smart Panel app, a refreshed and updated version of their Epson iPrint app meant for use with their latest printers. From there, you can print a variety of file types, scan directly from your phone camera, perform maintenance tasks like print head cleaning, alignment, and firmware updates, and even order ink and supplies. You can even share access to the printer with guests without requiring them to connect directly.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850, which only comes in white and doesn't have any variants. It's closely related to the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5800, which, according to Epson, prints color documents more slowly and doesn't support borderless printing; and the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5880 with HP PCL and PostScript page description language support.

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is an outstanding printer for small or home offices, with a supertank ink system for incredible page yields and cost-per-print. Among all the inkjet printers with supertanks that we've tested, it produces the most accurate colors, is one of the best for photo quality, and prints black and color documents the quickest. It's also one of the fastest inkjet printers we've tested for printing photos.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best printers for small business, the best office printers, and the best all-in-one printers.

Epson EcoTank ET-3760

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Epson EcoTank ET-3760 are all-in-one color inkjet printers that use supertanks. However, the ET-3760 has much better page yields and a much better overall cost-per-print. On the other hand, the ET-5850 is much better for small or home offices, with faster printing speeds and much better-looking produced photos with much more accurate colors. It can print directly from USB flash drives, its automatic document feeder can duplex scan, and it can fax.

Epson EcoTank ET-4760

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Epson EcoTank ET-4760 are all-in-one color inkjet printers with supertanks. However, the ET-5850 is better for small or home offices, with a much larger input tray capacity and a significantly faster printing speed, and its ADF can duplex scan. It also prints superior-looking photos with much more accurate colors, and it can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the ET-4760 has much better page yields and cost-per-print.

Canon MAXIFY GX7020

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Canon MAXIFY GX7020 are all-in-one color inkjet printers with supertanks and are outstanding for office use. The Epson prints documents and photos much more quickly, and it produces better-looking photos with much more accurate colors. On the other hand, the Canon has nearly triple the color page yield of the Epson, has a lower cost-per-print for color documents and photos, and warms up significantly faster to print the first page.

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Epson EcoTank ET-15000 are all-in-one color inkjet printers with supertanks, but the ET-5850 is better for small or home offices. The ET-5850's ADF supports duplex scanning, it has a much larger input tray capacity, and it prints significantly faster. It also produces much more accurate colors and can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the ET-15000 can print on wide tabloid-format paper for specialty prints, and it has much better page yields and cost-per-print.

Brother MFC-J995DW

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Brother MFC-J995DW are all-in-one color inkjet printers, but the Epson is better for small or home offices, while the Brother is better for students. The Epson uses a supertank system for superior page yields and a slightly better cost-per-print, and it prints much faster and produces much more accurate colors. Also, its automatic document feeder can duplex scan. On the other hand, the Brother warms up much more quickly to print the first page, it produces much better-looking photos, and it can print directly from SD cards.

Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank are all-in-one color inkjet printers, but the Epson is a much better printer overall. The Epson uses a supertank system for better page yields and a lower cost-per-print, it prints documents and photos faster, and it produces better-looking photos with significantly more accurate colors. Its automatic document feeder can duplex scan, it has an Ethernet port, and it can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the Brother warms up much faster to print the first page.

Canon PIXMA G7020

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Canon PIXMA G7020 are all-in-one color inkjet printers with supertanks, but the Epson is a better printer overall. The Epson prints significantly faster overall, produces much more accurate colors, its automatic document feeder can duplex scan, and it can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the Canon has almost double the color page yield and has a much better cost-per-print for color documents and photos.

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 are all-in-one color inkjet printers with supertanks, but the ET-5850 is a much better printer overall. The ET-5850 has better black page yields, prints significantly faster, and produces better-looking photos with significantly more accurate colors. It has an automatic document feeder with duplex scanning, can fax, can automatically print double-sided, has an Ethernet port, and can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the ET-2720 has a much better page yield and cost-per-print for color documents and photos.

Epson Expression Premium ET-7750 EcoTank

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Epson Expression Premium ET-7750 EcoTank are all-in-one color inkjet printers with supertanks, but the ET-5850 is much better for small or home offices. The ET-5850 has an automatic document feeder with duplex scanning, a much larger input tray capacity, significantly faster printing speed, and more accurate produced colors. On the other hand, the ET-7750 has a much better cost-per-print and page yields, and it prints better-looking photos. It can also print on wide tabloid-format paper and can print directly from SD cards.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840 are all-in-one color inkjet printers. The WorkForce can print on wide tabloid-format paper and has a larger flatbed scanner. However, the EcoTank is a much better printer overall, with significantly better page yields and a much lower cost-per-print, a faster overall printing speed, and much better-looking produced photos with somewhat more accurate colors.

Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw

The Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw and the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 are both all-in-one color printers, but the Epson is an inkjet whereas the Canon uses laser technology. The Epson is better for small or home offices and black-and-white printing, as its supertank system yields significantly more pages at a much cheaper cost-per-print, and it prints much faster and produces far better-looking photos with much more accurate colors. Its flatbed also has a much better scan resolution, and it can print directly from USB flash drives.

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