Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.

Epson WorkForce WF-2850 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Mar 16, 2022 at 01:06 pm
Latest change: Writing modified May 15, 2023 at 02:50 pm
Epson WorkForce WF-2850 Picture
Small/Home Office
Black & White
This printer was replaced by the Epson WorkForce WF-2950

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 is an all-in-one inkjet printer designed for home offices. It has the same features you see on other office printers, like a flatbed scanner, an automatic document feeder, and a built-in fax. That said, since it's a budget printer, it has a few shortcomings. Even though the cost of its three color cartridges is a bit cheaper than the cartridges of similar models, the printer's page yields are low. This means you'll be spending a lot of money on cartridge replacements, resulting in a high cost-per-print. Also, it's slow at printing, whether you're printing a one-pager or a multi-page document.

Our Verdict

7.0 Family

The Epson WF-2850 is okay for family use. Its cartridges are relatively cheap, but the printer doesn't print many pages, which means you'll need to buy new ink cartridges often. If you like to print a lot of pictures, you'll be satisfied with the quality, though there is some graininess around the edges when you print borderless. While colors look off from their originals, they look okay for most casual uses, like custom stickers, craft projects, or small photos.

  • Good photo printing quality.
  • Has flatbed scanner and ADF.
  • Decent range of connection options.
  • Poor color accuracy.
  • Slow printing speed.
  • Low page yields.
6.0 Small/Home Office

The Epson WF-2850 is bad for small or home office use. While the cartridges are relatively cheap, the printer doesn't yield many pages before the cartridges are empty. This means you'll be spending a lot of money on ink if your job requires you to print hundreds of pages a week. Also, you'll have to wait a long time for your reports to print out, whether they're color or just black and white. On the bright side, it has an automatic document feeder, though it can't duplex scan.

  • Has flatbed scanner and ADF.
  • Decent range of connection options.
  • Slow printing speed.
  • Low page yields.
  • No duplex scanning.
6.9 Student

The Epson WF-2850 is mediocre for students. Although its cartridges are fairly cheap compared to similar models, the printer doesn't yield many black or color pages. This means you'll be spending a lot of money on cartridge replacements, especially if you're printing out multiple assignments every week. Also, it takes some time to get your document in hand, whether it's a single page or a longer document. On the bright side, it has a flatbed scanner and an ADF, and it has many wireless connection options.

  • Has flatbed scanner and ADF.
  • Decent range of connection options.
  • Slow printing speed.
  • Low page yields.
  • No duplex scanning.
6.3 Black & White

The Epson WF-2850 is inadequate for high-volume black and white printing. The black ink cartridge runs out quickly, so you won't get out many pages before you need to spend money on cartridge replacement. It doesn't let you print with empty color cartridges, so you'll need to make sure those are always full, even if you only print in black and white. Also, it prints slowly, whether you're printing a long document or just a single page.

  • Decent range of connection options.
  • Slow printing speed.
  • Low page yields.
  • No duplex scanning.
7.7 Photo

The Epson WF-2850 is decent for photos. While colors look a bit off from their originals, it's fine if you're printing some photos for custom stickers, a school assignment, or a craft project. The photo printing quality is good, though there is some graininess around the edges if you print borderless pictures. That said, it prints a wide range of colors, so gradients and highly saturated colors (like in sunsets or sunrises) will look very good.

  • Good photo printing quality.
  • Prints most photo sizes.
  • Decent range of connection options.
  • Poor color accuracy.
  • Slow printing speed.
  • Can't print 2" x 3" photos.
  • 7.0 Family
  • 6.0 Small/Home Office
  • 6.9 Student
  • 6.3 Black & White
  • 7.7 Photo
  1. Updated May 15, 2023: Added link to the Epson WorkForce WF-2930 in the Scan Quality section of the review to provide an alternative that outputs higher quality scans.
  2. Updated Apr 05, 2023: We've changed the Height When In Use measurement to 9.4" (24.0 cm) in the Dimensions section. The previous measurement of 10.4" (26.5 cm) was incorrect. This change doesn't affect the score.
  3. Updated Sep 21, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Updated Sep 01, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  5. Updated Mar 16, 2022: Review published.
  6. Updated Mar 10, 2022: Early access published.
  7. Updated Jan 20, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  8. Updated Jan 06, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  9. Updated Dec 15, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 is available in black only, and there are no other variants. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 is an all-in-one home office printer in the budget range. Its retail price is cheaper than many other similar models with three separate color cartridges; however, it doesn't print many pages before its cartridges run out of ink, so its cost-per-print is only mediocre. This means any money you saved upfront will be quickly spent on cartridge replacements. Also, it prints slower than many office-oriented models, and it can't automatically scan double-sided sheets, which may be important for your business.

See our recommendations for the best cheap printers, the best home printers, and the best office printers.

Epson WorkForce WF-2830

The Epson WorkForce WF-2830 and the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 look nearly identical and perform similarly. However, the biggest difference is the display screen: the one on the 2850 model is larger, making it easier to read. Otherwise, both are budget printers with low page yields and slow printing speeds.

Epson WorkForce WF-2950

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 and Epson WorkForce WF-2950 perform very similarly, though there are minor differences. The WF-2950 offers superior scan quality, but the ET-2850 has a slightly wider color gamut when printing photos and marginally better color accuracy.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830

The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830 performs better than the Epson WorkForce WF-2850. While it's much bulkier, the WF-4830 has a dedicated paper cassette, so your paper won't collect dust and debris like it does on the WF-2850. The WF-4830 has more office features, like automatic duplex scanning, faster printing speed, and Ethernet connectivity. It also has a higher page yield, resulting in a lower cost-per-print, and produces better quality scans and prints sharper-looking documents. The WF-4830 has better color accuracy, but its color range isn't as wide as the WF-2850.

Canon PIXMA TR4720/TR4722

The Canon PIXMA TR4720 and the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 are both budget printers designed for a home office. The Canon is a better choice for photo printing since its images look much more detailed, and its colors are more accurate. On the other hand, the Epson is better for printing documents since it has a higher page yield and a cheaper cost-per-print, though its black cartridge cost is more expensive. Also, it prints and scans faster, so you don't have to wait as long for your documents to be ready.

Epson Expression Home XP-4100

The Epson Expression Home XP-4100 and the Epson Workforce WF-2850 are very similar budget all-in-one inkjet printers. The WF-2850 is a little better overall because it has an ADF and prints higher-quality photos. The XP-4100 yields slightly more black pages, but it's a tiny difference, and neither has a particularly high page yield to begin with, so you'll have to replace the ink cartridges pretty often on both.

Epson WorkForce WF-2930

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 and Epson WorkForce WF-2930 are very similar printers. The 2930 scans marginally faster and outputs sharper scans, but the 2850 has a bigger display that lets you access the sub-menu you want a lot faster.

Epson WorkForce WF-2860

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 and the Epson WorkForce WF-2860 are both inkjet printers designed for home office use. Overall, the 2860 printer is better. It has a paper cassette that protects your paper from dust, unlike the 2850 model, which has an exposed rear input tray. The 2860 printer also has a touchscreen, making it easier to type in passwords since you won't need to press as many buttons. Also, even though both printers' cartridges cost almost the same, the 2860 printer can print many more pages, making each print cost less.

Brother MFC-J1205W/MFC-J1215W

The Brother MFC-J1205W is better than the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 for most uses. The Brother produces higher-quality documents, yields significantly more prints, and is much cheaper to maintain. However, the Epson has an automatic feeder and supports automatic duplex printing. It also has a better display, making it easier to navigate the settings menu. For photo printing, the Epson can produce a wider range of colors, but its color accuracy isn't as good as the Brother's.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820

The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820 and the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 are very similar printers, but the WF-3820 is better overall. It has a larger touchscreen display that's easier to navigate, scans much faster, and prints much faster. If you print many pages, the WF-2830 has a higher page yield, which gives it a lower cost per print even though its cartridges are more expensive.

Canon PIXMA TR8620

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 and the Canon PIXMA TR8620 are both designed for home office use, but the Canon is a more versatile model. Although its cartridges cost more, the Canon prints more pages, resulting in a lower cost-per-print. Also, the Canon prints and scans faster than the Epson. If you print photos often, the Canon's photo quality is significantly nicer, and its colors look a lot truer to their originals.

Canon PIXMA MG3620

The Canon PIXMA MG3620 and the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 are both budget printers with different strengths. If you often need to scan many documents in a row, the Epson is a better choice since it has an automatic document feeder. Its color accuracy isn't as good as the Canon, but it has a wider color range and produces finer details in photos. On the other hand, the Canon can print more color pages despite having a single color cartridge.

Epson EcoTank ET-2760

The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 is a supertank inkjet printer, while the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 is an inkjet printer that uses traditional cartridges. The EcoTank is a better choice if you need to print many pages often, since it can print thousands of pages more than the WorkForce. You don't have to buy ink as often, which helps keep its cost-per-print much lower, even if its color ink bottles cost is more expensive than the WorkForce's color cartridges. On the other hand, the WorkForce printer has an automatic document feeder, so you can scan a stack of pages without placing each one on the flatbed individually. Also, it can fax, which might be important for your work tasks.

Canon PIXMA TR8620a

The Canon PIXMA TR8620a is better than the Epson WorkForce WF-2850. You'll get a good 100-200 more pages out of the Canon, which helps you save money on ink costs, even though the Canon's color cartridges cost more. Photos look much nicer, too, which may be important to you.

+ Show more

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Build Quality
Type All in One

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850's plastic body feels good overall, but some parts (like the output tray and ADF tray) feel thin and flimsy. Thanks to the lid dampener, you don't need to hold the scanner up with one hand while you use the other to deal with paper jams or change the cartridges. However, it only opens to about 45°, so there isn't much space to move around, especially since you need to be careful not to touch any of the ribbons.

Height 8.5" (21.5 cm)
Width 14.8" (37.5 cm)
Depth 11.6" (29.5 cm)
Height When In Use
9.4" (24.0 cm)
Width When In Use
14.8" (37.5 cm)
Depth When In Use
23.0" (58.5 cm)
12.0 lbs (5.4 kg)
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

The Epson WorkForce 2850 needs some maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Like all inkjet printers, there's a risk of the printhead clogging if the printer is left unused for months. However, there are a few built-in tasks to help solve printing issues: Printhead Nozzle Check, Printhead Cleaning, Printhead Alignment, and Paper Guide Cleaning. The four start-up cartridges that come with the printer were completely clogged after sitting unused for two months. It took four printhead cleanings to unclog them, and they were completely drained by the end of the process. However, you won't have this issue if you print regularly.

You can easily access the ADF sheet rollers by pulling up the lid at the top of the printer. You can also reach some of the sheet rollers by removing the panel at the back of the printer. To change the cartridges, you need to not only turn the Epson WF-2850 on but also go into the Maintenance settings in the display's menu and select "Ink Cartridge Replacement" before you can remove the cartridges. Since it has a low page yield, you'll have to do this often if you print a lot.

Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
2.4" (6.1 cm)
Touchscreen No

The Epson WF-2850 printer has an okay display screen. It's bigger than other non-touchscreens, like the one on the similar Epson WorkForce WF-2830, and it has good viewing angles when sitting or standing. That said, it isn't easy to read from the sides, so you need to stand right in front of it.

Technology Inkjet
Photo Cartridge
Color Yes
Number Of Color Cartridges
Black Cartridge Model
Epson 212 Black
Tested Black Page Yield
8 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
152 prints
Color Cartridge Model
Epson 212 C/M/Y
Tested Color Page Yield
5 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
106 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Purchased One Did Not Work
Ink Type
Dye And Pigment
High Yield Cartridge

You can't print many pages on the Epson WF-2850 before all the inks run out, meaning you'll need to replace them frequently if you print dozens of pages each day. On the bright side, there are the high-capacity 212XL black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges available, which are advertised to yield 300 black pages and 350 color pages. These will last you longer than the originals, but they're still not that high compared to other models. To change the cartridges, you need to go into the Maintenance settings in the display's menu and select "Ink Cartridge Replacement" before you can open the lid to replace the ink. Unfortunately, the third-party cartridges weren't recognized by the printer.

Scanner Features
ADF + Flatbed
ADF Capacity
30 pages
Scan Speed
Duplex Scanning
Max Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
Max ADF Scan Size
8.5" x 14"
Flatbed Hinge Adjustability
0.43" (11 mm)
OCR Included

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 has a flatbed scanner with lid hinges that rise high enough to scan a thin textbook or spiral notebook. There's also an automatic document feeder, making it easier to scan a stack of sheets since you won't need to scan each page individually. That said, if your sheets are double-sided, you will need to flip over each one yourself. Unlike most all-in-one models, the flatbed scanner's white backdrop doesn't have a foam coating behind the white plastic sheet to help smooth down whatever you're scanning to the flatbed glass. While it doesn't affect individual sheets, thicker items like magazines or books have a shadow around their edges, and text near the spine is curved.

It has OCR technology through the Epson Scan 2 software, letting you save scanned media as searchable documents. This lets you easily search, copy, and edit the text in the content you scan. There are a few mistakes, but it's mostly with special characters. While it doesn't save your documents this way by default, you can select "Searchable PDF" in the "Image Format" settings of the Epson Scan 2 app.

Scan Quality
Max Scan Resolution
1,200 DPI
Max Scan Color Depth

The Epson WorkForce 2850's default scan resolution is 200 DPI, creating slightly blurry scans, as seen in the image sample above. However, you can set the maximum resolution much higher, so your scans will look sharper if you adjust the settings first. For text documents and photos, 600 DPI is enough to catch those small details. If you're planning on enlarging your scanned document or making touch-ups on your photo, using 1200 DPI is best. Check out the Epson WorkForce WF-2930 if you want a very similarly designed printer that outputs sharper scans.

In The Box

  • Instruction booklet
  • CD-ROM drivers
  • Power cord
  • 4x Epson 212 Claria Ink initial cartridges
    • 1x black
    • 1x cyan
    • 1x magenta
    • 1x yellow

Advertised Battery Life
Tested Charging Time
Black & White Documents
Color Ink Needed For Black & White
Color Documents
Black Cartridge Price
19.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
20.95 US$
Black-Only Printing Cost
0.132 US$/print
Color Printing Cost
0.198 US$/print
Photo Printing Cost
0.524 US$/print
Ink Subscription

The Epson WF-2850 has low page yields, meaning you have to replace the cartridges often. However, they're a little cheaper than other similar printers, which helps keep the overall cost-per-print mediocre.

Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
Color Document
Photo Printing Time
90.0 s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
15.0 s
Duplex Printing
Input Tray Capacity
100 pages

The Epson WF-2850 prints very slowly, whether you're printing monochrome documents or color ones. The printer takes a long time to print a single page after going unused for an hour, which is annoying if you're often printing out one-pagers every few hours.

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

Epson advertises that the Epson WF-2850 supports paper up to 8.5" x 44".

Color Gamut

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 produces a very good range of colors. The telltale zig-zag line is mostly visible throughout the image, meaning it's good at reproducing highly saturated colors. The black section at the bottom looks a bit bluer than expected, and it fades into the colors too quickly, meaning that the printer struggles to produce darker colors. The white area is well-defined and shifts into the colors well. The transitions between each color are smooth, meaning gradients (like sunsets or clear blue skies) will look good.

Color Accuracy
Average Color dE

The Epson WorkForce WF-2850 has poor color accuracy. Most colors look different from their originals, with blues, greens, and browns being the most inaccurate. It's fine if you're just adding a pop of color to your report or assignment, though.

Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
5760 x 1440
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
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App And Connectivity
USB Input To Computer
Wireless Yes
Wi-Fi via Router
Wi-Fi Direct
External Storage Support
Apple AirPrint
Mopria Print Service
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App
Mobile App Yes
App Name Epson Smart Panel
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Android and iOS
Android and iOS
Microsoft Office Files
Android Only
Text Files (TXT)
Android Only
Webpages (HTML)
Android and iOS

You can use the Epson Smart Panel app to print photos and documents, perform maintenance tasks, and check both the ink levels and maintenance box life. You can also use Access to Class to print assignments or scan documents from Google Classroom, and there's easy access to the Epson Creative Print app and Epson Gallery website for artistic prints or printing on different media formats. There's also a Guest Connection feature that creates a QR code that lets your friends easily connect to the Epson WF-2850. Although you can't print Word documents or text files directly from the app on iOS, you can still do so via Apple AirPrint. Android devices upload these files to Google Drive and convert them to PDF before printing.

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

You need to manually install drivers for the Epson WF-2850 to print and scan on Windows. However, this isn't necessary on macOS or Chrome OS.