Epson EcoTank ET-8550 Elevates A3 Photo Printing with 6-Ink Magic

Epson EcoTank ET-8550 Elevates A3 Photo Printing with 6-Ink Magic

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In Printer, Published On
February 19, 2024
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In Shorts: 

  • Epson EcoTank ET-8550 uses refillable EcoTanks instead of cartridges for eco-friendly printing.
  • The printer has Ethernet, USB, Wireless, and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity to suit user preferences and device compatibility.
  • The £780 ET-8550 has six ink colors and produces high-quality printouts, making it excellent for photographers.
  • The printer can print on A3+ sheets, banners, sticky labels, and other materials, making it versatile.
  • Its huge 10.9cm color touchscreen, quick Epson Smart Panel app setup, and clear ink level visibility make it user-friendly.

Premium picture printer Epson EcoTank ET-8550 offers Epson’s tried-and-true six-color Claria technology in a refillable EcoTank format for the first time, shaking up the category. Six inks instead of four improve photo quality, but refilling six expensive cartridges per few shots was always a problem. Bottled ink is more appealing than costly cartridges, especially for A3+ paper.

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is a pricey inkjet printer costing £780 (US$1,100, AU$1,420), however it offers many features. The package includes ink for 2,300 photographs, a big color touchscreen, an SD Card, and USB Host connections. It appears smarter and smaller than the Epson EcoTank ET-7750, advancing EcoTank technology.

Epson EcoTank ET-8550 Specs

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

TypeAll-in-one
Color or MonochromeColor
Connection TypeEthernet, USB, Wireless, Wi-Fi Direct
Maximum Standard Paper Size13″ x 19″
Number of Ink Colors6
Number of Ink Cartridges/Tanks6
Rated Speed at Default Settings (Color)12 ppm
Rated Speed at Default Settings (Mono)16 ppm
Printer Input Capacity100 sheets of plain paper, 20 sheets of photo paper
Cost Per Page (Monochrome)less than 1 cent per page

Design and construct

Early EcoTank printers had bulbous ink reservoirs on the side resembling cartridge-based inkjets. The six tanks are neatly incorporated into their elegant design. The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is around A3 in size and 16cm in height, making it simpler to fit than typical A3 printers. Both front paper trays are too small for A3 paper. The back third paper tray accepts A3+ paper. It works well since this back tray has a smoother paper path; thus, A3 images won’t curl. You may also print on thick card. It may fit A3 paper. However, the scanner bed is just A4.

Cost and efficiency

ET-8550 prints well, which is wonderful. The EcoTank printer’s efficiency distinguishes it from Epson’s SureColor printers. First, the printer comes with ink. The six ink bottles included with the printer can produce 2,300 4x6s. Epson claims the ink should last two years, eliminating the need for expensive, environmentally harmful ink cartridges. Suppose you want 8×10 prints. A lab will charge $3-4 for each 8×10 print on glossy, semi-gloss, or luster picture paper. Epson glossy picture paper costs $0.22 per sheet for 100 US Letter sheets. These 100 8×10 prints using the EcoTank ET-8550 cost around half that in ink. Printing at home with the EcoTank ET-8550 might quickly save you a lot. When printing 11×14 or 13×19, the savings are greater.

Display

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

The big 10.9cm color touchscreen tilts up for convenient access, and the six ink reservoirs are visible underneath. Seeing how much ink you have in the tank is reassuring, unlike waiting for your printer to inform you to buy new cartridges: the 3-in-1 Epson EcoTank ET-8550 prints, copies, and scans. Designed for the house, it lacks an ADF and fax, but it’s packed with other functions. It can auto-duplex A4 paper, increase A4 photocopies to A3, and print on several blank media. The back basket can hold 2m banners and A3+ papers, prints on adhesive labels, thick cards, and blank CDs.

Ethernet, Wi-Fi Direct, and Apple AirPrint are also supported. The front flap hides an SD Card slot and a front USB Host port but no Bluetooth or NFC. Three paper trays let you load plain and picture paper and switch between them effortlessly. Each tray is restricted, with the main tray holding 80–100 A4 pages. The large 10.9cm touchscreen lets you preview your work at a usable size before printing with a simple user interface. The auto duplex option decreases its 32ppm mono A4 printing speed. It prints color slower, but we won’t criticize it for prioritizing photo quality above speed. The optimized print quality of 5,760 x 1,400 dpi and scan resolution of 1,200 x 4,800 dpi are outstanding. Very exact photocopies are expected.

Ink

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

Another benefit of the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is its ink capacity. The box contains six bottles, enough for 2,300 10x15cm prints. That’s generous, but down from the Epson EcoTank ET-7750’s ten bottles and 3,600 photographs.

Setup

The wide tilting touchscreen simplifies the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 setup. Follow the step-by-step onscreen directions or the QR code to download an Android/iOS app. Using your smartphone, Epson Smart Panel lets you get started. Filling the ink reservoirs and entering your Wi-Fi password to get the printer online is simple.

Calibration

Running a printhead alignment program by printing and reviewing a test page is recommended now. All our inkjet nozzles fired and looked good. The big, simple touchscreen display and silent operation make the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 easy to use. The motorized output ray glides out 27cm and opens the front flap easily for printing. When you load new paper into the paper trays, the screen reminds you to choose the right media type and size. The Epson Smart Panel app provides greeting card templates and enhanced smartphone management.

Performance

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 did well in all our tests but excels in glossy photo printing. The improved 5,760 x 1,400 dpi resolution with 180 color and 360 black nozzles produces exceptionally detailed images. The five dye-based Claria inks are vivid and well-controlled on coated paper. This printer and ink set produce vibrant photographs.

Epson EcoTank ET-8550 prints black-and-white images better than other printers since it has grey ink. When printed on A3 paper, the increased greyscale makes arty works seem professional. The sixth ink, a pigment-based black, is stronger than dye and better for typography. Two blacks allow you to print photographs and phrases without sacrificing quality. We noticed that printing two-sided black-and-white text was much slower than printing one-sided. However, our duplexed papers printed crisply and silently while printing slowly.

Scanner

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 handled 10x15cm picture paper, envelopes, A3 paper, and heavy paper material. Epson says the back tray’s smooth paper path can accept a 1.3mm thick card; however, it got stuck when we tested it. Besides this maximum paper thickness restriction, we had no misprints or paper jams and found it to handle all paper types effectively. Although the scanner is just A4, it makes accurate photocopies due to the printer and scanner’s high resolution.

Faster than Average, but Not a Speed Demon

According to Epson, the ET-8550 prints 16 black and 12 color pages per minute. I connected it over Ethernet to our typical Intel Core i5 testbed PC running Windows 10 Professional to test it. I timed the ET-8550 for the first test as it processed our 12-page Microsoft Word document. The ET-8550 printed our complete text page at 15.9ppm, meeting its rating and outpacing the Canon Pixma TS9520 and Epson ET-7750. The SureColor P700 can’t be compared to other near-dedicated professional picture printers since we don’t measure pages per minute.

Clocking the ET-8550 as it printed our collection of colorful and complex business documents, including Adobe Acrobat PDFs with text at various weights and colors, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with charts and graphs, and PowerPoint handouts with intricate gradients and colorful fills and backgrounds. These results and those from printing the text file in the preceding test were used to calculate an average for printing all of our test papers. The combined average score was 7.9ppm, which is modest for a picture printer but not fast for a printer. However, the ET-8550 easily surpasses the Pixma TS9520, which managed 4.7ppm.

Note: The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 has integrated ink tanks and a sleeker design than previous versions. Despite its initial cost, the printer contains ink for many prints, which may save money over time. The 10.9cm color touchscreen makes ink levels visible and easy to reach. The printer can print on A3+ sheets, banners, and sticky labels, making it versatile.

PROSCONS
Borderless 4×6 to 13×19 printsSlow duplex printing
Excellent production.The scanner is not A3.
Quick printing for its class.
Free first two years of ink

Should I Buy Epson EcoTank ET-8550?

For amateur and hobbyist photographers who wish to print at home and save costly ink replacements. Photographers who print many little to medium. But the printer isn’t ideal for:

  • Photographers who need 13×19-plus prints
  • People who rarely print because the printer is expensive
  • People who sell their art and need high-quality prints and archival materials

Though the “dislikes” list is almost as big as the “likes,” I like the Epson EcoTank ET-8550. It accomplishes most things well and efficiently. The ET-8550 lets you print from home, saving you money if you print often. Also amazing is the print quality. I suggest the ET-8550 to most photographers.

Final verdict

Epson EcoTank ET-8550 excels everywhere. This sleek, low-profile design fits the ink tanks well, and the touchscreen makes use easy. The print quality is better than the wide range of functions and media compatibility. The outcomes are always good when printing monochrome, color photographs, or basic text documents. Ink tanks make professional picture printers like this cost-effective, unlike ink cartridges. Despite its expensive price, the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is impossible to blame.

FAQs

  • What distinguishes the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 from competitors?

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550’s highlight is its refillable ink system with six colors, which improves photo quality. It utilizes cheaper bottled ink instead of cartridges.

  • What is the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 pricing and package contents?

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 costs £780 (approximately $1,100 or $1,420 in Australia). This bundle includes 2,300 photo-printing cartridges, a large color touchscreen, SD card capability, USB host connectivity, and sophisticated EcoTank technology.

  • What connections does the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 support?

The printer’s Ethernet, USB, Wireless, and Wi-Fi Direct connections make it easy to connect to many devices.

  • What paper sizes does the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 support?

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 can print on 13″ x 19″ paper and do other large jobs.

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