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Imaging Devices

Epson WorkForce WF-3540 DTWF Printer - It’s The Business

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With its rather bulky case and a large ADF that doesn’t fold away, Epson’s WorkForce WP-3540DTWF all-in-one is obviously aimed at the small business market rather than home users. If you were in any doubt about that, just look at the two paper trays in the printer’s base, which between them can take a ream of plain paper, or a combination of plain paper and letterheads or coasted media. There’s a further multi-purpose input at the rear, and as if that wasn’t enough, both the printer and the ADF, which feeds sheets automatically into the scanner, are duplex-capable, which can help save paper as well as making it easier to produce double-sided documents such as leaflets.

Epson WorkForce WF-3540 DTWF

Epson WorkForce WF-3540 DTWF

This all-in-one’s main controls comprise a large color touchscreen flanked by touch-sensitive buttons that light up only when their function is available, which helps to avoid confusion is available, which helps to avoid confusion. Three on-screen icons take you to the Copy, Fax or Scam menus, with other functions accessed from a set of smaller icons underneath. It’s an intuitive and practical system, but we found we had to be careful to tap accurately when navigating the smaller icons. Using the touchscreen to enter our wireless network’s password wasn’t a problem, though, and it’s AirPrint compatible for printing directly from iOS devices.

As with most other Epson all-in-ones, the WorkForce WF-3540DTWF’s memory card slots default to storage mode, letting you read or write their contents form a connected Mac. It’s a particularly sensible default for this office-focused device, but there’s also a good menu system for making direct photo prints if you need to.

On the menu: You don’t need a degree to get to grips with the functions

On the menu: You don’t need a degree to get to grips with the functions

Depending on your expectations, you might find the output a disappointment. This printer uses pigment-based inks for the best results on plain paper, with the downside that photos don’t have the vibrant colors or full-gloss finish that would be possible with due-based inks. Stull, while photos aren’t its forte, it produced bold and solid color graphics on plain paper and crisp, near-laser-quality black text at the default setting. It didn’t hand about, either, rattling off a sheet of text every four seconds and reaching a reasonable 3.3 pages per minute in our mixed color test.

Photocopies were quick, with a single mono page taking only nine second and a ten-page color copy three minutes using the ADF. The results were good, although skin tones in color copies took on a slightly green tint. Scans were fast and particularly easy; Epson’s excellent interface is available with Auto, Home, Office and Professional modes, each providing a suitable set of features for the target user. The results were far better than average for an office scanner, delivering crisp and detailed photo scans at high resolution, as well as on more mundane documents.

Ream boat: the two paper trays can take a full 500 sheets of paper between them

Ream boat: the two paper trays can take a full 500 sheets of paper between them

This is a great all-in-one, and it’s also good value given its specifications and performance. Even better, it’s cheaper to run than some of Epson’s home-oriented devices, with each page of text and graphics costing less than 6p. Printing a page of black text should cost you less than 1.7p. In all, the WorkForce WP-3540DTWF is perfect for almost anyone who needs a fast, affordable all-rounder for the office.

Epson WorkForce WF-3540DTWF specs

§  InkJect business all-in-one

§  Needs: OS X 10.5.8 or later

§  Pro: Loads of features Quick – Almost laser-quality black text

§  Con: Photos not glossy

§  Best value

§  Price: $195

§  Verdict: 4/5

 

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