There’s a pop-up on my computer that alerts me when the ink on my home printer is running low. And every time the little window appears, I think, wait, didn’t I just put new cartridges in the printer? It’s definitely an annoyance and a huge expense. And one that you can now gladly avoid thanks the new Epson WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank printer.

The name doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but what does is every two years,  as in how frequently you need to change the printer cartridge.

Seriously. You’ll have changed the batteries in your smoke detector three or four times, before you change the ink in this printer.

The EcoTank referred to in the name is indeed a tank. A very large tank. And it comes right out of the box with a supply of ink for black and white and color printing that will last for what feels like eons in ink replacement years. Of course, if you’re printing out entire screenplays every day, the time frame is probably less than two years; but to put it in more specific terms, it holds enough ink to print up to 11,000 black pages or 8,500 color pages with a single tank. That’s a lot of school reports, class lists, and cute lunchbox printables.

Epson's new eco-friendly printer, which holds enough ink to print for two years without a cartridge change


I’ve had Epson printers in the past and have always been impressed with the quality. But what’s equally impressive here is that when you have exhausted the original ink supply — which is equal to about 50 regular cartridges from traditional printers —  and have gone through thousands of sheets of paper, replacing the ink will only run you $12.99 per cartridge.

Now that said, you do have a huge upfront cost; the unit will cost you $499. Eek. But if you do the math and look at what you spend on print cartridges with most printers, which can be $15 each, times four cartridges, that’s $60 every few months.

If you don’t print a lot, this may not be the right investment for you, but if you’re like me, I think it will pay for itself fairly quickly.

I should also mention that this is a four-in-one, so in addition to printing (both one and two-sideed), it also faxes, copies and scans. Plus it’s nice to know the printer is compatible with PC and Mac, as all printers should be these days, but aren’t. And as is becoming the standard, it will print wirelessly from your mobile device with the help of Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria or Epson Connect.

The cost savings is amazing in itself. The eco-friendly nature of machine and ink cartridge elimination is also a bonus. But the fact that I wouldn’t even have to think about ink replacements until 2017 or so? I’m totally sold.

The Epson WorkForce ET4550 EcoTank Printer costs $499.99 and is available from our affiliate Amazon with free prime shipping. Also find it at other electronics retailers including the Epson website.  Thanks to the company for sending CMT a review unit for consideration.