Epson EcoTank L8160 - Top printing 

May 1, 2022 - 20:26
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Epson EcoTank L8160 - Top printing 

Epson has been selling its EcoTank printers for several years, demonstrating its appeal to customers. Their key selling point is the low printing costs obtained by utilizing the CISS system (continuous ink supply system).

Inkjet printer development has progressed to the point that competitive pressure is causing manufacturers to cut equipment prices, and they are then attempting to catch up on consumables, such as ink cartridges. Third parties are attempting to earn a living in this market by providing alternative refills at a reduced cost, but not always with guaranteed quality.

These initiatives were extended to third-party CISS systems. However, they necessitated a pretty substantial change in the printer's architecture, as well as, of course, the loss of warranty. Furthermore, manufacturers have begun to defend themselves by incorporating chips inside cartridges to prevent the use of counterfeit cartridges.

That this is not the appropriate approach, as Epson realized and devised a technique for refilling large-capacity bottles. This has had a significant impact on the market, and it now makes little sense to redesign a printer. Although these printers are slightly more expensive, the increased price is certainly offset by the fact that it is a professional and hassle-free option, and the printing costs are comparable to traditional printers.

One of the latest additions to the EcoTank family is the EcoTank L8160 multifunction device. The printer allows borderless printing up to A4, which uses a 6-color inkjet printing system with piezoelectric nozzles with the new Epson Claria ET Premium ink. It provides a continuous supply of ink for up to 1800 photos (10 × 15) with supplied cartridges and up to 2300 photos or up to 6200 A4 pages with replacement cartridges. 

The ink is supplied in 70 ml bottles, from which it is added to the tanks in the printer. The bottles have specially adapted extensions for each color so that they cannot be confused. The price of printing according to standard consumption is based on 0.016 USD for a color A4 page and 0.043 USD for a 10 × 15 cm photo. In reality, of course, it depends on what you print and how often, but even so, the prices are excellent and hard to compare with anything else.

The printer supports borderless printing up to A4 format and also the now rare printing on CD / DVD / Blu-ray media. In addition, it allows you to print envelopes. When used in an office that is directly available due to its low cost, the option of automatic duplex printing will be a great advantage. The paper feeder uses three feeders, the rear for special media, Tray 1 for 100 A4 sheets, and Tray 2 for 20 photo paper. 

CD feeding is manual from the front using a special drawer. You can use Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, and Apple AirPrint to connect to PCs and mobile devices. You can print from a PC, or mobile phone, but also directly from a USB or SD / microSD card, the slot, and USB port are located on the left front. We used special Epson Semi-Gloss photo papers in our tests, Epson Photo Paper Glossy in various sizes and weights, and office paper with ColorLok technology. Printing on special photo paper went smoothly.

The printer works with a resolution of 5780 × 1440 DPI, in addition to the basic CMY colors, it also has pigment black, photographic black, and gray. As a result, the printer excels at printing not only color but also black and white photos. The print is beautifully sharp, with faithful color rendering and very fine gradation. 

The transitions between the individual shades have no signs of stairs. Even the smallest color details are accurately rendered. When printing on plain paper, the document profile must be set. It can work in three levels of quality: preview, standard, and high quality. Preview mode is for preview print only. The font and graphics are pale, but we did not notice any strips, the printout is otherwise good. When printed at standard quality, you get excellent text and image quality. This setting fits the most common office documents. The font has high sharpness without artifacts.

The highest quality in document mode basically only makes sense if some graphics and images are also used in the document. The print results are excellent. The printer is best suited for high-volume photo printing for photographers, small photo studios, or corporate marketing departments. In this case, the possibility of printing CD media is also advantageous. 

For domestic use, its capacity is oversized, and if you don't need to print more documents or photos often, buying it is a consideration. It should be borne in mind that the more often you print pieces, the higher the printing costs. The printer always needs to clean the nozzles, which, of course, means wasted color. As a multifunction device, an A4 scanner is also available. It works with a resolution of 1200 × 4800 DPI and uses a CIS sensor. The scanner is sufficient mainly for copying documents.

The printer control is provided by a touch color display, but you can also print and change settings directly from your mobile phone. The print tray slides out electrically when printing starts. However, for some incomprehensible reasons, it remains extended even after the device is switched off, and you can insert it manually or before switching it off from the display. Otherwise, the device has nothing to blame, it does exactly what it promises and, moreover, well.