The Epson WorkForce WF-7610 multifunction printer (MFP) ($249.99) fits in a tight niche. The key reason you might choose this model is to print on and scan paper that’s up to tabloid size (11 by 17 inches) or a little larger. The catch is that there’s only one paper tray, so you can’t keep two sizes loaded at once. If you already have a letter-size printer in your small, micro, or home office, however, the WF-7610 ($661.10 at Amazon) can serve nicely as a secondary printer.
In addition to handling large paper sizes, the WF-7610 offers a long list of MFP features. Basics include printing and faxing from, as well as scanning to, a PC, including over a network, and working as a standalone fax machine and copier. It can also print from and scan to a memory card or USB memory key, and it even offers Web-connected features and mobile printing support.
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When you connect the printer by Ethernet or Wi-Fi to a network, you can use front-panel menu choices to scan to email or scan directly to Box, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive. You can also print through the cloud, and from iOS or Android devices through a network Wi-Fi access point.
The printer also offers Wi-Fi Direct, so even if you connect it to a computer by USB cable, you can still print from your phone or tablet.
Paper Handling and Printer Size Aside from the limitations of having only one paper tray, the WF-7610 offers capable paper handling. In addition to the 250-sheet drawer, there’s also a single-sheet manual feed, so you can print with a different paper size for short documents without having to swap out paper in the main tray.
Both the tray and manual feed can hold standard-cut sheet sizes as large as 13 by 19 inches (super-tabloid), which is larger than many competitors can handle. The Brother MFC-J4710DW ($970.92 at Amazon) , for example, is limited to a maximum tabloid size, and the Brother MFC-J6920DW ($698.90 at Amazon) is limited to a maximum of tabloid size or the ISO equivalent, but slightly different, A3 size.
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For scanning, the WF-7610 offers a flatbed and a 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) that can handle both tabloid and A3-size paper. Even better, the ADF can duplex as well, scanning one side at a time and then turning the page over to scan the other side.
The duplex scanning combined with duplex printing also lets you copy both single- and double-sided documents to your choice of single- or double-sided copies. And unlike some tabloid-size MFPs, which limit their duplexing to letter- and legal-size paper, the WF-7610 can do this with tabloid-size paper too, as I confirmed in my tests.
Setup, Speed, and Output Quality Like most tabloid-size printers, the WF-7610 is big and heavy. It weighs 40 pounds 13 ounces, and it measures 13.4 by 22.3 by 19.1 inches (HWD) with the output tray closed. With the tray fully extended, the depth grows to 32.2 inches. Assuming you can find room for it, setup is standard for an inkjet MFP. For my tests, I connected it to a wired network and installed the drivers and software on a Windows Vista system.
I clocked the printer on our business applications suite (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing), at 5.4 pages per minute (ppm). That’s a significant improvement over the previous-generation Epson WorkForce WF-7510 , at 3.9ppm, essentially tied with the Brother MFC-J6920DW, at 5.5ppm, and just a tad slower than the Brother MFC-J4710DW, at 5.7ppm.
Unfortunately, the WF-7610’s output quality isn’t as impressive as its speed; at least, it’s not uniformly impressive. Its text quality is at the high end of the range for inkjet MFPs. It’s not a match for a laser printer, but it’s easily good enough for any business use, unless you have an unusual need for small fonts.
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Graphics quality is at the low end of the range for inkjets. The output can serve nicely for any internal business need, but it may not be good enough for PowerPoint handouts or the like. Colors tend to be a little faded, and I saw some obvious banding in large areas of dark colors. Photo quality is typical, with output on photo paper roughly equivalent to what you would expect from drugstore prints.
To control the printer, there’s a 4.3-inch, color touch-screen paired with a particularly easy-to-use set of menus. The combination makes it easy to give commands for copying, scanning, and faxing. You can also define as many as 12 presets, with settings for resolution, duplexing, cloud destination, and so on. The presets let you easily give commands from the front panel for common tasks without having to define all the settings each time.
One potential drawback is its relatively high cost per page, at 3.2 cents for black and white and 11.4 cents for color, based on letter-size pages and Epson’s claimed yield and cartridge costs. For comparison, the Brother MFC-J4710DW’s claimed cost per letter-size page is 2.3 cents for black and white and 8 cents for color. The Brother MFC-J6920DW’s claimed cost is even lower, at 1.7 cents for black and white and 7.4 cents for color.
If the largest paper you need to deal with is tabloid or A3 size, you’ll probably be better off with one of the Brother models, which both offer two paper trays. The Brother MFC-J6920DW is the obvious pick if you print with A3-size paper or need to scan, as well as print at larger than legal size. The Brother MFC-J4710DW will likely be the better fit if you need to print at tabloid, but not A3, size and don’t need to scan at large size. You might also want to consider the Epson WorkForce WF-7520 , which also offers two trays. It can print at up to super-tabloid size and scan at up to tabloid and A3 size.
If you already have another printer for letter-size output, however, and need to print on paper up to super-tabloid size, the Epson WorkForce WF-7610 is one of the few inexpensive inkjet MFPs that can handle up to 13-by-19-inch paper. It also helps a lot that it’s fast, delivers high-quality text, and offers a long list of MFP functions.