Epson WorkForce 600 Setup and Performance

by JerryJ Reads (31,389)

Setting up the WorkForce 600

When it comes to wireless printers. you can usually expect long, complicated installation procedures – particularly if there’s already one or more wireless printers on your network. Not so with the Epson WorkForce 600. This printer is so easy to setup you’ll wonder why other wireless printers are so complicated. Just insert the included CD into your computer, install the software, connect your printer to your router via an Ethernet cable (just to perform the initial setup) then unplug the cable and you’re wireless printer is ready.

As with all modern printers, the WorkForce 600 is pre-assembled and covered in protective tape when you take it out of the box.  All you need to do is remove the safety tape from the printer before you turn it on and insert the ink cartridges.

Ease of use

The WorkForce 600 makes a great home photo printer with prints that are smudge, fade, and water resistant, giving you photos that rival those from the one-hour photo lab. At the same time the WorkForce 600 allows you to print photos even without turning on your computer — the printer’s built-in memory card slots and 2.5-inch LCD let you take the memory card straight out of your camera, plug it into the printer, preview your images on the screen and make prints.

Like most new Epson all-in-one printers, the WorkForce 600 lets you print individual photos, multiplte photos on an index sheet, scan to PDF, scan to memory card, perform auto photo correction, print your own college-ruled, wide-ruled and graph papers, or print personalized stationery with and without lines.

WorkForce 600 Performance

The WorkForce 600 is an all-in-one printer featuring a printer, copier, scanner and fax machine.  All four were exceptional and offered performance as good or better than any other all-in-one in this price range.

The printer can print on several different kinds of media from photo paper to ordinary copy paper and in several sizes.  Text quality in normal mode was as crisp as what we usually see from laser printers, but you can save ink by using draft mode if you’re willing to accept text that looks less detailed on the page.

I tested the photo output of the WorkForce 600 on Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper (4” x 6” and 8” x 10”) and Office Depot Glossy Photo Paper (4 x 6”). The WorkForce 600 printed absolutely gorgeous colors with crisp details in the photos and the results with Epson photo paper rival what you get from a photo lab. The results on the Office Depot photo paper didn’t look as nice and I suspect it is because Epson uses specific paper profiles to apply ink in just the right amount to photo paper. The only potential frustration when printing photos is that the highest quality print setting makes the printer significantly slower. I’d say it took more than twice as long to print a photo on the best setting compared to the normal setting.

Epson claims the WorkForce 600 pumps out black and white prints in draft mode at 38 pages per minute and 27 pages per minute in normal quality mode. Color printing rates are 38 pages per minute in draft mode and 19 pages per minute in normal mode. This is significantly faster than most printers in the same price range, but the WorkForce 600 makes one tradeoff to get that speed: Noise. Epson says the WorkForce 600 has a sound output of only 39dB, but the noise level is actually significantly louder when the paper feeder is loading and feeding paper through the printer. Since this is a wireless printer you can keep the WorkForce 600 in another room when printing to cut down on noise. You don’t want to be talking on the phone if you have this all-in-one sitting on your desk.

The copy/scan functionality is good; and the 2400 x 2400 dpi optical resolution is much better than the meager 600 x 1200 dpi on other all-in-one printers.  There is also an interpolated resolution of 9600 x 9600  dpi but this interpolated resolution doesn’t actually produce scans or copies with better detail, it just generates a larger image file. Scanning done of photos and other media can be saved directly to a PC, memory card or a USB flash drive.

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