Review & Giveaway: Epson WorkForce 635 Multifunction Inkjet Printer – Faster than a Speeding Bullet

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Giveaway, Hardware, Review by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

A few years ago, I received an Epson Workforce 610 and was thoroughly impressed by it. It was fast and did everything that I would want an All-in-One inkjet printer to do: print, scan, fax and copy. Now, I have received the latest and greatest Epson WorkForce, the 635 and it has been improved even more, something that I didn’t think was really possible. In the past, I was always a bit leery of getting a multi-function device. I felt that way when stores were selling those dual DVD/VCR combo devices. The issue was always, if one of the primary functions broke, you were left with a partial device, even after paying a bit more. I always thought that It would make more sense to buy a less expensive DVD player and VCR player and then get rid of the one that broke or became defunct. However, this doesn’t really work in the realm of multi-function devices like the Epson WorkForce 635. To buy a copier, scanner, printer and fax machine would cost a whole lot more than a device like this.

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So, yes, I believe getting a multi-function device like the WorkForce does make sense, especially in this case. And the Epson WorkForce 635 really does a nice job fitting into either a home or business environment. Let’s face it. When you have kids in school, there is really no difference than a work or home environment. I would almost say that with a multi-function device like this, the printer would get more of a workout at home than at work. In the workplace, most people just print and print and print and perhaps fax once and a while but printing is the most common.

NOTE: Be sure to read further down this article because I’m giving away an Epson WorkForce 635 via Twitter!

At home, you have many players at work here: kids doing homework assignments and parents doing business or bills or other things. You most likely use every aspect of a multi-function printer in that environment. My daughter, for example, makes copies of her math homework so that she doesn’t have to carry the huge book. My younger daughters raid the paper tray for drawing paper on a regular basis (that isn’t something in the printer’s documentation, by the way). Luckily they haven’t figured out how the new WorkForce has moved the paper tray from the back to under the output tray in this new version.

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The WorkForce 635 boasts of a lot of great features, the most important one I think is the speed at which it prints. Here are the benchmarks:

  • Single Sided – 15 pages per minute (ppm) in black & white and 7.2 ppm in color
  • Double Sided – 7.5 pages per minute (ppm) in black & white and 4.6 ppm in color

I can attest that the WorkForce literally flies through its print jobs. In fact, I haven’t really seen an inkjet print as quickly as this one. When you are rushing out the door to school or to go shopping (i.e., printing coupons), it’s really good to know that you won’t be sitting around tapping your foot waiting for your print job to finish.

Apart from printing, it also does scanning, copying and faxing as well. Here are a list of highlights:

  • Two-sided printing (saving the trees)
  • Built-in 30 page automatic document feeder that handles one AND two-sided documents for scanning, faxing or copying (stack your larger docs)
  • 250 page input tray (that is carefully hidden away from little hands in search of drawing paper)
  • Ability to fax directly from a PC (uses your Epson as a hub)
  • Included OCR software allows you to edit documents that you scan (nice feature to have)
  • Scan-to-PDF feature lets you scan, search and archive important documents (de-clutter your house)
  • 5760 x 1440 dpi printing
  • 2400 x 2400 dpi scanning
  • Ability to scan document directly to computer (assuming you are on the same network)
  • Huge flexibility when copying/scanning – reduce/enlarge, directly to PDF, photo reprints, auto background removal, Fit-to-Page feature for fitting photos (like that feature!)
  • Send/receive black and white as well as color faxes in as fast as 3 seconds per page (didn’t know that you could actually fax in color!)
  • The ink cartridges are extra-high capacity and are fade, smudge and water-resistant DURABrite Ultra inks

Another nice thing about the WorkForce 635 is that is really has a nice small form factor. You can place it just about anywhere and it seems to fit right in. I particularly like that it is black in color so it really is unobtrusive. A nice change that Epson made over the 610 is how the paper is handled. In the 610, you drop it into the back and it sticks up out of the back. With the 635, they incorporated a paper tray that actually is out of sight and holds 1/2 of a ream of paper (and, like I said, my kids don’t know where the paper is so they can’t steal it!).

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I have had both HP multi-function inkjet printers and Epson ones as well. Honestly, I have found the HP’s to be a bit temperamental when it comes to networking. At times, I have had to restart my HP to have it re-attach to the network, but that could be more of a networking issue and less so of the device. The Epson has pretty much been reliable when using either WiFi or Ethernet. I usually try to put these types of networked printers on an Ethernet connection. Importantly, the Epson 635 supports 802.11 N as a new wireless connection type as well as 802.11 b/g. It did take me a bit of time to find actually where the Ethernet cable is connected. Just note, it is not intuitively placed in the back of the device but rather sort of on the side in a port area.

One thing that is nice is the 2.5″ LCD screen that brings all of the controls to your fingertips. I actually haven’t picked up the documentation much because the screen prompts are helpful and understandable and once you get your computer installed on the network (you do need a PC or Mac for driver and enhanced function setup), you can pretty much manage the WorkForce from just the LCD screen. The Mac and PC software does the job as well, whether you want to send faxes or scan documents. You can even connect a USB thumb drive to load documents from the drive directly to your computer.

And don’t forget, if you have a mobile device, you can print to your Wifi-connected printer & cell phone using one of the Epson apps: www.epson.com/mobileprinting

The WorkForce 635 has an MSRP of $229.99 but there is currently a $50 instant rebate with Epson making it very reasonable at $179.99. On Amazon, you can currently pick it up for $169.97. The other version that I mentioned, the WorkForce 610 has an MSRP of $199.99 but there is a $100 instant rebate with Epson on their site so it is going for a steal of $99.99. The price for the 610 currently on Amazon is $111.46.

GIVEAWAY

So, just in time for the Holiday Season, I’m going to be giving away an Epson WorkForce 635. The giveaway will be done over Twitter using TWTaway.com‘s service which I have used in the past. Here are some basic rules about this giveaway:

This Giveaway starts on 11/19/2010 at 10:00 am (Pacific Time) and goes to 11/30/2010 at 10:00 am (Pacific). To enter, please visit the TWTaway giveaway page or you can use the widget below:

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There is only one winner. If the winner does not respond to the winner notification, I will select someone else. You only need to enter once but be sure that your name shows up on the TWTaway page.

HighTechDad Ratings

The Epson WorkForce 635 is a very nice upgrade from the 610. It is incredibly fast at printing and has an amazing amount of functionality built into it. As of this writing, I really haven’t found anything to complain about but I will update this post should something need me to provide additional longer-term details. It does take some time to set up and you do have to pay attention to what you are doing. If you are scared by multiple configuration settings, it may take you a bit longer but the documentation is pretty straight forward. You will probably need to help your kids with some of the scanning features but copying and printing should be pretty easy to do. I definitely recommend having the most tech-savvy person in your family or business set it up for you.

EASY TO GEEK FACTOR – is the device easy to get up and running
HTD_3_half_star
FAMILY FRIENDLY – does the device fit well into family environments
HTD_3_half_star
RECOMMENDABILITY– would I recommend it to others (more means “yes”)
HTD_4_half_star
PRICE POINT – does the price reflect the product function
HTD_4_half_star
OVERALL – my general rating
HTD_4_star

Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.

HTD says: The Epson WorkForce 635 is a great main printer for any household and will definitely be a good productive work companion in any small business environment.