Epson recently introduced their new EcoTank range of printers to the UK market. These printers have a built-in CISS, which you can top up with bottles of ink. The two printers currently available in the UK are the L355 and L555 all-in-one wireless A4 printers. Could these printers, and the ink savings associated with them, herald the start of a new age for printers in the UK? Today we'll take a look, albeit rather subjectively, at the range.


Epson EcoTank L355

The cheaper of the two printers in the EcoTank range, the L355 has a RRP of £249.99 and comes with 70ml of each colour ink. Epson say that this ink should last for two years for the average user, based on TNS research in June 2013. This is enough ink to print 4,000 black pages, and 6,500 colour pages, at 5% coverage.

Comparing this to one of Epson's cheaper all-in-one wireless printers, the XP-322 (RRP £79.99) comes with just 15.1ml ink in total, a far cry from the 280ml offered with the L355. Buying eight sets of Epson XL cartridges for this printer will set you back a cool £411.92, and will print a total of 3,935 black pages, and 3,780 in colour. At this point, you would have spent around £490 for a page yield close to that of the ink included with the L355, costing you an additional £240!

Of course, there is an option which we have so far neglected - fitting a CISS to the cheaper printer. The XP-322 can be bought from the CityInkExpress website with a CISS included for £114.98, and comes with 400ml ink - equivalent to 13 sets of Epson original cartridges, and lasting for 4,080 black pages and 6,750 colour pages based on Epson's individual cartridge yields for this printer. This saves £135 compared to the L355, and a massive £375 compared to using original cartridges in the XP-312.




Epson EcoTank L555

The L555 has a 30-page automatic document feeder, and has fax capability. Its RRP is £329.99, and again it comes with 280ml ink, lasting for 4,000 black pages and 6,500 colour pages at 5% coverage. Apart from the ADF and fax capability, its performance and specifications are much the same as the L355, at 4.5 colour pages per minute and 5760 x 1440 dpi maximum print resolution. See the table at the bottom for a comparison of all of the printers mentioned in this article.

We will be comparing this printer to the Epson WorkForce WF-2630WF, which has similar specifications but a very slightly improved print speed (4.7 colour pages per minute, as opposed to 4.5). For the RRP of £99.99, 14.7ml of ink is included. This will last for 175 black pages, and 165 in colour. 8 sets of XL cartridges in this printer will give a total of 4,175 black pages, including the ink which came with the printer, and 3,780 colour prints. Unfortunately, all that ink will cost £415.92, bringing the total cost for printer and inks to £515

The WF-2630WF can be bought with a CISS and inks for £139.98 on our website. Using Epson's estimated cartridge yields, this should last for 3,875 monochrome pages, and 6,920 in colour. The saving when compared to original cartridges is again £375, and £190 under the EcoTank L555.





So what could you buy on our website for £250, or £330? In short, you could buy a printer with capabilities far greater than those of the EcoTank printers. Some of our favourite Epson All-in-Ones are included in the below comparison. Again, these printer bundles come with a CISS and ink included in the price.




And finally, just because we like graphs, here is a comparison of the ongoing cost of running a CISS on those more capable printers. We had to extend this one somewhat, to 60,000 pages, because the 800ml ink included with the WorkForce Pro WF-5620DWF bundle is too much for a 10,000-page comparison to be useful. Whether or not that poor XP-625 printer would last 60,000 pages is another matter entirely - this is 30 years of printing for the average user, and is a stack of paper taller than a T-Rex!



As you can see, although Epson's EcoTank range is a huge cost saving over using a printer with genuine cartridges, it's still more expensive than using a siumilar printer with a CISS from CityInkExpress, and you can buy a printer with far greater specifications than an EcoTank, without having to spend any extra money.



* All prices include VAT, but exclude any associated delivery costs.

** We have used the RRP for all of the Epson original printers and ink refills because we couldn't find the EcoTank printers for cheaper anywhere else. We thought it would be unfair to compare a full-price EcoTank printer with a reduced-price printer using cartridges. Shopping around for the XP-322, WF-2630WF, and replacement cartridges will reduce the total price by around £100 (£20 on the printers, and £10 on each set of ink).

*** All prices correct at time of writing, 17/03/2015.

**** Page yields for our CISS inks are based on the equivalent page yield for original Epson cartridges. For example, a 16XL black cartridge for the WF-2630WF holds 12.9ml ink, and lasts for 500 pages. The 100ml bottle of Fotorite ink is therefore equivalent to 7.75 XL cartridges, and 3,875 pages.

***** Print speeds are ISO colour print speed, as quoted by Epson.

****** We've assumed that you replace all of the inks together, so your running costs may vary.

******* If any of the information on this page is incorrect, please let us know and we will do our best to rectify it.

******** We at CityInkExpress firmly believe that comparison to dinosaurs is the most sensible way of describing stacks of paper.


Here at CityInkExpress, we are often asked for advice on which printer model would be best for our customers. In this blog post, we hope to shed some light on the sometimes bewildering array of options available in the market.



Toner or Inkjet?


Traditionally, businesses have always chosen a laser printer over an inkjet because of the reduced running costs involved with a laser printer. That is no longer necessarily the case, and many small or medium businesses (SMBs) are taking advantage of the latest business inkjet offerings from the various printer manufacturers, with real-world print speeds of up to 22 pages per minute. Fitting a continuous ink system can often be cheaper than using toner cartridges, and the reduced startup costs are very attractive.



Which Printer Manufacturer?


Generally speaking, Canon produce the printers most suited to photo printing, and many of their models are able to handle cardstock up to 300GSM (grams per square metre).


Epson produce fantastic all-round printers, and their small-in-one printers from the Expression range are well suited to families on a budget.


Brother printers are relatively fuss-free, cheap printers suited to a variety of uses. Whether you are a small business looking to print invoices, or need a printer to handle your children's homework, a Brother printer may well be the way to go.



How Much to Spend?


Budget is a concern for most people, and we will always do our best to meet all of your requirements, but as with everything you get what you pay for. We can help you find a professional quality photo printer, or a high-speed printer for invoices, for under £100, but there will be a trade-off in terms of other functions. Ideally, you should look to buy a printer which does everything you need it to, and nothing more. That way, you won't be spending money on a function you won't use.


There is also another key point to consider when buying a new printer: running costs. One of the cheapest printers currently on the market is the Canon iP2850, starting at around £30 plus VAT. If you need a basic printer for occasional use, it may well be the way to go, but the cartridges can cost £25 a set, and will only last for around 180 pages. Clearly, printer price isn't everything.



You're Not Helping. Which Printer Should I Buy?


Alright, back on topic. You need a printer, and you don't know which one. There are too many to choose from, and you don't know how to narrow it down. The easiest way to choose a printer is to ask yourself the following questions:


  • How much do I want to spend?
  • Do I need a scanner/copier, or just a printer?
  • Should the printer be wireless? Will I want to print from my phone?
  • What kind of things will I be printing? Is it for card-making, invoice printing, photo printing, or a mixture of everything?
  • How much printing will I do?
  • Will I need to print double-sided?
  • Do I want to print in A3, or just A4?
  • Is there anything else I want the printer to do, or any other features I would like (e.g. printing onto CDs, fax capability, or a rear tray for cardstock).


If you can answer most of these, we will find the printer for you. Here are some examples of printers which we might recommend for different uses*:



"I just want a printer. For printing."

The Epson WF-3010DW is a fantastic little printer. It is completely lacking in bells and whistles, which means that the money goes to producing one of the best small printers on the market. At 9.2 colour pages per minute (or 15ppm in black and white), with automatic duplexing and wireless functionality, and a 250-sheet paper tray as standard, the WF-3010DW punches well above its weight in terms of print quality and speed. If you want all of this and a scanner as well, you would have to spend twice as much on the printer!



"I need something cheap with a scanner to print the kids' homework, and occasional photos."

Epson's Expression small-in-one printers are ideal for light use in a home environment. The XP-225 is the cheapest currently on offer, and for just £45 you can have a USB printer/scanner/copier capable of handling all types of printing.



"I need a printer for the office, as cheap as possible. I mainly print invoices."

Brother's all-in-one printers offer a very competitively priced option for small businesses or home offices. With prices from £75, the DCP-J4110DW is a real workhorse. With print speeds of 16 pages per minute, and the option of occasional A3 printing as well as a scanner/copier, many businesses should look no further than Brother's J4000 range of printers. For larger offices, the J5000 series is well worth a look, as they are more suited to heavy use.



"I want a professional-quality photo printer, but I don't want to spend any money."

The Canon Pixma iP7250 was made for photo printing. For just £60, you can have a wireless printer with a maximum print resolution of 9600*4800 dpi, and capable of handling cardstock up to 300gsm.



"I would like a printer for heavy use in the office."

This is a request we get a lot, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether it's Epson WorkForce Pro range, Canon's new MAXIFY printers, HP's OfficeJet Pro or Brother's J5000/6000 range, there is a huge range of inkjet printers available for SMBs. Different prices and print speeds, along with other options such as fax and double-sided scanning, enable you to find the perfect printer for your requirements.



"I don't like any of those. My needs are different."

That's not a problem. Drop us an email to and we'll find a printer/CISS combination to suit any environment.


*Prices and current models are correct as of 29/01/2015. Links provided are to printer bundles, with a CISS and 100ml bottles of ink included in the price.

It's been a while since we have posted - we have been very busy and are proud to launch our new range of ciss systems similar to Epson Ecotank range with Epson Genuine ink - yes that's right Genuine ink - For those customers that only use genuine inks and still want to save money - its a Win Win for you with on going running costs of around £1 a cartridge when compared to the standard fill OEM carts , currently available on a range of around 200 selected 4 and 5 colour models with more to follow. 

 The continuous ink systems are our new design in a handy 70ml version which is the same size as the refill bottles. We will be expanding the range in 2015 to include 6 colour printers in A4 and A3 size


We regularly get asked tips on how to save toner whilst printing, because as we all know, toner cartridges can be pretty expensive. Regularly replacing your toner cartridge can massively bump up the overall cost of printing, so it's important to try and save money where possible without ever comprimising the quality of our printing jobs. Here are our top tips for saving toner whilst still printing everything you need! 


That's how they get you.


1. Where possible, when shopping for your printer try and research which printer has the best value for money and cost per page. Occasionally you'll think you're purchasing a cheap laser printer but the cost per page far outweighs the low initial price. Quality over price will always help your printing costs in the long run! 


2. Get a printer which allows you to print double-sided. An automatic duplexer will allow you to print copy on both sides of the page - massively saving your printing costs. You'll also be far more economical by printing this way. Doing your bit for the environment is always a plus, right? 


3. Some printers will have an ink-saving or toner-saving mode. If you can select this in the settings of your printer then do - it will really try and get the most out of your cartridge.


4. Be sceptical of low-cartridge warnings. Printer manufacturers can afford to reduce the cost of their laser printers by charging a lot for toner cartridges, ensuring repeat purchases. They want your money as often as possible so always be sceptical when you get a warning message - you've probably got a few more prints before you need to replace it! 


5. Take care of your toner and ink. Run regular cleaning cycles of your printing nozzles and print test pages to ensure everything is working properly. Ensuring no build up of debris or ink/toner blockages are effecting your print will improve the ink/toner flow, meaning you get more out of your cartridges.


6. Perhaps most importantly of all - don't shy away from alternative toner cartridges. Branded toner cartridges can cost you a fortune, but here at City Ink Express we stock an enormous range of high-quality, alternative cheap toner cartridges which will keep your printer working in tip top condition!  

In recent years we've seen the cost of laser printers really plummet, making these up-market printing devices accessible to the majority of home owners, where previously they were more exclusive to offices and business owners who relied heavily on their printing devices. Indeed, it appears the more that technology develops, the more accessible these advanced technologies become to your average home owner, and we've seen a huge increase in the amount of laser printers found within domestic environments. Laser printers are renound for speedy printing and a professional finish - but there must be a catch right? We run through the pros and cons of low cost laser printers to help you decide whether or not a laser printer is a worthy investment for your home.


The Pros of Low Cost Laser Printers

  • The quality of print that laser printers produce is undeniable. The majority have a great resolution which provides crystal clear printing and if you're primarily going to be printing documents then it's undeniable that a laser printer is the best in the game
  • The speed of printing is second to none, with a laser printer able to polish off large documents in a very short space of time. The average laser printer can complete 20 pages a minute, which if you're on a tight schedule is a great plus, you'll have to agree! 
  • Laser printers are smart looking and compact. Their size is continuously reducing and now rather than a huge pertruding machine, you can have a tidy looking piece of kit which won't ruin your office decor - a definite plus for the house-proud
  • Rather than the traditional messy ink cartridges we're used to, laser printers print from a powder-like substance called toner, which is a powder form of ink. Toner is less messy, takes up less space and therefore your toner cartridges hold more - meaning you get more pages for your money per toner cartridge than you would per ink cartridge - another huge bonus 

The Cons of Low Cost Laser Printers 

  • The first catch is toner - it's expensive. There's no way around it. If you're going to be printing regularly, a toner cartridge can set you back a good few pounds every time it needs replacing. Here at City Ink Express we try to offer a range of compatible alternative toner cartridges for all major printer models - so you're not getting branded toner, but you're getting completely compatible toner which is tested by us before shipping and a guaranteed quality products. Many of our customers opt for this method to cut down on costs. 
  • Colour laser printers are available, but they're a bit more expensive. They also don't print pictures as well as an inkjet or specific photo printer, so if this will be your primary printing use you might want to research some other methods, because a colour laser printer may well be an unnecessary expense which doesn't perform how you want it to.  

So there you have it, the pros and cons of low cost laser printers. Which is the best option for you? If you need any help deciding please don't hesitate to give one of our friendly printing experts a call on 01332 347773!