Epson WorkForce WF-7210DTW review

An affordable, entry-level A3 inkjet printer with plenty of competition around

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

The Epson WorkForce WF-7210DTW is a likable A3 colour printer with low running costs, good connectivity, a sensible price and duplex printing. Oh and it does great prints as well. It might be worth investing a bit more to get an all-in-one though.

For

  • Great value for money
  • Long warranty
  • Fast
  • Great print quality
  • Two trays
  • Duplex A3 (not just A4)
  • Low consumables cost

Against

  • Paper handling can be problematic
  • No memory card reader or front USB

Aimed at the micro business community, the WorkForce WF-7210DTW is Epson’s entry level A3+ colour inkjet printer, replacing the WF-7110DTW, and remains the only one of its siblings to lack scan, copy and fax functionality.

If you are looking for these features, then the WF-7720DTWF is probably your best bet in Epson’s range but it carries a premium of nearly 50%, the WF-7210DTW carries a suggested retail price of £169.99 but can be found for as little as £122.50 at the time of writing at Amazon and you can even get a 3-year extended onsite warranty in the UK if you submit your claim within 30 days of purchasing the product.

Check out our best A3 printer buying guide as well to find out other options.

Printer side view

Design

This is an A3 printer so as expected, it arrived in a big box and the printer is massive. You will need significant desk space to accommodate the WF-7210DTW and enough clearance above, as it is more than 300mm high. At 567 x 424mm, its footprint exceeds that of an A2 sheet.

Printer trays

The printer has two trays, both of which can handle up to 125 A5 sheets. There’s a straight sheet feed and a fold-out, extensible output tray. There’s an Ethernet port as well as a USB port - note that no cables are provided. 

The control options are fairly standard with a 56mm LCD that provides basic information about print status. Nothing flashy; note that there’s no card readers or front USB ports as well. You will need a device (smartphone or computer) to print from it.

Ink cartridges

Open the top cover to shove in the four cartridges; Epson provides with standard Durabrite Ultra 3.6ml ink cartridges with XL (3x capacity, 10.8ml) and XXL (6x capacity, 34.1ml) cartridges available, albeit only in black for the latter capacity. 

The printer comes with a driver and utilities (CD), a set of ink cartridges, the power cord, a Quick Start Guide and the warranty document.

Rear ports

In use

The printer offers USB, Ethernet, NFC and wireless connectivity (Epson Connect) for direct and remote printing; we used the first one for our test.

Epson rates the printer at 18 pages per minute for monochrome and 10 pages per minute for colour using the widely available ISO/IEC 24734 test, which is a table, chart and graph heavy document. The printer can also do automatic duplex, reaching up to 8.7 ppm in mono and 6 ppm in colour.

In draft mode, the WF-7210DTW has a rated speed of 32 pages per minute in mono and 20 pages per minute in colour. Its maximum duty cycle is 20,000 pages per month with the recommended duty cycle being between 200 and 2500 pages per month.

You will need to install drivers to detect the A3 paper; default Windows drivers only showed a tiny fraction of the range of paper that the WF-7210DTW supports. Speaking of the paper, we used standard 80gsm stock for our tests; be careful with even the slightest dog-earing of your paper sheet as we found out that this printer is quite finicky when it comes to paper handling.

Printer interior

We printed a series of full size A3 pictures at the highest definition (which is unsurprisingly labelled as high definition) and stands at 4,800 x 2,400dpi; there are two other default print settings but the driver offers a wealth of settings to be changed should you want to do so.

Our set of prints (16 in all) took on average 76 seconds (from pressing the print button to the sheet being dropped in the tray). Batch colour printouts of A3 sheets will not dry instantly which means that it is advisable to remove them to prevent kinking.

The print quality is more than decent thanks to Epson’s PrecisionCore technology. Smaller ink drops meant  crisp black text without perceptible smudges. Obviously, paper quality will play a role, especially when printing full colour pages.

Even there, there was no banding or artefacts in lighter colours on our office quality 80gsm paper. Colours were punchier, more vibrant and had more oomph compared to the equivalent colour laser print. Note that the WF-7210DTW can also do borderless printing although we recommend using higher quality, heavier pages.

Printer closeup

Competition

As expected,  a set of original ink cartridges is relatively onerous at just under £45 (or 3.3p per page). Opt for the XXL/XL cartridges and you’d be paying almost as much as the printer itself at around £118 (or less than 2p per page).

All these prices are RRP though which means that there’s some leeway for some serious savings. That’s, according to Epson, up to 50 percent lower compete to competitors’ laser models.

Altogether, the Epson WorkForce WF-7210DTW is a capable large-format colour printer that will be a valuable addition to any small business. It is affordable, has low running costs and three year warranty on site.

The problem though is that the competition is ferocious at this end of the market especially when you factor special time-limited offers that vendors such as Brother, HP or Canon do to capture marketshare, a practice that’s prevalent primarily in the UK. 

The HP OfficeJet Pro 7730 Wide Format All-in-One Printer is available for £60 after a £40 cashback from online retailer Ebuyer. Its printing costs are more expensive, it doesn’t do NFC and duplex is limited to A4. On the other hand, it is half the price of the WF-7210DTW and includes a touchscreen display plus a scanner/copier/fax machine.

Slightly more onerous is the Brother MFC-J5330DW A3 Colour Multifunction Inkjet Printer, available from Printerland for £83.59 after a £50 cashback. Like the HP model above, it doesn’t do A3 duplex and no NFC but offers a colour display, a front USB (useful to print from a storage device) and includes scanning/copying/faxing capabilities.

And if you want to print large photo-quality posters, then check out the Canon Pixma IP8750. It is the only affordable A3 printer with a 6-colour system which will deliver a wider - and more granular - colour spectrum. At 155 (after a £35 cashback offer), it is dearer than the WF-7210DTW and has a smaller footprint as it comes with only one input tray. It doesn’t do auto-duplex and doesn’t have NFC as well. Clearly one more geared towards the creative type who wants more natural, photo-lab quality prints.