Review: Small and Home Office Inkjet AiOs – Epson’s WorkForce WF-3520 is Best in Class

2014 Gold MedalAt the very least, virtually every home or office of any size needs a basic All-in-One (AiO or MFP) in order to handle PC printing and document scanning, copying, and faxing. In this latest Head2Head Comparison, we chose the least expensive devices that meet our basic criteria for Inkjet SOHO (Small or Home Office) AiOs:

Wirth Consulting Usage Definitions

  • SOHO (Inkjet) = Network interface, duplex printing and automatic document feeder for AiO/MFP models.
  • SOHO (Laser/LED) = Network interface and automatic document feeder for AiO/MFP models.
  • Business Class = SOHO plus can support more users; higher maximum and recommended monthly volumes; faster print speeds; expandable standard media capacity exceeding 251 sheets; higher ink or toner capacity.
  • Enterprise = Business Class plus US Legal-sized platen, duplexing automatic document feeder for MFP models, PCL and/or PostScript print drivers, and remote management, deployment and security capabilities.

Our roundup included the latest qualifying inkjet AiOs from Brother, Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, and Ricoh that ranged in “street price” from $100 to $200. Although some may balk at paying up to $200 for an AiO in this price-sensitive class, keep in mind that there was a yawning gap between the lowest and highest cost per page/total cost of ownership in this group. In fact, the $100 price differential could be made up with as few as 2,124 black and 905 color prints over the lifetime of the machine, as well as the fact that the more expensive devices provided superior specifications and performance. Couple this with the huge disparity in feature sets, and determining Best in Class was as difficult as with any other group.

After considerable deliberation, we bestowed Best in Class honors on the Epson WorkForce WF-3520 due to the following strengths:

  • High ink and media capacities.WorkForce WF-3520
  • DuraBrite ink permanence, print quality, and drying time.
  • Single-sheet rear feed slot for feeding thick or odd-sized media.
  • Rich feature set and 2.5” color LCD display with image-preview.
  • Standard USB convenience port and media-card slots.
  • Fast simplex and duplex print speeds.
  • Duplexing document feeder for automatic scanning of two-sided originals.
  • Wired and wireless networking.
  • Banner and PictBridge printing.
  • A variety of Epson Connect mobile and remote printing solutions.

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