Epson's WorkForce Pro WF-6090DW puts forward a compelling argument for inkjets in the workplace as it boasts good colour and mono print speeds and the lowest running costs in town. Go for the XXL ink cartridges and you'll receive mono pages for only 0.75p each and colour ones for an equally pocket-friendly 4.3p.
Weighing 28kg, the WF-6090DW is no lightweight and it's armed for some heavy-duty action. Epson only quotes a maximum monthly duty cycle of 65,000 pages but this should translate to a recommended maximum of at least 5,000 pages.
The high-capacity ink cartridges have great longevity, with mono and colour ones lasting an impressive 10,000 pages and 7,000 pages respectively. The only other consumable is a 75,000-page maintenance box with a price tag of £23.
It isn't short on connection choices either, and includes Gigabit LAN and 11n wireless along with AirPrint, WiFi Direct and an integral NFC sensor. Paper capacity can be expanded by stacking two more 500-sheet trays underneath the base 500-sheet drawer.
Deployment is swift and Epson's driver install routine includes firmware and software update utilities. You also get a network status monitor, a browser plug-in for printing web pages and Epson's elderly Easy Photo Print utility.
Remote printing by email won't take long to set up either as another wizard registered the printer with our Epson Connect cloud account and assigned it a customizable email address. From the Connect web portal we could view printer usage logs, decide who was allowed to print email attachments and block photo printing.
Confidential prints can be protected with a driver PIN which is entered at the printer's mono LCD screen and control pad to release them. Apart from remotely locking the control panel from the separate EpsonNet utility, there are no other access controls provided, so you can't restrict colour usage or enforce page limits for selected users.
The printer's wireless services can be configured from the local control panel or web console and enabling them disables the LAN port. It displays all available SSIDs in its vicinity and you can use WPS to speed up the connection process.
The printer came close to the quoted ISO speeds of 24ppm but the maximum claimed speed of 34ppm is unachievable in the real world. Using the driver's Draft and Standard modes, our 34-page Word document was delivered at 23ppm which tumbled to 12ppm in High mode.
Duplexing the Word document returned 16.5ppm but it's a noisy process with our iPad measuring a peak 66dB at one metre. Our 24-page colour DTP document mustered 21ppm in Standard mode which also fell sharply to 11ppm in High mode.
The printer scores more points over lasers for its remarkably low power consumption. During printing, we measured it using no more than 36W -- most A4 lasers consume 500-600W when printing.
Text quality for general office printing is reasonable although we noticed a slight dusting around characters when using cheap 75gsm paper. Heavier 100gsm paper produced much sharper results - although this will increase running costs.
The WorkForce Pro delivers excellent colour results for graphics and photos with bold, punchy reports and no hint of banding in large single-colour areas. It beats lasers hands-down for colour photos as those produced on 160gsm semi-gloss paper were sharp, detailed and clean with no edge bleeding.
With print speeds similar to lasers costing half the price, the WorkForce Pro WF-6090DW isn't a great choice where demand is high. Access controls are also limited but its miniscule power consumption, long-life ink cartridges and low running costs will appeal to businesses with an eye on their budget and the environment.