The Epson WorkForce ST-M3000 Monochrome MFP Supertank Printer ($399) is an inkjet alternative to entry-level monochrome all-in-one laser printers. Kin to the Editors' Choice EcoTank ET-M3170 the company released earlier this year, this WorkForce model is a little faster, comes with twice as much ink, and offers a few other business-friendly features. Designed for small to midsize offices and workgroups, the ST-M3000 lists for a little less than the EcoTank AIO and delivers the same ultra-low running costs, making it an Editors' Choice.
Measuring 13.6 by 14.8 by 13.7 inches (HWD) and weighing 16.1 pounds, the ST-M3000 is the same size as the ET-M3170. It's 13.2 pounds lighter than the Editors' Choice Canon imageClass MF269dw laser. Another monochrome laser AIO, Lexmark's MB2236adw, sits between the Epson and Canon in both size and girth, while Epson's beefier WorkForce Pro WF-M5799 is significantly larger and heavier than all these other multifunction machines.Our Experts Have Tested 53 Products in the Printers Category in the Past YearSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
Like the Canon MF269dw, the ST-M3000 comes with a 35-page manual-reversing automatic document feeder (meaning that you must flip stacks of two-sided originals yourself). The Lexmark's 50-sheet ADF is also limited to manual duplexing, but the WorkForce Pro WF-M5799's 50-page ADF is a single-pass duplexer—it scans both sides of two-sided pages simultaneously.4.0Excellent $599.99See Itat AmazonRead Our Epson EcoTank ET-M3170 Wireless Monochrome All-in-One Supertank Printer Review 4.0Excellent $699.95See Itat Amazon Read Our Lexmark MB2236adw Review 4.0Excellent $405.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Canon imageClass MF269dw Review 4.0Excellent $528.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Epson WorkForce Pro WF-M5799 Review 4.5Outstanding $379.99See Itat Office Depot® & OfficeMax®Read Our Brother MFC-J6945DW INKvestment Tank Color Inkjet All-In-One Printer Review 4.0Excellent $279.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank All-in-One Printer Review 4.0Excellent $499.99See Itat Dell TechnologiesRead Our Epson EcoTank ET-4760 All-In-One Printer Review 4.0Excellent$429.51See Itat AmazonRead Our Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 Small-in-One Printer Review 4.0Excellent $299.99See Itat AmazonRead Our Epson WorkForce Pro WF-M5299 Monochrome Printer Review
The ST-M3000's control panel consists of a 4-inch color touch screen plus Home and Power buttons, as seen in the image below. From here, you can configure the printer, monitor consumables, and execute walk-up tasks such as making copies or scanning to and printing from the cloud. As with most other business printers and AIOs, you can also access the Epson via a web browser to perform jobs such as generating and printing usage reports.
Like most Epson printers nowadays, the ST-M3000 supports smart home voice-activation via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and IFTTT (If This Then That) scripting. With the appropriate equipment and/or service and your smartphone, you can give commands like, "Alexa, ask Epson Printer to print such-and-such document" or "Hey Google, ask Epson Printer to print today's schedule" without leaving your chair.
Paper handling consists of a 250-sheet main cassette plus a one-sheet override slot at the rear. This is comparable with several other entry-level monochrome AIOs including the Canon MF269dw and Lexmark MB2236adw, though the WF-M5799 holds 330 sheets expandable to 830.
Finally, the ST-M3000's spec sheet doesn't list volume ratings, but its ET-M3170 sibling's maximum monthly duty cycle is 2,000 pages with a 1,500-page recommended monthly print volume. That's not a lot compared with its laser competitors, but it's likely adequate for modest print and copy environments. All the other printers mentioned here boast higher duty cycle ratings and recommended volumes of around 2,500 pages per month.
Standard connectivity consists of 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Gigabit Ethernet, and plugging into a single PC via USB 2.0. Mobile options include Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Epson Connect, a set of handheld utilities comprised of Epson Email Print, Epson Remote Print, and Epson iPrint App for iOS and Android.
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Epson rates the WorkForce ST-M3000 at 20 pages per minute (ppm), or a bit below average for an entry-level monochrome AIO. I tested it over an Ethernet connection using our standard Intel Core i5 PC running Windows 10 Pro, and the device matched its 20ppm rating when cranking out our 12-page Microsoft Word text document. That's 4.4ppm slower than the Epson WF-M5799, 9.9ppm slower than the Canon MF269dw, and a leisurely 16.7ppm behind the Lexmark MB2236adw.
For the next part of my tests, I clocked the ST-M3000 as it printed our colorful, graphics-heavy Adobe Acrobat PDFs, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and charts, and PowerPoint handouts. Its 16.3ppm throughput was a little slower than the other AIOs in the group, with the Lexmark winning the race at almost 20ppm.
As I've noted in many reviews, Epson's PrecisionCore printheads are comprised of more tightly condensed, smaller nozzles than most other inkjets', translating to more detail and, in the ST-M3000's case, more perceptible shades of gray. In addition, the WorkForce renders terrific-looking, near-laser-quality text. The serif and sans-serif test font pages I printed contained well-formed, highly legible characters at all point sizes. Overall, text quality is comparable to that of many of the laser AIOs I've tested over the years.
But where the ST-M3000 really outshines its laser-based rivals is in grayscale graphics and photos. The gradients in our Excel charts and PowerPoint handouts flowed evenly from tint to tint, as did the subtle grayscale shifts in photos. Solid fills and backgrounds displayed little to no discernible streaking. Overall, the ST-M3000's monochrome printhead churns out the same top-quality grayscale prints I've come to expect from Epson's other PrecisionCore WorkForce and WorkForce Pro models, be they black or full color.
Without question, however, the ST-M3000's most fetching feature is its 0.3-cent ink cost per page. Entry-level monochrome laser AIOs tend to set you back about 2.5 to 3.5 cents per page, which can be as much as 11 times more expensive—enough to save you hundreds of dollars or more over the life of the printer if you opt for the Epson.
Furthermore, Epson includes an additional 6,000-page bottle of black ink in the box, giving you enough ink to print 11,000 to 12,000 pages, or about twice as many as the ET-M3170. The company also backs up the ST-M3000 with a two-year warranty when you register it.
Of the competitors mentioned here, most don't come close to this model's thrifty long-term costs, though Epson's own WF-M5799 is the closest at about 0.75 cent per page with substantially higher volume and capacity ratings. The Canon MF269dw, for example, costs 2.5 cents more per page—say, an additional $40 for every 1,500 monthly prints, or about $480 per year. Keep in mind, though, that you'll pay more up front for the ST-M3000 than for many laser AIOs, so make sure your print and copy volume justify the increased initial outlay.
If your office doesn't require laser (toner) output and you need to print and copy several hundred to about 1,500 monochrome pages monthly, the Epson WorkForce ST-M3000 makes good sense. It prints well and at a decent clip, though you'll need to flip your double-sided multipage copy or scan jobs manually. (You can get single-pass auto-duplexing for about the same price with the WF-M5799 or $50 more with the ET-M3170, though their running costs are slightly higher.) In any case, if value's what you're looking for, the ST-M3000 is an Editors' Choice.4.0Editors' ChoiceSee It$385.39 at NeweggMSRP $399.00View More
The Epson WorkForce ST-M3000 is an inkjet alternative to monochrome laser AIOs that prints well with ultra-low running costs, not to mention it comes with a ton of ink in the box, increasing its overall value.
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