A mobile inkjet printer geared toward business professionals, the Epson WorkForce WF-100 ($349.99) brings a variety of connection methods, generally absent from the mobile inkjets we've reviewed. This, and its lightweight, compact form factor, makes it a good tool for road warriors who need to print documents in a pinch, from smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops. Although it falls short of the competition in several other areas, the WF-100's ($479.99 at Amazon) ability to connect to wireless networks and mobile devices should make it a welcome choice for many business travelers.
Design and FeaturesWhen closed, the WF-100 measures 2.4 by 12.2 by 6.1 inches (HWD), and it weighs just 3.5 pounds, making it more lightweight and compact than its peers, the HP Officejet 100 Mobile Printer ($479.99 at Amazon) and the Canon Pixma iP100 Photo Printer ($479.99 at Amazon) . The WF-100, glossy and matte black in turn, folds open so that its lid becomes the paper holder for the input tray, which accpets a mere 20 sheets of plain paper.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.)
Just in front of the paper feeder is a 1.8-inch LCD for navigating the menus with the aid of a four-way rocker switch, with a central OK button, located just to the display's right. These are flanked by the power switch (with the standard icon), and a cancel button (the icon is a red circle containing a triangle). These are this printer's only physical controls.
The printer can be powered either from the included AC wall adapter, or from a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The battery can be charged either from the adapter, or from a computer over a USB cable when the printer is turned off or in Sleep mode. Either way, fully recharging the battery takes about 2.5 hours, and a charge should be good for printing about 50 color or 100 black-and-white pages, according to Epson.4.0Excellent Read Our HP Officejet 100 Mobile Printer Review 4.0Excellent $159.99Check Stockat AmazonRead Our HP Officejet Pro 6230 ePrinter Review 4.0Excellent $214.99 See Itat AdoramaRead Our Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer Review 3.5Good$867.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One Printer Review
ConnectivityThe WF-100 can connect to a computer via USB 2.0, to a local-area network via 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, or make a direct peer-to-peer connection to a computer or mobile device via Wi-Fi Direct. It supports printing from the Epson iPrint app for iOS or Android, and Epson Email Print and Epson Remote Print, both of which allow users to automatically print to the WF-100 by sending it documents via email. Epson gives you the option of having an email address assigned to the printer during the setup process, which you can later change to an address more to your liking.
Cartridge Capacity and Running CostsThe WF-100 uses two ink cartridges, one for black ink, and the other combining cyan, magenta, and yellow. The black cartridge has a rated yield of 250 pages; the color cartridge, 200. This is a smidge greater than the Canon iP100, with claimed yields of 249 pages for its color cartridge and 191 pages for black. However, it's considerably short of the HP Officejet 100's claimed 560 pages for its high-yield color cartridge and 500 pages for black.
Running costs for the WF-100, based on Epson's price and yield figures for its cartridges, are 8.8 cents per black page and 17.8 cents per color page. This is substantially higher than the Canon iP100 (6.3 and 13.1 cents, respectively) and even more so than the HP Officejet 100 (4.8 and 11.9 cents). If your need for mobile document printing is strictly light duty, running costs may not be a significant factor, but the more you print, the more the difference in running costs could increase your expenses with the WF-100, compared with these other two models.
Print SpeedI timed the WF-100 at an average speed of 2.2 pages per minute (ppm), which is typical for a mobile inkjet. It falls between the HP OfficeJet 100 and the Canon iP100, which we clocked at 1.8ppm and 2.5ppm, respectively, on the same tests.
We measure photo-printing speeds for all inkjets, and the WF-100 averaged a snail-like 4 minutes 40 seconds per 4-by-6 print. That's more than a minute-and-a-half longer than the notably slow 3:08 turned in by the HP Officejet 100. That said, the need for photo printing from a mobile business inkjet is minimal.
Output QualityOverall output quality is a little below average for an inkjet, with slightly subpar text and graphics, and average photos. Text quality is fine for standard business documents, but not for ones like resumés with which you're seeking to make an extra special impression.
Some of the graphics in our testing showed significant banding (a regular pattern of faint striations). Thin colored lines against darker backgrounds were nearly lost in a couple of illustrations.See How We Test Printers
Most of the test photo prints were of a quality you might expect from drugstore prints or slightly better, but our monochrome test photo had a substantial tint, and one other print showed banding and some discoloration.
ConclusionAs a compact inkjet for businesspeople on the go, the WF-100 is a capable model, particularly good at fitting into today's mobile, wireless work environment. That said, it has enough drawbacks that the other two printers I've discussed here may be better picks for many: the Canon iP100 for its speed, and the HP Officejet 100 for output quality, running costs, and heartier battery, and both for their 50-sheet paper capacity. They also both offer Bluetooth, as well as USB. But should you need more connectivity, the Epson WorkForce WF-100's addition of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct, and the ability to print from mobile apps and email could make it your best choice as a compact, featherweight inkjet.3.5See It$479.99 at AmazonMSRP $349.99View More
The Epson WorkForce WF-100's compact form factor and wireless printing chops make it a welcome choice for business travelers looking for a portable inkjet printer.
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