Paper-free office—a work environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced—is often talked about by tech majors, but the fact remains that a paperless office is far from reality. Essential documents still need to be physically printed, and the printer remains a vital piece of office equipment. Not only that, every family needs a good versatile printer these days (for their children), one that can churn out pages of text for last-minute homework assignments, scan images and chapters from books, etc. Some of the smart, tech-savvy children print documents directly from a mobile phone. InkTank printers first launched by Epson in 2011 have been a runaway success in India (it has sold over 1.5 million InkTank printers to date) and around the world, with the value derived from ultra-low cost-per-print striking a chord with both value and quality conscious consumers.
Recently, this Japanese printer maker launched four new models of InkTank printers with advanced features. These are the L361, L380, L385 and L485 multi-function printers. The new models offer high page yields of 7,500 pages in colour or 4,500 pages in black with each set of inks, delivering the lowest cost per print of 7 paise for black and 18 paise for colour in the market. We got the L380 unit for a product evaluation, it retails for Rs 10,999. Let us check it out. The L380 printer offers the convenience of scan-copy capability, while the sleek, compact design ensures comfortable and convenient placement anywhere, whether at home or in the office. The unit measures 482 x 300 x 145 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 4.5 kg. The small footprint of the compactly designed L380 means you can place it comfortably anywhere in your home or office. At my end, I placed it safely on a sideboard that is in close proximity to a laptop. The entire set-up is an easy affair, just follow the instructions and you are ready to print, scan and copy in just a few minutes.
The ink tanks are fixed exterior to the printer, unlike conventional printers where cartridges are installed inside. The L380 comes bundled with two additional 70 ml black ink bottles in addition to the initial set of ink bottles. Each set of ink bottles provides very good functional economy, with upto 4,500 pages in black and 7,500 pages in colour. It brings very good performance and reliable quality, at improved printing speeds of 10ipm for black and white, and 5.0ipm in colour, bringing increased productivity. The printer offers warranty of one year or 30,000 prints. The L380 printer comes with Epson’s suite of connectivity features enabling scanning and printing directly to the user’s smart device or from online cloud storage services. For scanning capabilities, it scans at 600 x1200dpi.
With a patented bottle tip design for easy and mess-free refills, the tubes in the printer are also designed to be of optimum width to ensure smooth and reliable ink flow at all times. The L380 printer gives you the added convenience of scan and copy functions. Thanks to its precise 600 x 1200 dpi sensor, scans are sharp and clear while draft mode copies are completed in just 5 seconds for black and 10 seconds for colour. If you are looking to crank out page after page of textbook reports, school homework, etc., this printer will make you look really smart. The L380 excels where it matters the most: Printing text quickly and cheaply. It’s also very good at handling colour graphics.
Estimated street price: Rs 10,999