The Epson WorkForce Pro EC-4040 Color Multifunction Printer ($299.99) is a midrange color all-in-one (AIO) intended for relatively high-volume printing and copying in micro, small, and home-based office settings. It’s fast, it prints well at reasonable running costs, and it’s loaded with features. The EC-4040 is a fine heavy-duty office-oriented AIO well-deserving of inclusion on any busy small office’s shortlist, but it can’t be the lower running costs of the Editors’ Choice Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5790.
Packed With Features
The EC-4040 measures 13 by 16.7 by 19.8 inches (HWD) and weighs 26 pounds, making it a bit smaller than the WorkForce Pro WF-C5790 and the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025. Brother’s MFC-J6945DW, a tabloid-size AIO with an otherwise comparable volume rating and feature set, is several inches wider and weighs more than twice as much as the EC-4040.
Most of today’s midrange business-oriented AIOs come with automatic document feeders (ADFs). The EC-4040’s ADF holds up to 50 originals, and, as a single-pass auto-duplexing mechanism, it can scan and copy both sides of your two-sided multipage documents simultaneously. The Epson, HP, and Brother AIOs mentioned previously also come with single-pass ADFs, though the OfficeJet Pro model holds only 35 pages, and the wide-format Brother AIO scans and copies pages up to 11 by 17 inches, while the others can manage only legal-size (8.5 by 14 inches) pages.
You can monitor, configure, and execute walkup tasks, such as printing to or scanning from the cloud, making copies, or setting security options, from Epson’s standard 4.3-inch color touch screen, which, except for the Power, Home, and Help buttons, the near-field communication (NFC) hotspot, and phone line (fax) status indicator, comprises the entire control panel.
As do most business-oriented printers, the EC-4040 also supports monitoring, configuring, report generating, and more from a built-in web server you can access in your browser from just about anywhere.
The EC-4040 supports Amazon Alexa and other IFTTT (if this then that) scripting for hands-free, voice-activated printing. With generic IFTTT scripts, you can tell the EC-4040 to print your to-do and shopping lists, as well as several other everyday documents, vocally, no matter which smart voice activation service you use.
The EC-4040’s paper capacity is up to 500 pages, split between two 250-sheet cassettes. That’s 100 sheets behind the HP 9025 and the Brother MFC-J6945DW. Both come with, in addition to two 250-sheet cassettes, 100-sheet multipurpose trays that pull out from the back of the chassis. Out of the box, the WF-C5790 holds only 330 sheets, but it’s expandable to 850.
The EC-4040’s maximum monthly duty cycle is 30,000 pages, with a recommended monthly print volume of 1,500 pages. That, too, is the same duty cycle as both the OfficeJet 9025 and the MFC-J6945DW, except that both models’ suggested output is 500 pages greater. The WF-C5790’s duty cycle is, on the other hand, 15,000 pages higher, and its recommended volume is 1,000 pages more than the EC-4040’s.
Connectivity and Software
WorkForce Pro AIOs typically come with more direct, network, and mobile connectivity options than you can shake an ink cartridge at. The WorkForce Pro EC-4040’s standard interfaces are, for example, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Ethernet 10/100Base-T, Wi-Fi Direct, and NFC. The last two are wireless peer-to-peer networking protocols for connecting mobile devices to the printer without either them or it being part of an intermediary network or connected to a router.
Third-party mobile connectivity consists of Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Fire OS, and Mopria Print Service, and Epson provides the following services through its collection of Epson Connect apps: Epson Email Print, Epson Remote Print, Epson iPrint App (iOS and Android), and Creative Print App (iOS and Android).
The Creative Print App, according to Epson, allows you to “print Facebook and Instagram photos, turn your photos into coloring pages, create greeting cards and more, directly from your phone or tablet.” You can also print from and scan to USB thumb drives via a covered port on the left side of the chassis, as shown below.
As for software, in addition to the standard drivers, you get Epson Scan 2, PC Fax, and Document Capture Pro. That last one is an entry-level document-management program for converting your scans into usable file formats, such as image or searchable PDFs, and then archiving them according to presets and parameters you set within the Document Capture Pro program.
Running With the Inkjet Pack
Typically, Epson rates its top-of-the-line WorkForce Pro AIOs at 24 pages per minute (ppm), which is about where most other flagship inkjet machines, such as HP’s OfficeJet Pro 9025 and Brother’s MFC-J6945DW, top out. To assess the EC-4040’s performance, I timed it over an Ethernet connection from our standard Intel Core i5 testbed PC running Windows 10 Professional.
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