If you're looking for a simple printer without all the bells and whistles, then the Epson B-500DN color ink jet printer might be just what you need. Although the printer is lightweight, the design is chunky and parts like the paper tray are sometimes too easily detached. This sentiment was echoed by some of my colleagues, who also disliked the printer's noisiness and wet copies - something I didn't notice until it was mentioned. If you are like me and don't immediately retrieve printed copies, then this won't bother you.

Installation was quick and easy, but spotting and removing paper jams were more challenging - a task for someone with small hands. Luckily the printer rarely jams. Cartridges, which cost between $39.99 and $69.99 each, print about 8,000 pages (black) and 7,000 pages (color) before replacement, according to Epson. The printer also is easy to load and hibernates to save energy, but has a minimal warm-up time.

Overall, the Epson B-500DN performed reliably and produced good quality color documents, unlike our temperamental in-house laser printer. The inkjet printer performed up to par, although fine-tuning its design and functionality would make it a better machine. It worked well for my 15-person department, and it might for yours too for about $550 ... which may be a tad overpriced.

Features:

Prints 37 pages per minute (ppm) in black and color; 33 ppm in black; and 32 ppm in color.

LCD display; front and rear paper trays; network connectivity.

Mac and Windows compatibility.

Stars: 3

 

Karen Stewartson, Managing Editor Karen Stewartson  |  Managing Editor

Karen Stewartson is the managing editor of Government Technology. She contributes to Public CIO journal and Emergency Management magazine. Karen is a lifelong learner who has a penchant for words, puns, food and babies.