Epson EcoTank Pro printers make "Unlimited Ink" a reality

A set of new Epson printers revealed this week are included in the company's "Unlimited Ink for Two Years Program." They're both EcoTank printers, which mean they have ink tanks that can be refilled relatively easily. The whole EcoTank system isn't strictly new – this is only the newest set – but now that they've made them for a while, and there's an "Unlimited Ink" program... it might be time to take a closer look.

If you've used a printer in your home in the last couple of decades, chances are you've wanted to bash said printer with a baseball bat. Most printers require tiny ink cartridges that hold relatively little ink and cost an absurd amount of money. You've likely spent more on ink than you have on printers.

Epson started a new sort of system in the last few years called EcoTank. Instead of using disposable ink cartridges, they have tanks. These tanks can be refilled with ink bottles – the bottles effectively replace the part of the equation normally reserved for cartridges.

The tanks are big. The ink lasts far longer than most traditional at-home printers. It seems like a pretty good setup.

The latest set of these printers include the EcoTank Photo ET-8500 and EcoTank Photo ET-8550. The larger of the two can print borderless photos up to 13 x 19-inches in size. These two printers can also work with Epson's Signature Worthy media line and can print on other "specialty media" up to 1.3mm thick.

This week Epson also revealed the EcoTank Pro ET-5150 and EcoTank Pro ET-5170. These two printers are part of the Epson "2-years of Ink Guarantee." The only part of this program that seems like a negative is the slight bit of extra work you'll need to do: Register your printer with the Epson site, purchase ink bottles within the first 2 years after printer purchase, and "mail in ink receipt, printer usage history report, empty ink bottles, and claim form."

Assuming you're the sort of person that prints a LOT of media in a 2-year period, this might well be one of the best ways to roll with cost-effective ink.