The Epson EcoTank ET-2800/2803 is a supertank all-in-one inkjet printer that uses Epson’s T522 ink. It has a 1.5-inch screen, a flatbed scanner that measures 8.5″ x 11″ but doesn’t have an automatic document feeder or fax capabilities, and a 100-sheet input tray. It can connect to Wi-Fi and USB, supports Apple AirPrint and Morpia Print Service, and works with Epson’s Smart Panel app for mobile devices. The same printer, the Epson EcoTank ET-2803, is only sold at Walmart and Target. Our review is the same for both.
The plastic body of the Epson ET-2800/Epson ET-2803 feels pretty sturdy. The moving parts don’t creak or squeak, and the input connections feel strong. But the top back cover of the printer’s paper tray feels thin and flimsy. Also, the design isn’t very user-friendly. It’s hard to get to the sheet rollers to clear paper jams, and there are no lid dampeners for the scanning flatbed, so you have to guide the top cover down slowly or it will slam down hard.
Like all inkjets, if you don’t print for a long time, the printheads can get clogged. If you have problems with clogging or the quality of your prints, it has many built-in maintenance functions that can help you fix them. These include checking the printhead nozzles, cleaning the printhead regularly and with power, and aligning the printhead. There is a way to clean the paper guides to get rid of dust or loose ink. This helps keep prints from getting smudged as they go through the feeders.
When it comes to ink maintenance, you won’t have to do it often because the ink tanks can print a lot. It’s easy to refill the tank, and it’s almost impossible to put the wrong ink in the tanks because the nozzle of each bottle is made to fit only with the tank it goes with. On the other hand, the input tray will need to be refilled often because it can only hold 100 plain sheets of paper or 20 sheets of photo paper. Also, it’s hard to get to the sheet rollers to clear paper jams because you have to raise the control panel, pull down the front inner cover, and then lift the scanning bed until it clicks into place. Access is tight, and you have to be careful not to touch the tubes that do the printing.
This printer’s screen isn’t very good. Because it’s so small, you have to lean in close to see it well. Since there is no numeric keypad and only directional keys, it is very hard to set up the printer and connect it to your network. You have to look at the screen straight on because it doesn’t have good viewing angles. Luckily, you can tilt the whole front panel up 90 degrees.
The quality of black-and-white prints is very good. Most text looks clear, but smaller text on colored backgrounds looks blurry. When you print in black and white, you can see all of the details better and more clearly than when you print in color. Even though this is normal for most printers, it has trouble changing yellow to grayscale.
The quality of color documents that are printed is good. Again, most of the text is clear, except for some small words on colored backgrounds. But the colors look a little washed out, and some of the smaller details aren’t clear.
The Epson 2800 and Epson 2803 are slow printers in general. Printing long documents like reports or colored worksheets takes a while. A typical photo also takes a long time to print, much longer than with most inkjet printers. On the plus side, it doesn’t take long to set up and print a single page. When printing two-sided documents, you have to manually flip the first set of printed pages over when prompted and put them back into the feeder so the printer can finish printing the other side. Check out the PHOTO if you want an EcoTank that automatically prints on both sides of the paper.
The color gamut of the Epson EcoTank ET-2800/ET-2803 is good. It can make bright, saturated colors, but darker shades of green and yellow are hard for it to make. The changes between colors look a little bit grainy, but thankfully there are no bands.
3. Mobiles apps and networking
The Epson Smart Panel app for phones has a lot of features. You can print, scan, and copy with it, and you can also use it to do things like clean the printheads, check the printhead nozzles, and see how much ink is left. You can also buy more ink for the printer and update its firmware. If some documents can’t be shown or printed correctly, the app will let you know. Otherwise, it will automatically change most files into a format that can be printed without you having to do anything.
For family use, the Epson EcoTank ET-2800/Epson EcoTank ET-2803 works well. Its cheap ink bottle refills and high page yields make it very cheap to keep up over time, which is great for your budget. It prints photos that look great and are full of color, and the color accuracy is good enough for everyday use. It has a high-resolution flatbed scanner, but it doesn’t have an automatic document feeder, so you have to scan each page of a multi-page document by hand.