Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3720DWF review: Cheap to buy, and brilliant, but ink costs are high

It's important to have a well informed opinion about the technology you're buying.

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Epson’s latest all-in-one is a great all-rounder for the home office, but ink costs make it a tad expensive to run

Pros

  • Great printing, scanning and copying quality
  • Excellent touchscreen controls
  • Wired and Wi-Fi networking

Cons

  • Ink costs
  • Scanning and photo printing is sluggish

Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-3720DWF is a mid-range inkjet MFP for the home office. It’s the latest update to a range that we’ve showered with praise – we awarded its predecessor a Best Buy just a few months ago – and it looks like Epson’s reeled out yet another superb inkjet workhorse.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3720DWF: What you need to know

The WF-3720DWF looks to be slightly more than the usual light refresh of the outgoing WF-3620DWF: it’s got a less cluttered, more upright new design, and the crisp new colour touchscreen offers direct control over the various functions. It can print, scan, fax and copy, has a 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF) and connects to a wired or wireless network – pretty much everything a home office or small business startup could ask for.

It’s not all good news, however. While the WF-3620DWF could make duplex scans, copies, faxes and prints, the WF-3720DWF doesn’t have a duplex ADF – you can automatically print both sides, but not scan, copy or fax. Epson has also removed the SD card slot, which is a shame, although there is still a USB port for direct prints and scans. The overall impression is of an MFP that’s been tidied up, but slightly downgraded at the same time.

Whinging aside, there’s still plenty to like about the WF-3720DWF. The new touchscreen is excellent, responding predictably to taps and drag gestures as you navigate the intuitive menus. Build quality feels higher than some competitors, with solid drawers and lids and nothing begging to be snapped off. Epson’s PC and smartphone software remain refreshingly easy to use, although we’re not keen on the PC’s new simplified scan interface – we preferred the old one.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3720DWF: Printing, scanning and copying performance

On plain paper this is quite a quick printer, managing 19.2 A4 pages per minute (ppm) on our mono text test, and a decent 5.6ppm on our more complex colour graphics test. At three sides per minute, duplex prints were competitive, but photo prints were slow – each 6x4in print took more than three minutes.

We were expecting a quicker scanner too. Previews and low-resolution scans were fine, but it took 28 seconds to scan a photo at 600dpi, and two and a half minutes at 1,200dpi – the latter is about five times what the WF-3620DWF managed on the same test.

Happily there’s been no drop in quality. Scan results weren’t the sharpest, but they displayed the excellent colour accuracy and dynamic range we typically see from Epson. If anything, print quality is subtly improved across the board: while text is noticeably lighter, it’s also noticeably more crisp and defined. There’s little to complain about elsewhere: colour graphics are excellent, photocopies are very good, and photos aren’t bad at all for an office-focused device.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3720DWF review: Verdict

The WF-3720DWF is a great all-in-one for home office duties, even if it is a shame about the loss of duplex scanning and copying functions. Unfortunately, however, there’s a more pressing problem: at the time of our review, the cheapest prices we could find for the XL ink cartridges worked out as 9.3p per colour page, significantly higher than leading competitors and about 50% more than the WF-3620DWF. While it’s typical for prices for a new range of supplies to fall over time, we can’t fully recommend the WF-3720DWF until they do – for now, we’d stick with the older WF-3620DWF instead.

Specifications

  • Technology – Piezo inkjet
  • Maximum print resolution – 4,800×2,400dpi
  • Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth) – 1,200×2,400dpi (24-bit)
  • Dimensions (WDH) – 425x378x249mm
  • Weight – 8.6kg
  • Maximum paper size – A4/legal
  • Warranty – Three year RTB
  • Details – www.epson.co.uk
  • Part code – C11CF24401

Sоurсе: expertreviews.co.uk