Excuse the indulgent nature of the headline but, in my defence, it is quite an accurate statement. The Epson WorkForce WF-100 really is the most compact and portable device in the class of mobile printers. It is this quality of the WorkForce WF-100 that makes it unique in the class. This is important too because this device falls short of its competitors in many ways. However, the importance of portability is such in this market segment that the WorkForce WF-100 still stands out.
It is true that the mobile printer market segment is a niche group but for executives that travel a lot, it can simplify many challenges. It has been designed explicitly for business travellers who need to print at a moment’s notice. If you consider yourself to be a road warrior, then the Epson WorkForce WF-100 has the potential to be a very useful sidekick. Here’s our review.
Strengths of Epson WorkForce WF-100
In fact, it is so compact and light that you can probably fit into your laptop bag with minimal fuss. The device measures 309mm wide, 154mm deep, and 61mm high.
Furthermore, it weighs a mere 1.6 Kg. You can probably lift it with your pinkie if you wanted to.
It isn’t only its compactness that makes the Epson WorkForce WF-100 a good companion for business travellers, though. Its connectivity options also add to the allure. There are three ways through which you can connect to this device. There’s the usual USB 2.0 port but what’s important is that it offers wireless connectivity and even Wi-Fi Direct. Many mobile printers on the market don’t have Wi-Fi Direct which is why this must be seen as another advantage offered by the WF-100.
Additionally, this printer supports Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, and Epson’s proprietary iPrint Mobile App. Furthermore, third-party connections are also possible such as apps and email.
Weaknesses of Epson WorkForce WF-100
You should also be prepared for higher than normal running costs. The device uses two cartridge types – black and tricolour.
Your running costs will be based on whether you insist on using genuine cartridges manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or generic cartridges manufactured by third-parties.
Using OEM cartridges will see you pay around 22.33 cents for every page you print while compatible cartridges will turn out to be slightly cheaper at 21.54 cents. On top of this, you’ll also have to budget for a maintenance kit. This kit is, essentially, a diaper for the printer that catches ink flushed during cleaning cycles. The kit needs to be changed every 300 pages or so but the OEM does start you off with two at the time of purchase. The high running cost of this device, however, shouldn’t bother you too much. There are two reasons for this.
The first is that you will most likely never print enough for the per-page costs to start bothering you. They only add up for high-volume printers. Second, one of the reasons for the Epson WorkForce WF-100’s high running cost is the fact that it uses pigment-based ink. Pigment-based ink offers its own benefits in the form of more durable prints that are also fade and water resistant. Moreover, the OEM
Like most mobile printers, the Epson WorkForce WF-100 is based on piezoelectric technology. This has an impact on its print speed, which is a little on the slower side. The device is rated to print at a speed of 7 pages per minute (ppm) if you’re printing monochrome documents and 4ppm if you’re printing colour documents.
In terms of paper handling, the WorkForce WF-100 can handle 20 pages at a time. The input tray is the front and top lid of the device. When you open it, the top and front casing unwraps to become that tray. The input capacity of this device can be considered to be one of its limitations because its competitors have paper input capacities of 50 pages.
Key Features of Epson WorkForce WF-100
The output quality of the Epson WorkForce WF-100 is neither excellent nor poor. It is a mixed bag, though. This device prints good photos and decent text but graphics leave a lot to be desired with banding a common problem with more complex images. The maximum resolution that the Epson WorkForce WF-100 can print at is 5760 x 1400 dots per inch (dpi)
Another feature of the WorkForce WF-100 that adds to its mobility profile is the built-in battery. There will be no hassle of carrying backup batteries because this built-in battery starts charging the moment you plug in your printer. It doesn’t matter whether you plug it into a computer or wall socket. The battery will take around 2.5 hours to charge and one full charge should yield 100 monochrome or 50 colour documents.
The Epson WorkForce WF-100 also boasts of an LCD display screen measuring 37mm. Display screens aren’t common in mobile printers at all. While the screen may be small, it does help with basic functions such as wireless connections and checking ink levels. On the side of the screen are some navigation buttons along with the “OK” button. A “Cancel” and a “Power” button complete the control panel.
Also, you’ll get a 12-month Return to Base (RTB) warranty on this device.