My wife and I have separate home offices; here is downstairs where it best suits her needs, and mine is located in the upstairs loft. She has he workstation and I have mine. And of course we have separate printers.
Recommend this product?
I recently (6 months ago) purchased my wife a new HP Officejet 4500 All-in-One (AIO) Inkjet printer, which she proceeded to hate with a passion. So, I decided to replace the unit and begin casting about for an AIO that didn’t wear the HP moniker, which is a radical departure for me since EVERY printer I have ever owned/ purchased up to this point has been a Hewlett Packard.
The HP name has long been one I trust, but lately the company has been pushing out junk at the lower end of the price point; the HP Officejet 4500 AIO is a not so shining example of one of the company’s misses.
In casting about for a new lower cost multi-function AIO Inkjet printer I looked at HP, Kodak, Canon, and Epson. In the end Epson got the nod based on printer footprint (very important), cost, design, and end-user reviews. The model I choose was the Epson Workforce 635 AIO Inkjet Printer I bought directly from Epson.com for $89.00 (refurbished).
The Epson Workforce 635 AIO Inkjet Printer is a medium –sized footprint multifunction printing device (compatible with PC as well as Macintosh) that allows one to print, scan, copy, and fax all from one unit. The Epson Workforce 635 AIO has the added capability of printing photos directly from the unit and will accept input from all manner of removable and or portable memory devices including MMC/SD Media, CF, or front USB port from which you can print documents. All of these (memory) connections are situated on the front of the unit for ease of access.
Wired networking is built into the Epson Workforce 635 AIO; the machine has built-in 10/100 Ethernet port. Once set up, computers speak directly to the printer abrogating the need for a dedicated print server, or sharing via Windows. Note: the Epson Workforce 635 AIO can also be connected directly to a PC via a USB cable (not included), in which case its printer functionality can be shared via Windows.
Wireless (Wi-Fi 801.2N) is also built-in and affords easy access to the printer via a networked computer, or better still a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone; (more on that below.
The Epson Workforce 635 AIO take (4) inkjet cartridges (Black, yellow, magenta, and cyan), all of which ship with the unit. The AIO also features two sided printing, a 30-sheet Automatic document feeder (ADF), legal-size flatbed scanner, copy collating, two-sided printing/scanning/coping/faxing, print outs up to legal size; and a slide-in 250-sheet input paper tray. The Epson Workforce 635 AIO offers print and copy speeds up to 15 pages per minute (ppm) black, and up to 7.2 ppm color, with up to 4,800-optimized dpi color and laser-quality text.
I like the way the Epson Workforce 635 AIO adjustable control panel is laid out. Each function (photo, copy, print, fax and scan) has its own dedicated well laid out section of the control panel (CP). There is logical flow from left to right with easy to read buttons. In the center of the CP is a brilliant 2.5” color display that can either be used to ascertain the printer’s status, or be used to display pictures stored on removable media before it is printed.
The fax section is fitted with an easy to read numeric keypad as well as a redial, speed dial, and auto answer buttons. Here too you can choose to send a fax in color or BW. All and all, I like to form, functionality, and design of the control panel, and I’ll admit that I like the look and feel of buttons; in contrast the HP Officejet 8600 Plus AIO is sans control buttons, everything is controlled via the touch screen display and it is not nearly as satisfying.
Before connecting the Epson Workforce 635 AIO network via Ethernet (RJ-45), or Wireless the decision must be made to utilize one or the other communications medium, but not both. USB can be utilized with either configuration. Since one I wanted my and laptop and my iPad to be able “speak” to the printer I installed the Epson Workforce 635 AIO utilizing wireless and USB and I can print either way and my wife can use the printer to fax and scan-to-computer. Wireless set-up was effortless using DHCP; all I needed to know was the network WPA2 passcode.
The setup documentation was a little confusing, calling for the USB cable to be plugged in while the wireless and or wired networking is set up, but I muddled through with little trouble.
Printing to the Epson Workforce 635 AIO wirelessly is well effortless. Once I installed the software on my wife’s laptop and set-up wireless, all of my computer are able to see the printer on the network and print to it. After I installed the software on my laptop I had the same functionality minus faxing that my wife enjoys.
One of the selling points of the Epson Workforce 635 AIO is of course the ability of a mobile device like an iPad to print to the unit either wirelessly (Epson App). Because the AIO unit is not Air Print compatible my iPad did not detect it; I had to download and install the Epson Printer App (available in the App Store). Once the App is installed one can print images, and web-pages, but not from email; not so cool. And unlike the Air Print /e-print-enabled HP Officejet printers I cannot print from anywhere using a dedicated email address.
Pretty straight forward; the software installation process installed a full set of print drivers which in turn give you complete control over the printing process, including two-sided printing. The Epson Workforce 635 AIO can also print from inserted USB flash drives and or MMC/SD/CF Media cards.
The Epson Workforce 635 AIO offers up both a 30-sheet ADF and flatbed scanner for use. The input chute for the ADF can be hidden when not in use giving the top of the unit a stream-lined look.
Initialing the scanning process can be accomplished from the included software, inserting a page(s) into the ADF, or the units control panel. Once an item is placed into the ADF or on the flatbed scanner glass surface, you can push the Scan button on the front panel, at which time you choose where to scan to: Computer, USB Flash Drive, or Memory Card. Once a destination is chosen, you can then chose to scan to file (.PDF is an option), e-mail, or photo.
This process, like printing is pretty straight forward; both color and black & white copies can be made, up to 99 at a time. Because there is a duplexer installed two-sided copies can be made in a number of different configurations, including 1-side original/ 1-side copy; 1-side original/ 2-side copy; 2-side original/ 1-side copy; 2-side original/ 2-side copy. Copies can also be enlarged up to 144%, or reduced down to 25% of original.
Overall I like the Epson Workforce 635 AIO, despite the fact that I did not buy it for myself! Hey, I still use it when I’m downstairs and I need to print from my laptop. When installing the hardware pieces of the unit I found the paper tray a little heard to insert paper into and subsequently into the printer itself.
The built-in wired Ethernet capability, coupled with USB and wireless make the Epson Workforce 635 AIO Inkjet Printer a versatile, flexible unit that is ideal for a small home office setting and well as workgroup setting. If you or your small workgroup need a scanner/ copier/ printer/ fax, and need to print from your iPad—or other mobile device—in some form or fashion the Epson Workforce 635 AIO is a well-designed, attractive, highly functional alternative to HP. I learned my lesson, and may have bought my last HP printer!
Amount Paid (US$): 89.00
Operating System: Windows and Macintosh