The Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 EcoTank is not the cheapest out there but when you factor in how much ink you get this works out as a very useful photo printer option.
Epson says the ink tank comes loaded with enough to keep you going for up to two years, so you can minus the cartridges cost. It's built to print photos but also works as a scanner and copier too.
The printer stands at 16.7 x 14.3 x 7.7 inches and weighs a mighty 18.08 pounds. So this is definitely one of the larger and heavier printers out there but then you do get all that ink onboard.
Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 EcoTank review: Print quality
This printer actually manages to offer faster prints than Epson claims it offers at a rapid 14 pages per minute for black and white. Add in images and the color printing pace was a very decent 8 pages per minute. This speed continues for photo prints where a 4 x 6 inch print was churned out in just 32 seconds.
Despite the decent speed performance, quality was high for fonts with a crisp finish. Graphics were also impressive with solid fill and rich color throughout.
The photo quality was decidedly average. This printer does feature photo black ink which helps to bring the quality up above the lower end but it didn't save this printer from a slightly blue haze to the finish.
In fairness the print quality, on glossy paper, is very impressive and will more than suffice for most users. We're being very exacting over the quality though, hence the lack of perfection being an issue here.
Impressively, the black and white photo prints were very close to professional grade prints, with only a slight magenta cast which is not uncommon for inkjet printers.
Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 EcoTank review: Features
This printer goes beyond the usual capacity of the competitors thanks to that ink tank. This can be refilled directly using ink bottles. That means far less refilling and a more affordable bulk purchase when it does need to be done. All that equates to saving you money on print costs but more on that below.
Despite being a capable photo printer this also comes with a scanner for copying and scanning of one document at a time on that lidded flatbed top.
This will accommodate up to A4/letter size paper of varying styles. It will also allow you to print directly to CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays thanks to a dedicated tray section. This even works with a Personal Stationary mode to print on lined paper, writing paper, calendar pages, message cards, origami folds, envelopes and more.
In terms of connectivity you've got lots of options here. Aside from Wi-Fi including AirPrint, or direct wired Ethernet, there is also USB 2.0 to connect direct to a computer.
This also has an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot which is ideal for printing directly from a camera. This is easily done using the printer's display and control which are easy to use and intuitively laid out.
Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 EcoTank review: Price and warranty
While the upfront cost of the Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 EcoTank is as imposing as its long name, the ongoing charges are lower than average.
Keep in mind this is one of the first printers to offer a five ink setup that is in the big tank refill format, making it a rare combination of high quality print with lower costs on prices per page.
Epson claims this is good for up to two years of printing. But with everyone's needs varying that's a bit of a silly claim. What's clearer is that this is equivalent to about 30 ink cartridge sets being replaced.
That all means you should be good to print, per refill, up to 14,000 black or 9,000 color documents, or "thousands" of photos at 4 x 6 inches.
Should you buy the Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 EcoTank?
If you want to save money and time on replacing ink cartridges but still need the photo quality printing capabilities of a five ink printer then the Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 EcoTank is the uniquely placed printer to do exactly the job you need. The bonus of it also offering comprehensive paper type and size support as well as a scanner are just extra.
This isn't a cheap printer and you could save money on the upfront cost with some other dedicated photo printers.