Pros / It's easy to use thanks to a robust feature set.
Cons / The printer offers middling print quality, with visible banding and muddied colors in photos.
Verdict / The Epson WorkForce WF-3640 has several handy features that make it easy to use, but it has some flaws in print quality.
The best all-in-one printers don't just offer good printing, they also offer convenience, and the Epson WorkForce WF-3640 does just that. Designed for the office but well suited to home use, the Epson WorkForce offers pro-level features and the easy setup and use of the best home wireless printers around, though it has some print quality issues.
When we tested document printing on the WF-3640, we saw decent print speeds – 14 pages per minute for black-and-white documents and 7 ppm for color documents – making it one of the quickest printers we reviewed. But that speed comes at the expense of print quality; documents from the printer are good but not great. Text readability is clear down to 3-point font, but black-and-white documents had some noticeable ink spotting, and color documents exhibited frequent banding, leaving streaks in large areas of colored ink. Photo quality was also middle-of-the-road, with sharp detail and consistent color but slightly muddied tones overall. But just like with documents, the printer cranks through photos at 1.2 per minute, placing it alongside the fastest printers we reviewed.
Standard-sized ink cartridges are a bit expensive, averaging out to 19 cents per page, but Epson does have high-capacity cartridges, which are cheaper. On a per-page basis, the high-capacity inks actually average 11 cents each, making the WorkForce WF-3640 one of the more affordable inkjet printers, provided you stick to high-capacity refills.
Speaking of high capacities, the printer's primary paper tray holds an impressive 500 pages of plain printer paper, and a built-in secondary tray expands that by 250 pages, soundly beating the competition on paper capacity. A document feeder on the back of the printer lets you print nonstandard documents, like envelopes and cardstock, while an automatic document feeder on the lid of the printer lets you scan, copy and fax up to 35 pages in one go.
Like the top-rated all-in-one printers, the WorkForce WF-3640 has built-in scanning, copying and faxing capabilities. Stand-alone fax functionality means you can send faxes without being connected to a PC, and you can print without a PC as well, thanks to built-in support for common media cards and USB storage. You can save scanned documents to external storage, or scan directly to cloud storage services like Box, Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive. The WorkForce's collection of multifunction features is one of the best we saw in our review.
Network connectivity can be via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct lets individual devices connect directly to the printer without network access. The printer's support for both Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print means that it works with most mobile devices, and anything else is covered with Epson Connect, the company's proprietary mobile app.
Epson covers the WorkForce WF-3640 with a standard one-year warranty. You can reach support services by phone, email or live chat through Epson's website. There are also several online resources for doing your own troubleshooting, like an online manual and FAQs page.
- B/W Print Speed
- Color Print Speed
There's a lot to be said for convenience, and the Epson WorkForce WF-3640 has plenty to offer on that front. With its easy-to-use functions and features like two large paper trays, broad mobile support, and stand-alone scan and fax capability, you can get plenty done, though the print quality is a little lackluster. The Epson WorkForce WF-3640 is a good all-in-one printer for a small business or just a great printer for home use.