As one of the best printers that we tested in our lineup, the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4820 excelled at everything we threw at it. The WF-4820 is a great, affordable inkjet printer thanks to its low lifetime and operating costs, and overall performance. It shines in its ability to print super high-quality photos and graphics, and pump prints out at a maximum of ten simplex pages per minute. While not the fastest printer that we tested, it scored in the top speed bracket. This printer would make a great addition to the home or small office that needs consistently good prints at a fair price, with an emphasis on high-quality photos.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Epson Workforce Pro WF-4820 on June 14, 2022, with additional testing data, an unbiased assessment of value, and recommendations for products that we would suggest to friends.
Epson Workforce Pro WF-4820 Review
Pros: Sturdy, well-built, awesome interface, strong all-around performance
Cons: Lacks duplex scanning, proprietary ink only
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Epson Workforce Pro WF-4820
$219.99 at Amazon
$289.99 at Amazon
|$180 List||$110 List||$125 List|
$124.89 at Amazon
|Pros||Sturdy, well-built, awesome interface, strong all-around performance||Multiple connectivity options, straightforward user interface, consistently solid performance||Mulptiple connectivity options, compact and small size, great operating cost with a moderate initial purchase price||Compact design, good printing speed and quality||Small size, good graphic and photo quality for its price class|
|Cons||Lacks duplex scanning, proprietary ink only||Only one paper tray, mediocre photo quality||Mediocre photo, graphic, text quality, display screen, and user interface||Very limited connectivity (no WiFi or Ethernet and it doesn't come with a USB cable)||Expensive operating cost, no duplex printing, inconsistent quality for print jobs, HP ink cartridges only|
|Bottom Line||A strong all-around printer where photo and graphic printing, cost efficiency, user interface, and print speed all score high||A happy meeting of low operating cost with high-quality document performance makes this printer a great pick for home office use||A cost efficient printer that makes a great pick for casual home use but isn't the best option for high quality document or photo needs||This printer does a stellar job at high-speed monochrome document printing, but lacks connectivity options, making it less versatile and convenient||A simple, small printer that excels at photos, but is costly to operate|
|Rating Categories||Epson Workforce Pro...||HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e||Brother MFC-J4335DW||Brother HL-L2300D||HP DeskJet 4155e|
|Text Quality (25%)|
|Operating Cost (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Graphics and Photos (15%)|
|Printing Speed (15%)|
|Specs||Epson Workforce Pro...||HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e||Brother MFC-J4335DW||Brother HL-L2300D||HP DeskJet 4155e|
|Type||All-In-One Inkjet||All-In-One Inkjet||All-In-One Inkjet||Laser||All-In-One Inkjet|
|Capabilities||Print, Scan||Print, Scan, Copy, Fax||Print, Scan, Copy, Fax||Print, Scan, Copy, Fax|
|Resolution (Black)||4800 x 2400||1200 x 1200||Not Available||2400 x 600||1200 x 1200|
|Resolution (Color)||4800 x 2400||4800 x 1200||1200 × 2400||2400 x 600||4800 x 1200|
|Supported Paper Sizes||3.5" x 5", 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", Letter, Legal, A4, A6, Half Letter, Executive, User-definable (3.5" — 47.2" L), Oficio 9; 8.5" x 13"; Mexico Oficio||Letter, Legal, Government Legal, Executive; Statement, 3" x 5", 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 13 x 18 cm, 8" x 10", 10 x 15 cm, Photo L, Photo 2L, Envelope( #10, Monarch, 5.5 bar), Card (3" x 5", 4" x 6", 5" x 8")||Letter, A4, Legal, Mexico Legal, India Legal, Folio, Executive, A5, A6, Envelopes (C5, Com-10, DL, Monarch), Photo (4" x 6")/(10 x 15 cm), Photo L (3.5" x 5")/(9 x 13 cm), Photo 2L (5" x 7")/(13 x 18 cm), Index card (5" x 8")/(13 x 20 cm)||Letter, Legal, Executive, A4, A5, A6, B5, B6||Letter, Legal, 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", No. 10 envelopes|
|Dimensions (excludes extensions)||16.7" x 15.3" x 10.9"||17.3" x 13.5" x 10.9"||17.1" x 14.2" x 7.1"||14.0" x 14.2" x 7.2"||16.9" x 13.1" x 7.9"|
|Paper Handling Input (sheets)||250||250||150||250||60|
|Monthly Duty Cycle||33,000||25,000||30,000||10,000||1,000|
|2-Sided Printing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (Manually)|
|Ink Cost per Ream: B/W||$28.56||$11.25||$5.50||$16.66||$66.63|
|Ink Cost per Ream: Color||$13.40||$45.71||$7.83||Not Available||$84.95|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost of Ownership||$605||$525||$250||$385||$1,155|
|Claimed Pages Per Minute||25 (Black) / 12 (Color)||22||20||27||20|
|Measured Pages per Minute: Single-Sided B/W||10||15||11||22||8|
|Connectivity||WiFi, Ethernet, USB 2.0||1 USB 2.0; 1 Host USB; 1 Ethernet; 1 Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n; 2 RJ-11 modem ports||WiFi, Ethernet, USB 2.0||USB 2.0 (No wireless connection)||1 Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n with Bluetooth® 4.2; 1 Hi-Speed USB 2.0|
|Operating System Compatability||Windows 10, Windows 8, 8.1 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows Server 2003 SP27 — Windows Server 20197, Mac OS X 10.6.8 — macOS 10.15.x8||Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server, ChromeOS||Linux, macOS (12), macOS (11), macOS (10.15), macOS (10.14), Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008||Windows Server 2008 R2, MacOS X, Mac OS 10.7.x, Mac OS 10.8.x, Mac OS10.9.x, Windows XP, Windows Home Edition, Windows XP Professional||Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 7, MacOS 10.12 Sierra, MacOS 10.14 Mojave, MacOS 10.15 Catalina, MacOS 11 Big Sur, Chrome OS|
|Google Cloud Print||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4820 is a great all-around inkjet printer. With a fairly low initial purchase price and average operating costs, this printer is a great buy for those whose priority is budget and high quality. The WF-4820 pulls ahead of the pack with its stellar photo and graphic printing capabilities and fast print speeds. Where other printers might sacrifice performance or be strong in one metric, the WF-4820 is unwaveringly solid across the board.
We found the WF-4820 to print consistently good-quality monochrome text in our testing. We tested prints in various fonts, text sizes, and lighting conditions, and the WF-4820 had consistently good quality black and white quality and text resolution.
Thinner fonts did not display any noticeable fuzziness, as we saw with printers that did not perform well in this metric. Complex, shaded graphics maintained good grayscaling without striping or fade and had clearly delineated lines and edges.
Overall, the text quality performance of the WF-4820 was above average and was beaten only by a few other printers in our lineup in this metric.
The WF-4820 is unique in that while its initial purchase price and color cost per ream are relatively low, its black and white cost per ream is above average at about $28.56. This is an important consideration for this printer.
This means that if you're printing mostly black and white text, this printer will cost more over time than if you print predominantly color photos with some black and white text.
Keep in mind that while the black and white cost per ream isn't terrible, other printers in our lineup perform just as well or better for less. The key takeaway is that the WF-4820 is great at printing high-quality photos inexpensively, but if your priority is lots of black and white text and very few photo prints, this might not be the best choice for you.
Despite its slightly higher cost per black and white ream, estimated lifetime costs for the WF-4820 are among the lowest in our lineup, making it a great budget-friendly buy.
This means you can own and use this printer for a long time and rest easy knowing that you won't break the bank.
Ease of Use
Our testing of the WF-4820 was a mixed bag for this metric. Though, overall its cumulative score was solid. It scored highly with the initial setup because of its intuitive and easy-to-use display screen that guided us through the process. However, getting a WiFi connection up and running proved a little challenging.
Instead of pressing some buttons or using a mobile app, we had to install software from the printer's website and then navigate a somewhat opaque guide on how to get the software to create a WiFi connection. It wasn't terribly difficult, just a bit cumbersome compared to the other printers that we tested.
What we loved about this printer was its large, intuitive touch display. This feature made it a pleasure to navigate settings and adjust things as needed. There are helpful noises that indicate when ink is loaded correctly. The scanning lid can be propped open so that you can scan bulky items like textbooks. The WF-4820 has one of the most impressive monthly duty cycles of any printer we tested, making it a great choice if you have to print in large volumes — like thousands of pages per month.
Despite its less-than-ideal WiFi setup and some circuitous website navigation, we liked how easy it is to operate the WF-4820 for casual home printing and small business use alike.
This is where the WF-4820 shines. We saw consistent, high-quality photo prints with great textural range and color display. Business graphics had crisp text and (mostly) accurate color. The resolution was great, with sharp and crisp images. Overall, the color quality was stellar; our only complaint was that some images were slightly less saturated than their source, but even that was subtle.
We think this is the WF-4820's sweet spot: great photo quality for an affordable price. You can buy much more expensive printers and experience similar photo quality, but for the price, the WF-4820 can't be beaten.
Only one other printer in our lineup could outclass the WF-4820 in this metric. But that printer also costs nearly double, and its operating cost insofar as color printing is concerned is slightly higher than the WF-4820. We think the WF-4820 is a great buy for the budget-conscious who want a good all-around printer with excellent photo printing capabilities.
While not the absolute best, the WF-4820 can pump out a respectable ten duplex and simplex pages per minute. It was a little unique here in that most printers can finish duplex print jobs faster than simplex (essentially five pages instead of ten), but this shouldn't be an issue during real-world use cases.
Our mixed photo and text document test demonstrated how the WF-4820 could do it all--text was crisp, colors were vivid, and there was no noticeable striping anywhere. For an inkjet printer, those speeds are impressive, earning it a great score in this metric.
Photos are again where this printer shines, with full-page high-resolution color photo print speeds of up to 22 seconds per page. Although the WF-4820 isn't the fastest printer we tested, decent print speed and fantastic quality make this model a beast in this arena.
Should You Buy the Epson WF-4820?
The Epson Workforce Pro WF-4820 is a budget-friendly all-arounder that excels at high-quality photo printing. It is worth noting that this printer is heavy and has a large footprint, so if you're in a space-limited office, make sure that the dimensions of this machine will fit your requirements. So the WF-4820 is a great choice for a small office or studio that needs an affordable machine that is particularly adept at photo prints.
What Other Printers Should You Consider?
If you mostly print text documents and don't particularly need to produce quality photo prints, our lineup has better options. Our top choice for a workhorse office printer is the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e, thanks to its impressive text quality and consistent performance. If you're shopping on an especially tight budget, consider the Brother MFC-J4335DW for its low price tag and lifetime operating cost.
— Alex Hocevar-Smith and Genaveve Bradshaw
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