It was time to replace my aging 3-year old Kodak ESP 7 printer. Its ability to print photos was always strong, but I never really liked the way it printed business documents. It was slow, especially when printing a ‘first’ page.

But the bigger problem was its scanner. The unit would randomly lose its USB connection to my Mac Pro.

My troubleshooting routine would be: power the ESP off, then power it back on; pull its USB cable out and then plug it back in. Just hoping to reestablish a connection. Frustrating!

Perhaps the Mac OS X upgrades over the last few years introduced subtle incompatibilities; the scanning software just didn’t keep up — I can’t be sure. Kodak’s demise as a company didn’t give me much hope for future support. It was time to upgrade.

My evolving printing needs

  • Like most people, I don’t print nearly as many pages as I used to. Nearly all my business documents —  invoices, reports, spreadsheets, checks, and photos — are created in digital form and usually stay as digital documents. There’s almost no need to print on paper. Almost.
  • I email all correspondence, proposals and invoices as PDFs.
  • I used to print and mail checks (in printed envelopes) to pay my bills — but now pay nearly all bills online.
  • As a side benefit, my postage expenses are way down, too!

Epson WorkForce 845 Color Inkjet PrinterAfter careful evaluation of all the multipurpose printers on the market — and there are many — I decided to purchase an Epson WorkForce 845 All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer .

What I like about the Epson WorkForce 845

  • Business document printing is very fast.
  • The quality is very good.
  • It’s quiet.
  • I do occasionally print 4×6 and 5×7 photographs. Although not quite as good as the excellent photo-quality of the Kodak ESP 7, the Epson Workforce 845 produces very good photo prints.
  • In addition to USB, it has both wired Ethernet and WiFi networking capability.
  • It has a duplex option (printing on both sides of a piece of paper).
  • There are two paper trays for holding different types of paper stock.
  • There’s a document feeder for scanning a stack of pages in one automated session.
  • It ships with Extra High-capacity ink cartridges, not the low-volume starter cartridges you get with many inkjet printers.

What I don’t like:

  • The sheet feeder scanner will only work if you’re connected via USB. It will not work for Ethernet or WiFi.
  • Only the top paper tray has adjustable guides for different sized paper. It’s a bit inconvenient to swap out 8.5 x 11 paper for envelopes or 4×6 photo paper.

I highly recommend the Epson Workforce 845.

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Note: I’m using DevonTHINK Pro Office for document archiving and indexing. It works great!