25.12.2012, von Jon L. Jacobi,Melissa Riofrio
The $130 (as of 12/24/2012) Epson Workforce WF-2540 All-in-One Printer (copy/fax/print/scan) has a 30-page automatic document feeder, it outputs nice text and graphics, and it has triple-threat USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Those are attractive features on any , but there's bad news: Ink costs are high, and glossy photos print at some of the slowest times we've ever seen. Scan speed is nothing to write home about, either.
Setting up the WF-2540 is a breeze. With USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi all on board, you're free to attach it to a PC or network in any location you wish. The WF-2540's smallish non-operational footprint: 15.4 inches wide, by 14.8 inches deep, by 8.7-inch high also aids in the versatile placement. However, those numbers (shown in a photo on Epson's Web site), are a tad misleading. When you extend the guide for the 100-sheet rear vertical feed (there is no flat input tray), the height climbs to 11 or so inches. With both the guide and control panel in operating position, the depth is more like 17 inches. That's still relatively compact, but not as small as it would be with a bottom-mounted tray.
The WF-2540's software bundle is basic, but capable. The Epson Scan program is intuitive and mature, and it will handle any scanning task you throw at it. That would be everything except automatic two-sided scanning, which the WF-2540 does not support. Abbyy FineReader Sprint 9.5 is on hand to take care of OCR chores and there's also the full gamut of Web and local wireless printing options.
I didn't find using the WF-2540 quite as intuitive as many printers. The 2.5-inch LCD display, buttons, and keypad are fine; there's just something a little off in the implementation. You're forced to hit the OK button at times when the menu/home button would normally function, and there are just enough other little oddities to make the experience less than top-shelf. You'll get used to it, but it could be done better.
Manual duplexing is never intuitive. For the WorkForce WF-2540, onscreen prompts help--for PC users. Unfortunately you'll get no such assistance if you're using a Mac.
I also had some issues replacing the ink cartridges. Perhaps it was my ham-handedness, but several times I received "invalid" cartridge messages. Re-seating (several times) cured this, but the unit can be finicky about the replacement operation. Talk to it nicer than I did, and you might do better with it.