At $129, the Epson WorkForce 500 seems more of a small business or home office printer. Yes, it prints, copies, and scans, but it adds faxing functions to the mix. Oh, and did we mention that the WorkForce 500 is also a photo center?
At 18.1 x 16.1 inches, the WorkForce 500's footprint is the largest of its peers--you'll need a separate table for it if you want any space on your desk to work. The intuitive control panel needs almost no instruction manual. The 2.5-inch LCD is the largest among recent all-in-ones reviewed, and lets you edit on a memory card with ease. And we loved the tilt-to-view ability, especially compared to the smaller 1.5-inch LCD on theHP Photosmart C4480. In addition to printing pictures from your computer, the WorkForce 500 will also print from memory cards or PictBridge-enabled cameras.
The WorkForce 500 was the fastest all-in-one printer we tested. It printed quality documents at 30 ppm; copying was equally fast at 29 ppm and the quality was very good. Scans were just as impressive and looked just as good as copies. Photo prints were excellent: A 4 x 6-inch snapshot printed off an SD Card in an extremely fast 26 seconds; theCanon Pixma MP190took 70 seconds to accomplish the same task. Its top-loading automatic document feeder is useful: we faxed 15 sheets in 50 seconds.
You'll pay for this quality, though. At $129, the WorkForce 500 doesn't come cheap, and the ink isn't a steal either ($12.99 to $19.99 each). Fortunately, you can change cartridges separately on the WorkForce 500, replacing individual colors as needed.
We like the Epson WorkForce 500. Its speed and quality beat out other all-in-one printers we've looked at recently. Black-and-white copies were very clear, and its ability to print photos was also slightly better than the competition. If you've got the money in your budget, the WorkForce 500 is a good choice for a real home office with the bonus of very good photo printing.