2021-04-22

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Review of the Epson M1120 inkjet printer: three years without refueling!

12 min read

Epson has been experimenting with inkjet printers for a long time without replaceable cartridges, which can be easily refilled with official inks. There are more and more such printers, but the Epson M1120 model stands out from their background in that it is focused on monochrome printing. It seems that this is archaism, because everyone is used to considering inkjet printers as the lot of amateurs and professionals of photo printing. Offices gradually conquered heavy laser models, of which a great many are produced today – both monochrome and color. But regular maintenance of any laser model is worth a significant financial cost. Considering the number of parts that are periodically replaced in them, be it photo drums, stoves or some other devices, the cost of a print will be quite big.

Epson’s new inkjet printer aims to change this picture. All that needs to be changed in it over the entire life cycle is ink. Yes, and those will have to be added very infrequently, unless, of course, you print thousands of documents a month. Yes, this model is intended for a small office, private entrepreneurs or even home use, but the stereotype that an office must have a laser laser can be destroyed.

⇡#Delivery set

 


 

 


 

Epson M1120 printer delivery set

The printer comes in a relatively small cardboard box. Inside, apart from the device itself, we found the following accessories:

  • Power cable;
  • 6,000 prints black ink container;
  • CD with drivers and software;
  • Multilingual (including Russian) printed installation and configuration manual.

Unlike laser printers, the set with the Epson M1120 does not come with a starting, but a fully working volume of ink, sufficient (according to the manufacturer) for six thousand prints, although at the first start some of the ink will be spent on filling the ink paths. The rest of the package is the same as in other similar devices.

⇡#Specifications

Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2,4 ГГц

The design of the Epson M1120 is a classic inkjet printer that prints using Epson’s patented Micro Piezo piezoelectric technology. Unlike other printing technologies, this does not require ink heating, which means that energy consumption is significantly reduced. This also explains the high first page out speed compared to laser printers.

Pigment ink is used. The manufacturer, of course, prohibits the use of any other ink, except for the proprietary ink designed for this particular model. The use of pigment ink allows you to immediately use the printed documents, since they come out of the printer already dry – just like with laser printing. At the same time, the prints do not fade over time, do not smudge when highlighted with a marker or getting on them with water.

The print resolution is 720 dpi, which is enough to get clear documents of almost any complexity. The minimum drop volume is 3 pl. This model, of course, is not intended for photo printing – only text, graphs, diagrams and images for documents and presentations.

The set with the device comes with a container with black ink, designed, according to the manufacturer, for 6,000 prints. This means that when printing, for example, 150 pages per month, such a bottle of ink should be enough for three years! An impressive result, especially when you consider that ink costs only 1,200 rubles. You don’t have to change anything else in the printer, so the cost of a print in this case is significantly lower than when printing on any laser printer.

The stated print speed is nearly the same as on laser models. 32 pages per minute is very high productivity. True, in this case we are talking only about draft printing, but 15 pages per minute for printing with normal quality is also quite good.

The Epson M1120 printer can be connected directly to a computer using a USB cable, or it can be built into a local wireless network, for which it has a Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b / g / n module operating at 2.4 GHz. Using Wi-Fi Direct technology, printing can be done from mobile devices by connecting them directly to the printer, without the need to register on a local network. Well, for administration, a web interface is provided, where you can configure all the device parameters.

⇡#Appearance and ergonomics

The printer surprises with its compactness and lightness. With the trays folded down, this device can even be placed in a relatively large plastic bag and easily carried wherever it is needed. All this suggests that the Epson M1120 can be useful not only in an ordinary office, where there is always some free corner for it, but also, for example, in a car, at an exhibition or road presentation. You don’t have to spend a lot of effort to get it there.

Внешний вид принтера Epson M1120

Epson M1120 printer appearance

The plastic body has the shape of a parallelepiped with rounded side edges. Top and bottom it is made of black plastic, and the sides are made of light gray – a traditional solution that will harmoniously fit into any interior.

Лоток подачи в рабочем состоянии

Feed tray operational

Лоток подачи в выдвинутом состоянии для укладки бумаги и настройки направляющих

Feed tray extended for stacking paper and adjusting paper guides

On the front of the case there is a drop-down cover of the input tray, designed for 150 sheets of A4 paper. In working order, it only slightly protrudes beyond the dimensions of the printer. But for easier loading of paper and adjustment of the internal guides in width, this tray can be pulled forward. But during operation, the tray will have to be pushed back.

Выходной лоток

Output tray

Above the input tray is the 30-sheet output bin. It has three pull-out sections and one folding section. In the travel version, when there is not enough space, it can be not laid out at all or only partially expanded.

Лицевая панель (лотки убраны)

Bezel (trays removed)

On the front panel, in addition to the door of the trays, there is another very important design element – a window with an ink level indicator. In fact, it is a translucent wall of the inner tank with the minimum and maximum filling levels marked on it. As soon as the ink level approaches the minimum allowable, it is required to refill the container.

Задняя панель

Back panel

The USB Type B port and power connector are located at the rear of the printer. The power adapter is built into the case, so there will be no unnecessary dangling outside.

 

 

Paper feed mechanism

The back panel is removable. By pressing and pulling on the large plastic buttons, you can remove it from the case along with the paper feed mechanism. If the paper is jammed or you just need to clean the mechanism, just remove this panel and carefully pull out the remaining pieces of paper from the inside.

Блок управления

Control block

The printer has a control box on the top of the printer that consists of five short-stroke round mechanical buttons and four LED indicators. With their help, you can control the power supply of the device, the Wi-Fi module, put the printer in refueling mode, print information pages with settings and perform other operations.

 

Printing mechanism

There is a printing mechanism under the top cover of the printer. The printer head together with the filling tank are located on a movable carriage. If it were not for the refillable container, the internal design could be called traditional.

Вид снизу

Bottom view

Still, it feels like the Epson M1120 represents some completely new and more interesting printing device than the inkjet printers of yesteryear. At the same time, it is extremely simple in its design and therefore even more mysterious and attractive.

Working with the device. Testing. conclusions

⇡#Working with the device

 

 

Installing drivers

Drivers for the printer can be installed either from the supplied CD-ROM or via the Internet by running the web configurator from the official site. In this case, not only will the software be downloaded and installed, but also a video will be shown with the procedure for refilling ink, which must be carried out even before setting up and connecting the printer.

 

Ink level indicator in the printer and prepared container with ink for refilling

This process is extremely simple, although it will take some time after it to automatically pump ink and set up the printing mechanism. All these actions will be performed without user intervention and will take about 10-15 minutes. As for refueling, it is really easy and simple to do. It is enough to open the lid on the ink bottle, and on the printer itself, first press the corresponding button to transfer the cartridge to the refueling position. The jar can be safely turned over – ink will not flow out of it. Drops can fly out only if you start to shake or squeeze it strongly.

Refueling

After that, the jar must be inserted into a special hole on the cartridge and wait until the ink level in the printer window reaches the upper limit. Refueling stops automatically. That is, it is simply impossible to accidentally pour ink in this case. After the first filling, an automatic pumping process is required, which is started by pressing the same service button on the control panel. Well, after ten minutes, when the power button stops blinking, the printer is ready to use.

 

 

Software Update

 

Basically, to work with the Epson M1120, you only need to install the driver. All necessary services for device maintenance, nozzle cleaning and other operations are already built into this package and will be installed by default. But you can install the entire package of the proposed software, which includes very convenient tools for updating the software, a utility for finding and connecting a printer, user manuals, and more. During the installation process, you need to choose one of two connection options: to a local wireless network or directly using a USB cable. An alternative to these connection options is to transfer data directly to the printer, for example from a smartphone using Wi-Fi Direct technology. All connection settings are intuitive and do not require any special knowledge and skills from the user.

 

 

Epson Printer Connection Checker and Printer Status Settings

If everything went well, then a new Epson M1120 device should appear in the connected printers section. Well, if you have installed the full software package, then the easiest way is to open the Epson Printer Connection Checker utility, from which you can check the status of the printer, print a test page and carry out other operations to set up the connection.

 

 

Printer settings menu

 

Also, if you are using a Windows PC, after installing the drivers, an icon with a menu will appear in the lower right corner to go to various printer settings and services.

 

 

Service maintenance

The Epson M1120 driver allows you to perform a variety of maintenance operations on the device while it is in use. It includes functions for nozzle check and head cleaning, calibration, power cleaning, and even paper guide cleaning. There are also fine print settings, as well as the ability to select monitored parameters, such as, for example, the appearance of various errors. The only thing manually controlled by the Epson M1120 is the ink level. However, it is not difficult to look at the indicator on the case, as well as to refuel the printer if necessary.

 

 

Print settings

The menu with print settings, invoked both separately and directly during printing, offers three levels of quality: draft to save toner, standard and high. You can enable manual duplex printing, in which the printer will stop printing so that the user can turn the paper over. In the settings you can find the function of imposing “watermarks”, correcting the tone of the print, as well as the inclusion of a quiet mode of operation, which significantly reduces the speed, but the printer becomes quiet, which can be important when printing at night or in places where noise is prohibited.

 

 

Web configurator

If the printer is connected via a network, then all system settings can be made using the web configurator. To enter it, you just need to enter the printer’s IP address in the browser line.

 

 

 

 

Working with the printer using Wi-Fi Direct from a smartphone

 

To connect to the Epson M1120 via Wi-Fi Direct, knowledge of the network name and password is required. You can find them simply by looking at (and configuring) in the web configurator, or by printing a page with the current settings by pressing the appropriate key on the printer control panel. If you connect via Wi-Fi Direct from a smartphone running Android or iOS, then the easiest way is to install the proprietary Epson iPrint application on it, in which you will need to find your printer, configure it, select certain print options and send the document for printing. The application is very convenient, simple and straightforward. The only drawback that we managed to find is the lack of the ability to change the print quality. For some reason, it is set to “standard” mode and cannot be changed. Let’s hope that this flaw will be fixed in the near future with the next update.

In general, the set of settings will satisfy the needs of both a private user and small office employees. Note that for normal operation and full access to all the capabilities of the Epson M1120, it is enough to install only the driver package, which contains everything you need at once.

⇡#Testing

The main testing of the printer was to check the print speed and to assess the quality of the resulting prints. To test performance, 30 sheets were printed from a PDF file with 5% text coverage. However, we tested all three print quality options. Average one-sided printing speed of a document in draft mode was about 20 pages per minute, which is slightly less than the declared value of 30 pages, but still very good for an inkjet printer. Switching to standard print quality reduces this value to 13 pages per minute. Well, printing high quality text documents is much slower – about 0.5-0.7 pages per minute. Apparently, the maximum print resolution is achieved precisely with this setting, and therefore it makes sense to set it only when printing especially critical graphic documents and documents with very small elements and text.

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The second stage of testing was to check the print quality. As we noted above, the high print quality setting is suitable for important graphic documents. In all other cases, the standard quality is quite enough, and even more often – the draft, in which the toner saving is maximum, and the printing speed is the highest. Below you can evaluate the quality of the resulting prints of different types with different print quality. All test prints presented in the material were made on A4 office paper with a density of 80 g / m2, after which they were scanned at 600 dpi and saved in Adobe Photoshop in JPG format with the highest quality.

 

 

Example of printing text documents in draft quality (left), standard (center), and fine (right)

 

 

 

 

Enlargement of acquired images to life size with indication of the clipped area

 

Comparison of printing an OCP test sheet with standard quality (left) and fine (right)

 

 

Enlargement of acquired images to life size with indication of the clipped area

In general, the quality of prints obtained with the Epson M1120 is comparable to the quality of prints made by laser models. Any office documents are sharp, without ink smears. At the same time, the ink itself dries so quickly that the document can be almost immediately put into work after printing. There is no need to wait for the ink to dry, as you have to do when using conventional inkjet printers – with the Epson M1120 it feels like you are using not an inkjet, but a laser printer.

The printer is noisy enough. If you need to maintain silence, then you have to sacrifice print speed and enable quiet mode. Well, as for the omnivorous printer, the officially declared range of paper density is not too large – office. But during the entire testing period, no paper jams or damage were noticed. The printer works fine even if there is only one sheet in the tray.

⇡#Conclusions

The Epson M1120 printer is a worthy alternative to more expensive laser office models to maintain and operate. At the same time, the novelty is in no way inferior to laser devices in print quality, although it is much simpler and lighter. The latter circumstance allows organizing a full-fledged mobile office on the basis of the Epson M1120. You can even take this printer with you to your car and connect directly to it via Wi-Fi Direct when needed. Well, you can also use it when printing documents in a regular office or at home.

Its advantages include:

  • Easy-to-use design and low weight;
  • Lack of consumables like laser models;
  • Very simple maintenance and easy refilling with ink;
  • The ability to connect via Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct;
  • High print quality comparable to that provided by laser devices;
  • Low cost per page.

Of the shortcomings, only a fairly noisy operation can be noted, but the presence of a quiet mode partially solves this problem. Otherwise, the novelty deserves close attention when choosing a simple and compact monochrome printer for home, small office or its mobile version.

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