Posted in hardware, printer, review, tech

Epson C*#t Printer. Worst Bit Of Kit I’ve Ever Owned.

Rarely do i bother taking the time to review, and if i do it is supporting some young enthusiastic plug in writer, not something as dull as a printer. But this one has ground my gears so much, well i did. On the Epson site. tbf they did at least publish it.
That was written soon after owning it. I’ve since completely uninstalled every trace of it and reinstalled, by the book, reserving static ips for it etc etc. Result? Carnage. Just doesn’t want to do what it says it should. Now printers are so within my scope that I really just wouldn’t accept defeat. But it took like a whole night to get it functioning from 5 workstations, and it took a lot of cheating to do so.

During that night i discovered this. The epson comes with a full manual, and a 20 page or so set up guide. Not a quick start guide a proper set up guide. So if you were forced to go manual on a printer you’d look to that right?
Well the dick tech at Epson have omitted a whole chapter of essential info that is in the full manual, but isn’t in the 20 page set up guide. The bit in the full manual actually gets a big bold “essential – you must do this or you’re fucked” heading. The only bit in the set up that gets such a ‘must-do’ heading. But they completely omit it from the full manual. And that bit is about the really weird way they have given three sets of drivers all with mirrored postscript drivers, so you’ll end up with a printer that thinks it’s 6 printers unless you are cautious or mental enough to wonder if the people at epson would have omitted chapters of essential info from their set up guide and look elsewhere.
And remember this is a home or small office mono. It isn’t going into a a cisco ibm megaplux mainframe environment where the tech would sneer at something that didn’t need command line configuration.
Even when, through frustration and a decline from the satisfaction in swearing at it, you do find the ‘essential chapter, it is written in exactly the tech indecipherable bollocks I moan about so much. They go through all the 3 (6 with postscript) options, but nowhere does it once mention what the fuck the difference is between them, why it has them, which environments they are better suited for and so how you are meant to decide between them. Utter bollocks.
If this blog saves one person from fighting this printer, it will have served a purpose.
But I’ve learnt to live with it, strange how much satisfaction you can get from renaming a device.  🙂
(If you didn’t spot it already take a look)
Here is the review i put on the Epson site.

Bargain Price Is Indicative Of The Worst Printer I Have Ever Owned
24 May 2017

Customer avatar

How long do you own this product:< 1 month
Product experience:Advanced
It looked great value. duplex, ethernet, very low cost per page.
I am not surprised that these printers are now being sold off for a bargain price. I must have owned 50 printers in my time from multi-tray corporate lasers through to large format pro-photography inkjet, and plenty of budget printers among them, i have connected with parallel usb wi-fi and ethernet, using everything from ms-dos to windows 10, yet never have I come across a printer so fundamentally flawed, so frustrating in operation and ill considered in configuration as the AL-M200DN.
To be fair, if you buy it, place it immediately next to you, and connect by usb you might not find the worst of its features quite as annoying, but if you want to connect by ethernet for 2 or 3 users printing regularly but not constantly, this is what to expect.
1) Install. Accepting the default install (and why wouldn’t most people) leaves you with 6 separate instances of the printer and no way of intuitively knowing which one is the one to use. The 3 different connection types each have a mirrored postscript printer. I have never known a printer deal with its install this way, and it isn’t just about the confusion, they don’t seem to know which of them should be working either. I couldn’t get it to work at all until i have deleted 4 of them.
2) Power. We all expect and support eco-saving power solutions, but Epson’s on this model just sends you nuts and actually ends up wasting far more than it has saved through constant reboots, abandoned and aborted print jobs etc.
After several days looking through all of the print options to see what settings could possibly be controlling its eco saving mode, there are none, blaming your children for turning it off and even putting tape over the power button, you will finally discover that it has some settings accessible only through the printer buttons (nothing in the set up guide about this) and fiddly as it is discover that there are settings for a) sleep mode b) low power mode and c) power off mode. Which overrides the other? No idea, and nor it seems does the Epson, So you will fiddle with these and, providing you print a sheet of paper every 48 minutes, the max one setting allows, your printer will continue to function. But it has no ‘wake on print’ so after 48 minutes you have to remember to physically turn it on again (and use up all that extra power of going through its motions, picking up the paper trays, rolling the toner etc,) before you print.
If you forget, as you invariably do because it is insane, and print before you have turned it on, you have to access the printer, clear all documents stuck in the queue (they won’t print when you do turn it on), then turn on the printer, then reprint whatever you were printing, or whatever several things.
A truly hateful, awful configuration from Epson, a brand i have always considered as premium in the printing world.

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