Epson WorkForce WF-2540 review: Epson's latest all-in-one outdistances the competition

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Value: 8.0

Average User Rating

1.5 stars 9 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good An external USB port on the Epson WorkForce WF-2540 gives standalone copying and scanning functionality on top of standard printing duties, and Epson's cloud printing suite adds remote printing capability.

The Bad The printer ships with small capacity "starter" ink cartridges, and the flimsy plastic hinge on the scanner doesn't inspire confidence in its long-term durability.

The Bottom Line Cloud access, Wi-Fi connectivity, and an external USB port in addition to the company's mobile printing app make the Epson WorkForce WF-2540 a good fit for smaller work-groups and start-ups with moderate printing needs.

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The Epson WorkForce WF-2540 offers a selection of useful features to keep your office productive, but the top-loading auto-document feeder, cloud printing access, LCD screen, and Wi-Fi connectivity aren't the main features that should convince you to invest; the WF-2540's USB port is an often-overlooked inclusion that lets you walk up and use the scanner and copier regardless of whether or not the machine is connected to the Web. That means that your office can save images and documents on an external storage device for later. Partnered with separate ink tanks, affordable ink refills costs, and a generous helping of included software to guide you through printing projects, the Epson WorkForce WF-2540 is a worthwhile investment for business operating on a sub-$150 printer budget.

Design and features
Epson describes its WorkForce WF-2540 as the smallest physical build in its class, and it is indeed compact at 15.4 inches wide and 14.8 inches deep. Keep in mind that you'll need an extra 7 inches of height within your workspace to accommodate the 100-sheet paper input tray that extends from the back of the device. The bottom output tray also juts out a couple inches to corral outbound prints, but there's no question that this machine jams a lot of features into a relatively small footprint.

Sarah Tew/CNET

You'll find the control panel just in front of the paper feeder with prominent access to the 2.5-inch LCD screen in the center. You can't adjust the angle of the panel itself, so you'll need to keep the machine at a usable height relative to your desk. The buttons surrounding the display give you quick access to the copy, fax, and scan functions along with a number pad and a bank of speed dial entries.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The flatbed scanner and 30-sheet auto-document feeder (ADF) sit at the top of the unit, and there's an adjustable latch that moves back and forth on the ADF to hold paper sizes up to 8.5 inches by 14 inches. The conflict between price and performance seems to be an unending battle in the world of multifunction printers, with companies frequently using cheaper plastics to offset the cost of mechanical extras -- in this case, don't expect the WorkForce WF-2540 to last forever.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The machine comprises several panels of rather cheap, black plastic and a faux-carbon weave along the control panel to give it an "executive theme." Furthermore, the two hinges on the scanner that keep the lid propped open ratchet back and forth with almost no resistance, which all too often allowed the heavy cover to crash down on my hand.

Despite these minor setbacks in mechanical design, the WF-2540 delivers on its promise for quick, reliable prints with a generous helping of features on the side. The most unsung accessory on the printer is the USB port just below the power button on the control panel. Though Epson recommends you connect the machine to a Wi-Fi network to get access to cloud printing and the mobile app, the USB access gives you a way to interact with the machine as a standalone copier and scanner in case of an Internet outage.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Type fax / copier / printer / scanner
  • Printing Technology ink-jet
  • Max Original Size Legal (8.5 in x 14 in)
  • Optical Resolution 1200 x 2400 dpi
  • Functions printer