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Epson WorkForce 645 review: Epson WorkForce 645

The Epson WorkForce 645 printer ships with four separate ink cartridges for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. I used Epson's XL black and color cartridges that cost $20 and $17 to factor the most cost-efficient price per page, an based on Epson's posted ink cartridge yields, the cost of printing is refreshingly affordable at only 2.5 cents per page of black ink and 3.2 cents per color.

I'm equally pleased with the 645's effort to push the speed of Epson inkjet printers. The WorkForce dominated four of the competitive printers in all but the photo speed test, where it fell behind at 1.12 snapshots per minute, so I wouldn't recommend it if quick speeds are a high priority. But for all other jobs, the chart below illustrates the WorkForce 645's capable performance.

Speed test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Presentation Speed (PPM)  
Photo Speed (1 Sheet)  
Color Graphics Speed (PPM)  
Text Speed (PPM)  
Epson WorkForce 645
HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One C310a
Dell V715w
Canon Pixma MG6120
Lexmark Prevail Pro705

I'm confident recommending the WorkForce 645's output for professional documents like slide shows, spreadsheets, and handouts. The internal driver settings let you choose between Photo or Best Photo mode, but keep in mind that you'll wait longer for the finished product with Best Photo. Text quality offers a similar choice between simple Text and a more complex Text and Image mode. Subtle differences between the two are noticeable using a magnifying glass, but not nearly enough in the snapshot photos and graphics documents to warrant the extra ink.

Nevertheless, I'm satisfied with the printer's color reproduction and text character formation, but many of the color blends in the snapshot photos are marred by color blocks and an undersaturated haze. Bright colors in prints don't pop as boldly as they should, but that's usually the case with business-oriented printers.

Service and support
Epson backs the Epson WorkForce 645 with a limited one-year warranty that includes toll-free customer support weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT. Further support is available online through a model-specific troubleshooting guide, FAQs, e-mail support, driver updates, and document downloads. You can also purchase additional coverage at $20 for an extra year or $30 for two years.

The Epson WorkForce 645 caters to the office crowd with cloud printing features and the ability to automatically print on both sides of a sheet of paper while still keeping ink replacement costs relatively low. It registers competitive print speeds and the rest of its buffet of features will leave any business shopper satisfied.

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