By March 14, 2011

Epson B-310N printer review

epson-b-310n8 When looking for a workgroup printer most people would go straight for a network laser printer. Typically laser printers are faster and more economical to run. However, there’s recently been a resurgence of workgroup inkjet printers with various models from Canon, HP and Epson alike.

The advantage of inkjet over Laser is the use of ‘wet’ or liquid ink that’s just a bit brighter than the power print of a laser printer. Add glossy paper in to the mix and the right inkjet printer is capable of producing photo quality prints that rival photo lab prints.

This week Matt and I have been using the Epson B-310N, one of their newer business inkjet colour printers that was released last year. We’ve been putting it through its paces and have put it to good use here in the office.

So can an inkjet printer really compete with a similarly priced laser? Read on to see what we think!


The 10 second review:

  • Product: Epson B-310N business inkjet printer
  • Price: around £240
  • Summary: A large and robust workgroup printer with impressive print quality and speed
  • Best of: Super fast print speed and high capacity ink tanks and paper tray
  • Worst of: Huge printer, lack of WiFi, duplex model expensive
  • Buy now from:


What’s in the box?

  • Printer
  • 4 ink catridges
  • Power cable
  • Getting started guide
  • CD-Rom


Epson B-310N Specification:

  • Printing Method: Drop-On-Demand Inkjet (PiezoElectric)
  • Nozzle Configuration: 360 nozzles (Black) , 360 nozzles (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow)
  • Droplet Size: 3pl
  • Ink System: EPSON DuraBrite Ultra Ink
  • Print Resolution: Up to 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • Print Speed Draft Monochrome: Up to 37ppm
  • Print Speed Normal Monochrome: Up to 32ppm, 19ppm Laser-like A4
  • Print Speed Draft Colour: Up to 37ppm
  • Print Speed Normal Colour: Up to 32ppm, 18ppm Laser-like A4
  • Maximum Monthly Volume: 10,000 pages
  • Ink Cartridges: CMYK
  • Capacity: Standard capacity Black: 3,000 pages, Standard Cyan, Magenta, Yellow: 3,500 pages, Maintenance Box: 35, 000 pages
  • Standard Paper Input: 650 Sheets: Rear Tray 150 Sheets +Front 500 sheets
  • Paper Size: A4, A5, A6, B5, LT, HLT, LGL, GLG, EXE, C6, DL, #10, custom; 50.8 – 215.9mm x 127 – 1117.6mm
  • Duplex: Optional
  • Paper Weight: 256 g/m2
  • Paper Output Standard Maximum: 170 sheets
  • Epson Media Supported: Plain Paper, Premium Inkjet Plain Paper(A4), Bright White Inkjet Paper (A4), Matte Paper Heavy-weight (A4), Double-sided Matte Paper (A4), Photo Quality Inkjet Paper (A4), Photo
  • Power Consumption: Printing: 30W, Ready: 7W, Sleepmode:3.5W, Energy Star compliant
  • Network Printing Protocols: TCP/IP: LPR, FTP, PORT2501, PORT9100, IPP
  • Network Management Protocols: TCP/IP: SNMP, HTTP, TELNET, DHCP, APIPA, PING, DDNS, Bonjour(mDNS), SNTP, UPnP(SSDP)
  • Standard Warranty: 1 year
  • Optional Warranty: Up to 3 years
  • Dimensions W x D x H: 480 x 420 x 312 mm
  • Weight: 9.95 Kg
  • Windows Support: 98SE/ME (not in box), 2000, XP/ XP x64, Server 2003 / Server 2003 x64 , Server 2008 / Server 2008 x64, Vista / Vista x64, 7/7×64
  • Memory: 32MB
  • Printer Control Language Emulations: ESC/P2, PCL3
  • Resident Typefaces: 4 PCL, 10 ESC/P2., Compatible with all TrueType fonts and supported Windows and Apple Macintosh Operating Systems
  • LCD Screen: 2-Lines LCD



Epson took the printer design book and threw it out the window when creating the B-310N. There are no clean lines and, in fact, looks like someone started with one model printer and bolted on the additional parts to turn this one in to a suped-up for business model. There’s a large appendage on the front which is a 500-sheet paper tray, not too unusual in itself. However there’s then a large boxy bit jutting out of the top left of the printer which is the ink cartridge compartment. This large compartment is to make space for the huge ink cartridges (x4) that each have a rated capacity of 3000 to 3500 pages.

The 4 cartridges are each about 6 x 4 x 1 inches, nothing like the typically tiny tanks that one finds from your average consumer inkjet.

So the B-310N has an unusual look that I’m guessing you’ll either love or hate. Perhaps not as important as a business printer as it would be for the consumer market.

Initial setup of the printer is dead easy.

To be honest, having reviewed a number of all-in-one printers lately, I was surprised by the size of the B-310N and despite is sizable footprint there’s no scanner bed for copying, nor are there card slots or USB readers for direct printing, all of which can be found on less expensive models. Whilst I appreciate that the Epson may not be aimed at personal printing I’d have thought that they would be inexpensive to include and would offer some flexibility.

As it stands there are only two interfaces on the rear of the printer. A wired Ethernet connector and USB socket for direct connection to a computer. It’s a shame that the B-310N doesn’t have a built-in wireless connection at a time where a great many other printers are offering this, being a business printer I would have thought it logical to include WiFi.

This printer was a lot easier to set up than some we have reviewed recently. The set up in total only took about 15 minutes from the time I opened the box which is very quick. The inks slotted in very quickly and then turned it on as instructed. Normally this is were the process gets slowed down but the cycle time on here was only 3 minutes.

Next was installing the CD and once agin it was exceptionally fast. When prompted I plugged in the USB cable and before I knew it the calibration pages were printing. This was the end of the set up as unlike most printers reviewed recently this one was not wireless although it can be plugged into a network.

So once we had the printer up and running we subjected it to our regular suite of tests, starting with the speed tests. The B-310N has a claimed print speed of up to 37 pages per minute in both mono and colour draft modes. In practice we were getting around 15-16 pages per minute with our 5-page sample prints from MS Word. If you take in to account of the few seconds it takes to think about printing before it starts then the overall print speed increases to nearer 20 pages per minute with bigger print jobs.

Printing a colourful word document with clip are and a couple of coloured tables barely slows the Epson down. Once again the printer takes a few seconds before starting to print but then flies through the document rapidly. We were able to get 12 pages per minute from a short document and this went up to 14-15 pages per minute for larger documents. This is laser printer territory!

There is just one drawback from this rapid printing, the print head moves backward and forward across the page so rapidly that the printer jerks quite violently from side to side, you’ll want to make sure that you place the printer on a sturdy surface during operation.


The B-310N offers excellent print-quality. I remember a time when you had to accept a certain amount of smudging or ghosting from ink-jet printers but that’s certainly not the case here. Looking at sample print outs in both plain-text and from word it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between this and the output from our laser printer.

The colour output is also good, graphics in the form of Excel charts are bright and punchy while colour photos are acceptable. You wont be wanting to print your holiday snaps from this printer and it certainly wont replace even the cheapest of dedicated photo printers but, again, I would say they are accpetable for business use. They have plenty of detail but the colours have a tendancy to end up a bit ‘muddy’ in photos although this does improve with higher quality coated paper.


The B-310N has three large ink cartridges all offering a claimed 3000 to 3500 page life. A black cartridge will set you back £28 while the colour carts are £32. If you assume a 3500 pages then mono printing comes in at under 1p per page (excluding media) and colour at around 4p. This is incredibly cheap and compares favourably with even the most efficient colour laser printers on the market.

Obviously if you start printing full colour pages of graphics of photos then the page count is going to drop quite drastically. Epson don’t quote the ink ink life for photo printing.



My overall thoughts on this it is definitely a small business printer, which is its target market, and not really a home user friendly at all. It’s speed is great but in being fast makes it’s noisy and it was making my desk shake as it printed!  Quality was good but not fantastic but it you want to print colour documents in a small office environment it is ideal as it is cheap to run as well as being fast although it lacks a duplex function . Size would also be a consideration in most homes as this printer is not small. Home users can get better quality and higher specs for less money were slower print times won’t matter.


Posted by: Tracy

Posted in: Printers, Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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