Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5890DWF review: Ticks all the right boxes for busy workgroups

Low running costs, a high-duty cycle and an extensive software bundle make this MFP ideal for demanding workgroups

The Epson Workforce Pro on the IT Pro background

IT Pro Verdict


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    High print capacity


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    Stingy starter packs

Epson's WorkForce Pro WF-C5890DWF will appeal to small workgroups with big print demands who need to keep a close eye on running costs. This versatile multifunction A4 inkjet printer can churn out mono and colour pages for only 1.4p and 6.3p respectively, while a monthly duty cycle of 5,000 pages means it can take a lot of print punishment.

The WF-C5890DWF offers plenty of features, combining print, copy, scan and fax functions with USB, gigabit wired or 802.11n wireless, Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint connectivity. The colour flatbed scanner provides a 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF), there's an 80-page multipurpose feeder at the back and the standard 250-sheet tray can be augmented with up to three 500-sheet cassettes.

Slotting into a drawer under the paper tray, Epson's ink packs offer plenty of choices with K available in 3,000 (L), 5,000 (XL) and 10,000 (XXL) page capacities while C, Y and M come in L and XL page volumes. There's very little difference between them for overall running costs, but note that the "Initial" packs supplied with the printer are only good for around 300 pages.

Installation is swift - Epson's utility discovered the printer on our network, downloaded the latest software, installed a desktop status monitor, ran an automatic firmware upgrade and offered to load a wealth of free utilities. The Scan 2 desktop software includes a TWAIN driver with plenty of network scan controls, Document Capture Pro manages personal scan jobs and saves them for fast one-click access, while Epson's iOS and Android mobile apps provide remote print and scan tools.

You can keep an eye on consumables from the printer's web console and register it with Epson's Connect remote print service. This assigns a customisable email address to the printer so remote users can print documents by sending them as mail attachments. Scanning and faxing to the cloud couldn't be easier. After adding personal Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and OneDrive accounts at the Connect portal, they'll appear in the printer's touchscreen menu.

The panel presents more icons for copying documents and scanning them directly to computers, network folders, FTP and email servers, a local USB stick and Windows PCs using Web Services on Devices (WSD).

Performance depends on the selected resolution. A 25-page Word document printed at standard mode in precisely one minute but dropped to only 6.4ppm with the driver's high mode selected. We also saw this with our 24-page colour DTP document, which averaged 23ppm and 6.1ppm for each mode.

The good news is that the standard setting is fine for text: print quality is sharp enough for general office use, with only fonts smaller than 12pt showing hints of dusting. Colour quality is another winner, with graphics and photos looking sharp and detailed without any signs of banding in large single-colour areas.

Using Document Capture Pro to scan a 20-page sheaf of bank statements to a PC as a searchable PDF returned speeds of 22ppm. Duplex scans take much longer, though, as the ADF has to flip each page to scan both sides, with a double-sided scan of the same test document averaging only 4.3ppm.

You won't need a high resolution for document archiving as output quality at 200dpi is fine for these tasks, with Epson's OCR services correctly converting every word on the statements down to 6pt fonts.

The software provides plenty of scan management tools along with a good range of output formats, and each PC that has it installed appears in the printer's touchscreen menu for quick scan selection.

Epson's WorkForce Pro WF-C5890DWF ticks all the right boxes for busy workgroups with high print and scan demands. The starter ink packs are a bit stingy but ongoing running costs are low, it offers great output quality and packs in an impressive range of user-friendly scan services.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5890DWF specifications

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Format 4,800 x 1,200dpi A4 inkjet MFP
Print speed 25ppm
Displaymono/colour 10.9cm colour touchscreen
NetworkingEthernet 2.4GHz/5GHz
Connectivity2 x USB 2, Gigabit 802.11n Wi-Fi 33.6Kbits/sec fax/modem 2 x RJ-11
Print typeDuplex
Tray size250-page input tray 80-page MP tray 50-page
Dimensions425 x 535 x 357mm (WDH) (WDH)
Warranty1yr on-site warranty.
Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.