Reviewed on: March 2015
Home users and small-to-medium offices that need a huge range of functionality in their printer. The WF-3640 can do anything you need from it and is a great all-round printer. It doesn't master any particular area, so there are faster office machines and ones with better print quality, but it's a solid machine nonetheless.
Features & Connectivity
Epson have left no stone unturned with the WF-3640 with nearly all the functionality you could want.
- Wireless and ethernet connection
- Scanner and Fax
- Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)
- Duplex (auto 2-sided printing)
- Print from / Scan to USB and email
- AirPrint and Google Cloud Print
- Two 250 sheet paper trays
- Rear paper input for specialist media & card stock
The only real function missing is printing onto CD/DVDs though this is requested so infrequently that we doubt it will be missed. The ADF can hold up to 35 sheets, helping you scan pretty sizable documents nice and easily, and the rear paper feed gives you the options to use any kind of media you want. Two paper trays give the capacity you need for a busier office, if you only need one tray it might be worth checking the Epson WF-3620, it is basically identical to the WF-3640 with a single 250 sheet paper tray instead.
Setup and installation of the Epson is wonderfully simple and the built-in touchscreen makes it easy to find any functions or set any features really simple. Once you've unboxed it and installed the ink cartridges the WF-3640 will go through the Epson standard 5-7 minute "primer", once that is done you're ready to print. Easy peasy. With the support of AirPrint and Google Cloud Print it's also a synch printing from a mobile device which we value very highly, Apple fan boys that we are (at least some of us).
(if you buy this printer it doesn't come with a USB cable, so if you want a USB connection to your PC instead of using the networking you will need to buy one)
Print Speed & Quality
Epson have slightly inflated the print speed figures on the box, claiming 19 pages per minute (ppm) for standard prints and around 10ppm for colour. Our own tests (and many other reviewer tests) get a more modest 14-15ppm for standard documents which is still good for an office inkjet printer and more than fast enough for all but the busiest offices. If you need faster then check out the HP Officejet Pro X476dw, our Top Rated office printer, that thing is speedy.
Print quality is superb. Text and 'normal' document prints come out really strong with decent blacks and clear definable text even at small font sizes. Image prints are strong and you've got the option of using Epson's brilliant range of Glossy and Matte photo paper to create any special image prints you'll need.
Colours are decent and though graphics aren't as sharp as a full photo printer they're still good even onto standard office paper, which is a big thumbs up. Perfect for handouts and presentations but if you need a 'proper' photo printer in your office we'd advise you check out the Epson XP-950, an A3 office machine that is superb for photos, otherwise this Epson is more than good enough.
Cartridges & Running Costs
The Epson WF-3640 takes four individual cartridges that are easily installed in the right hand side of the machine once you've listed the lid. They come in standard and high capacity versions with the black having an additional Extra High Capacity option. With a yield of up to 2,200 pages the running costs are very competitive with standard documents around 1.2p per page. It is a bit more expensive if you buy the smaller capacity cartridges but if you stick to the XL's it's on a par with most of the other office machines.
This printer has the normal frustrating issue that if one cartridge is empty you won't be able to print, scan or indeed do anything with your machine, so make sure to keep a set to hand just in case, otherwise Epson have kept the consumables short and sweet.
There's full up to date cartridge prices at the bottom of this review or you can see a full list of Epson WF-3640 inks here.
Who Should Buy This Printer
In a nutshell, the WF-3640 Epson printer is perfect as an all-round machine for either Home or a small-to-medium offices. It gets a solid 8/10 across the board for ease of us, quality, running costs and speed. There are better printers for specific jobs (which we mention in the review) but as an all-rounder this printer is hard to beat.