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Epson EcoTank ET-M1170 Black Pigment Ink Printer

Thursday, August 01, 2019

There was a time when instead of buying new ink cartridges, it worked out cheaper to buy a new printer!
Since the advent of refillable ink cartridges, ink technology is now taking us to refillable ink tank printers like the Epson EcoTank ET-M1170 black pigment ink printer, which refills via ink bottles.
Each ink bottle contains 120ml of black ink, which is enough to fill up the ink tank reservoir inside the printer. The page yield per ink bottle is up to 11,000 pages. The type of ink used by the printer is pigment ink, which performs better than dye-based ink at not fading away or easily being smudged.
Being a black pigment ink printer, the EcoTank ET-M1170 can print as small as 2.8 pl (picoliter) ink droplets so, the printer has small nozzles, which are great for sharp printouts.
However, the drawback of using pigment ink with small nozzles is that the nozzles can get easily clogged up because of the composition of pigment ink. Since the EcoTank ET-M1170 only uses black pigment ink though, clogging may not be as much of an issue as color pigment ink and black pigment ink mixing together.
The included CD is required for setting up the EcoTank ET-M1170 printer for the first time as the CD contains the driver that the printer needs to allow the EcoTank ET-M1170 printer and a computer to communicate and print.
Even if you have other Epson printers, you will still need to use the included CD because all the different Epson printer models, including the EcoTank ET-M1170 black pigment ink printer, use different and specific drivers.
The printer should be off during the ink filling process. After filling the ink tank with the included ink bottle, you will need to turn the printer on and press the inverted triangle button for 5 seconds.
The power light will start flashing, which indicates that the ink is charging. The ink light should be off but it will light up if there is an error during the "ink charging" process, or when the ink in the tank is low.
Aside from being able to print with the Epson EcoTank ET-M1170 when connected to a wireless router, you can also print directly from a smartphone or tablet via WiFi Direct, which is built-in to the printer.
Your smartphone or tablet also has to support Wifi Direct in order to be able to communicate with the EcoTank ET-M1170. For printing remotely, you need to use either Google cloud printing services or Epson cloud printing services.
Speaking of wireless printing, you should know that wireless printing is not secure by default; hence why you should get a printer that encrypts all data sent over wireless connections.
Most printers, at the very least, use Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), but you ideally want a printer that supports Wifi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2), which is more secure than WEP.
The EcoTank ET-M1170 uses WEP (WEP 64 Bit and WEP 128 Bit), as well as WPA PSK (TKIP) and WPA2 PSK (AES). The latter one is the most secure and the one you really want to use to prevent hackers from saving copies of the documents you print.
To make sure that the EcoTank ET-M1170 prints wirelessly using WPA, you need to turn on WPA from your router and configure your computers and smart devices to use WPA. This is very easyly done with current operating systems, including Linux, Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS.
As long as you are running Windows Vista and above , and Mac OSX 10.5 (Leopard) and above, configuring WPA is straightforward.
With this said, the Epson EcoTank ET-M1170 printer is not compatible with Mac OSX 10.5 (Leopard). The oldest MacOS version that is compatible with this printer is Mac OS X 10.6.8.
For Windows computers, the oldest version compatible with the EcoTank ET-M1170 printer is Windows Vista (released in 2006) and Windows XP SP3 (released in 2008). The ET-M1170 printer is not compatible with the Windows XP version released in 2001.
Noise levels for this printer are average, at around 50dB, going up to 69dB (fairly loud) when using Photo RPM mode, which delivers the highest printing quality resolution (approx. 5760 dpi) when using premium glossy photo paper.
When using Photo RPM mode, printing is very slow as the printer carefully optimizes the dot placement by size. The default resolution of the printer is 1,200 DPI by 2,400 DPI.
While there is no on-board screen display like you get with the XP-15000 Expression Photo, WorkForce DS-870 and the XP-422 cartridge printers, you still get access to key printer settings via four buttons. You can carry out a nozzle check, print head cleaning, network connection reports, restoring network settings to default, and connect the printer to a wireless router or smart device.
The built-in leds are designed to visually alert you of the printer different statuses, including paper jams, ink charging, Wifi network connection, Wifi Direct connection, ink refilling and maintenance box (ink waste tank).
On the back of the EcoTank ET-M1170, you will find a small metal screw with a droplet symbol that gives you access to the printer's ink waste tank (maintenance box), which is designed for the excess ink to be collected.
When the ink waste tank is full, the ink droplet led will be lit up. Depending on how often you use and clean the printer, you should only have to replace the maintenance box every couple of years. You can get maintenance box replacements from Epson's website. The maintenance box is not found on all Epson printers, only on the EcoTank refillable ink printers and selected Expression Home and WorkForce printers.
Aside from being able to print wirelessly, you can also print via USB AB cable, thanks to the USB-B port on the printer. Even better, the EcoTank ET-M1170 features an Ethernet port, which makes networking this printer very easy by being able to connect the printer directly to a network router so any computer on that network can use the EcoTank ET-M1170 printer.
The EcoTank ET-M1170 printer also supports Windows GDI emulation so, it will work in PC-only environments, as well as mixed PC and Mac environments, making the EcoTank ET-M1170 printer a good choice for schools, office workplaces and home.
If you plan to use a printer in a primarily mixed environment with both Windows and Mac computers, you definitely want to stay away from GDI-only printers because they will only work with Windows computers.
The EcoTank ET-M1170 weighs 4.3 kg and measures 38cm wide, 35cm deep and 15cm tall. The power consumption is very good at only 13 watts during printing, and under 1 watt during sleep mode. When powered off, there is still electricity being consumed but it's very minimal at barely 0.2 watts.
As far as paper and media handling, you can only use A4 paper sheets weighing between 64 g/m² and 256 g/m² and between 64 mm and 95 mm in thickness. 
The EcoTank ET-M1170 will take standard A4 paper and Legal paper, as well as A5, A6, B5, B6, and envelopes (No. 10, C6, and DL). It takes around 6 seconds (from ready) to print one single A4 sheet of paper and you can print close to 40 A4 sheets per minute, using 75 g/m² A4 paper.
Paper is fed through the top rear of the printer and you can store up to 250 sheets of A4 paper. There is no column tray though, so paper flops down. The output tray is located on the top of the printer and can store up to 100 sheets of regular A4 paper.
The design of the output tray on top is convenient and allows duplex printing so the EcoTank ET-M1170 can print on both sides automatically. You can duplex print nine A4 sheets of paper per minute.
The EcoTank ET-M1170 refillable ink tank printer is covered by Epson's 12 months Carry-in so, if the printer develops a fault within a year you can take it to an Epson Express Centre to get it fixed or replaced with a second hand model of the same age.

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