Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5150 – a very smart printer (review)

Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5150 is a very smart, well-featured, small-footprint printer for home, small office/home office and workgroups.

It and the ET-5170 (Fax model exclusive to Officeworks) is part of its new, more modern design that reduces the footprint via a unique double stack design – the printer as its base and the scanner up top over the paper output area.

Add Epson quality, a 2-year warranty (on registration), PrecisionCore heat-free print head, meagre print costs (via the EcoTank system) and a wide variety of connections and cloud Apps, and it’s a winner.

Australian Review: Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5150 (and ET-5170 with Fax)

WebsiteProduct Page and Manual and User Guide
PriceET-5150 $669
ET-5170 $679 (Officeworks only)
FromEpson retailers and Epson online
WarrantyOne year extendable free to 2 years with registration
Made inPhilippines
Company Epson is a Japanese electronics company. It is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of inkjet printers for consumer, business and industrial use. It also makes scanners, video projectors, watches, point-of-sale systems, robots and industrial automation equipment, semiconductor devices, crystal oscillators, sensing systems and other associated electronic components. 
MoreCyberShack Epson news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below.  You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First Impression – Pass+

Printers are usually boring office grey, cream or black. This looks a little different with fresh, modern lines and the scanner above the printer, allowing a smaller footprint of 375 (W) x 347 (D) x 346 (H) x 7.3kg.

It aced all our tests – bar one that probably is not a deal breaker. To save space, the paper ejects face down backwards under the scanner (not out the front, although there is a bypass). Sure, you can awkwardly remove the paper from under the paper guides at the front, but it is best to have rear access, e.g., not flush against a wall.

Let’s talk EcoTank, cost, and the environment– Exceed

EcoTanks are DURABrite pigment, bulk ink containers (approx. 7500 black pages and 5200 colour pages) that empty into the printer (bottom right).

RRP for a set is $105 (CMY @$24.99 each and black @$29.99). Theoretically, if you printed mono only, the cost is .04 of a cent per page. If you printed colour (as in spot colour), the cost is .2 of a cent per page.

 The reality is that these are cheap to run yet give better print quality than traditional cartridge inkjet printers. Being heat-free, there is less ink waste to purge ink lines and less energy used.

Setup – Pass+

The printer connects via USB-C (not shareable), Ethernet Cable (network shareable) or Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz. You can use the 2.4” Touch screen to set up, but we suggest you download the driver package for Windows, macOS or Linux.

Wi-Fi Direct means you connect to the printer’s Wi-Fi SSID and print directly. You can also connect via an Android or iOS smartphone and print via Email Print, Remote Print Driver, Epson iPrint, Mopria, and Apple AirPrint.

Be aware that all you need is the printer and scanner driver. Some drivers may contain additional software or Apps that you should ‘untick’ if you do not need them.

We assume you will set the paper size and defaults like single/double-sided printing. Otherwise, the default App settings are fine.

Print quality – Pass+

Paper quality is the key. Standard A4 bond (up to 80gsm) is like a sponge, and the ink soaks in, taking any semblance of gloss from it. That is the crucial difference between an inkjet and a laser – the latter fuses toner onto paper for more brilliant colours.

All that aside, copy paper is fine for 99% of use. Black text is crisp and clear, as are horizontal and vertical lines. The colours are muted due to the paper but show no banding, so overall, it is very good. The pigment-based ink is relatively smudge and water-resistant.

It can get a little noisy during printing – 50-60dB, but it is not an issue.

Paper types, input and output – Pass+

Epson makes a range of matte, semi-gloss, and glossy papers. It is not a photo printer, although you can get excellent results on A4 Epson Photo Quality inkjet paper.

A4 Photo Paper Glossy – 20 Sheets (200gsm)S042538$15.99
A4 Photo Paper Glossy – 50 Sheets (200gsm)S042539$24.99
A4 Ultra Glossy Photo Paper – 15 Sheets (300gsm)S041927$36.99
A4 Premium Semigloss Photo Paper – 20 Sheets (250gsm)S041332$40.99
A4 Premium Glossy Photo Paper – 20 Sheets (255gsm)S041287$28.98
A4 Matte Paper Heavy Weight – 50 Sheets (167gsm)S041256$31.99
A4 Double-Sided Matte Paper – 50 Sheets (178gsm)S041569$36.99
A4 Photo Quality Inkjet Paper – 100 Sheets (102gsm)S041061$36.99

Officeworks has HP ColorChoice High White A4 90/100gsm for $14.98/16.59 (500 sheets) or 120gsm for $13.29 (250 sheets). It also has HP Pro Design 90/100/120gsm clay coat for presentation printing.

In addition to the 200-sheet cassette, there is a rear feed slot for heavier stock and envelopes. The key to the best print is ensuring the printer drivers are set for the paper type.

Print Speed – Pass+

Epson claim 17.5” ISO per minute mono or around 9.5 pages per minute.

Our real-world tests use a 50/50 mix of text and images and a double-sided menu with images, blocks of colour, black text etc.

  • Ten pages single-sided – 120 seconds plus 8-seconds to first page out – 10 seconds per A4 page
  • Five sheets double-sided (10 pages) – 180 seconds plus 16 seconds first page out – 18 seconds per page.

Good for an inkjet printer.

Copy/Scan – Pass

It has a single-sided auto document feeder (35 pages). You can use the flatbed (under the lid) and manually turn the paper over to produce duplex prints. The total scan time for an A4 page was 30 seconds, and we did not test multiple pages.

You can scan to about anything: computer, cloud (Epson Connect), smartphone, Word, PDF, TIFF, JPEG, Document, Photo, or print (Copy). It uses Epson Scan or any TWAIN-compliant App. The scanner App is comprehensive, and you can adjust most parameters.

The scanner mechanism is fit for purpose, e.g., home or SOHO use and from what we can find, has an effective life of about 100,000 scans.

Maintenance – Pass

The rollers are not listed as spare parts, but you can extend their life by using a damp cloth on the ADF roller and paper feed rollers with a damp cloth.

There is a Printer Maintenance Tank ($15.99) that requires replacement when the printer notifies you (time unspecified).

Power Use – Pass+

It draws from .5W (sleep) to approx. 5W while printing. Power use is negligible.

Warranty and build quality – Pass+

It is one-year, back-to-base (you take it back to Epson or your retailer). You can extend this to two years on product registration within 30 days of purchase. You must use genuine Epson EcoTank inks.

The warranty period is overridden by a 100,000-page print limit – 200 reams! Recommended duty cycle is three reams a month. Build quality is better than a cheap inkjet and should stand up to the rigours of small office use.

CyberShack’s view – Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5150 or ET-5170 is perfect for home, home office and lighter workgroup use

it is a no-brainer compared to a cheap inkjet as the Epson EcoTank ET-5150, or ET-5170 printer, pays for itself with ink savings in less than three reams.

It is well made, quite fast at 6/12ppm (our test for single and duplex print) and does everything a small office or home office needs. But it does not do photo prints, which may stop a consumer from considering it.

Rating Explanation

  • Features: 95 – it has everything you need apart from a duplex scanner. The Epson printer driver and App are incredibly fully-featured.
  • Value: 95 – if you look at the initial purchase price, you may be discouraged but knowing it pays for itself in three reams or so (compared to a cheap cartridge inkjet) makes it a no-brainer for the average home that prints about that each year.
  • Performance: 90 – It is fast for a home inkjet and produces better printing than a cheap inkjet.
  • Ease of Use: 90 – after installing the driver on any device, it is all systems go. Epson’s user guide and set-up tutorials are excellent.
  • Design: 85 – I like the modern stacked design and the smaller footprint, so I am prepared to overlook the paper output issue – make sure you have rear access.

EcoTank Pro ET-5150, EcoTank Pro ET-5150, EcoTank Pro ET-5150

Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5150 and ET-5170

ET-5150 $669 and ET-5170 $679







Ease of Use





  • Meagre cost of printing
  • Epson build quality and a two-year warranty
  • Better print quality than cartridge inkjets
  • Fax version is only $10 more
  • Replaceble ink waste tank


  • The rear paper output makes placement an issue
  • Better, more expensive clay-coat paper means better print results
  • No double-sided scan