Review: Epson WorkForce 635 All-in-One - Macenstein

Review: Epson WorkForce 635 All-in-One

epson workforce 635

In case you never got the memo, the days of buying a stand alone printer, scanner, copier or fax machine are officially over. There was a time when the idea of buying an all-in-one device was a risky venture, as not only were they expensive, but if any one (or two) of the components crapped out on you, you were left with an expensive and bulky device that now needed an extra bulky and expensive device or two to pick up the slack. Now, with all-in-one printer/scanner/fax/copiers costing about as much as a stand alone printer of 4 years ago and deliver many times the quality and speed of their predecessors, the decision to buy an all-in-one is pretty much a no-brainer for anyone looking to buy any ONE of the stand alone units.

Epson’s WorkForce line of all-in-ones have long been a favorite here at the lab, so when asked to check out Epson’s WorkForce 635 (the updated version of last year’s WorkForce 610 (Macenstein rated 9.5 out of 10)) we said “sure” (although we said it with a more enthusiastic tone than the word implies).

At the risk of appearing lazy, the basics of the WorkForce line have not changed all that much between models, so feel free to read that previous review of the 610 here for an overview.


Probably the most useful feature of the 635 is its Wireless network Printing/Scanning features. If you do not currently have a WiFi printer, let me just say it WILL change your world, especially if you live in a multi-laptop household. Installing the 635 and adding it to my home WiFi network was a breeze, and probably one of the easiest installations I’ve encountered in general. Epson recommends for initial setup you use a USB cable to connect the printer, and although I certainly have a ton of USB cables lying around, Epson doesn’t include on in the box, so I figured I would just try to do the setup wirelessly, and it was painless. Simply hit the SETUP button on the front control panel, scroll down to Network Settings, hit Wireless LAN Setup, choose your network, enter your password, and you’re done.

Speed-wise, the WorkForce line still boasts insanely fast black and white printing at 15 pages per minute. Color printing is still fast as well, although slightly down, coming in at 7.2 ppm vs the 610’s 9.3ppm – not that I’ve ever needed 9.3 color pages printed out in a minute. The 635 has 4 individual ink cartridges (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and a double-sized black) to help minimize wastefully replacing ink cartridges before all colors are dry. Epson sells replacement cartridges for $28.48 for the double sized black, and $18.04 for each of the individual color cartridges. Inexplicably, Epson also sells a “Color Ink Cartridge Multi-Pack” which contains all three color cartridges for $54.10, which, unless I’m doing my math wrong, is a whopping 2¢ savings over buying the cartridges individually. All I can think is maybe this will save you some cardboard in the packaging, but otherwise I don’t know why they would even mention this on their site.

Speaking of saving the planet, the WorkForce 635 is fairly green. It’s ENERGY STAR® qualified, uses up to 70% less power than laser printers and is designed to be recycled. And speaking of saving things, I like the new front-loading paper tray of the 635 vs the rear loading vertical tray of the 610. This allows you to place the 635 closer to a wall, freeing up valuable desk space or perhaps allowing for placement on a narrower shelf in a dark closet in your basement. After all, the whole point of a wireless printer is you can hide it somewhere far, far away from where you spend most of your living.

Scanning worked well, with no need for any extra software. In fact, during the installation process, I opted to not install any of the “extras” that come with the 635. All you need to do to scan is launch Preview on your Mac, choose IMPORT> Include Network Scanners, and BOOM, you’re scanning. For those of you running OS X 10.5 or earlier, Epson has a stand alone scanner driver you can download from their site, but in Snow Leopard it just worked.

Print quality on the 635 is excellent, and text is crisp even when viewed close up. I did a couple photo print tests on the Epson glossy photo paper Epson sent over and while I was impressed, I wasn’t blown away. The quality of the photos it printed might have blown my mind 5 years ago, but these days it is is actually cheaper to order REAL prints online from Walgreens and have them ready in an hour than to bother constantly buying specialty paper and inks. Still, if you’re into instant gratification the photos certainly do not disappoint, but you really DO need the glossy photo paper.


One feature of the Workforce 635’s predecessor (the 610) that I somewhat jokingly raved about was the ability to print lined and graph paper directly from the unit. However, as useless as I first thought this feature might be, I actually found my family used this feature quite often, as there were many times my kids would need a piece of stationary and of course we were out. Well, I am happy to say the feature made the move to the 635, but you might never know it. Epson has created a new “simplified” menu for the 635, and where the ability to print stationary was front and center in the previous model, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper now, and since the 635’s manual makes NO mention of the feature, odds are most people won’t even know it CAN print graph paper and such. (FYI, an Epson rep told me you need to go to Menu> Print Photos> Print Ruled Papers).

The only other real gripe I have with the 635 is the much-touted “double-sided printing option”, which is one of the few real differences between the 635 and the 610. Double-sided printing sounds good in theory, however, in reality it does not work as I would have expected. EDIT: Although poorly/not at all documented, I discovered my problem. Under “Output Options>Two Sided Printing there is an option to choose Long or Short side binding. Long side binding is what you want. I have adjusted the final review score accordingly).The problem is when a piece is printed double-sided, it does not read correctly if you flip it over horizontally, as when you read a magazine or book. Instead, you need to flip the page vertically, top to bottom, to have it be readable. So in effect, it prints the 2nd side upside down from what you’d expect. This seems like something that could be fixed in software at some point, but for the moment this means for any real double-sided printing, I will still be printing one page at a time, and manually reinserting the paper the correct way. Also, depending on what you’re printing, odds are you’re going to get some serious bleed through on most standard paper, so aside from text-only stuff, I’m still planning to kill trees and go one-sided.

epson workforce 635


The Epson WorkForce 635 All-in-One is a wonderful choice for anyone looking to save space by going the wireless, all-in-one route. The front-loading paper feed means it takes up less desktop space than its predecessor, and the increased paper capacity and WiFi n are also welcome additions. The new control panel are a little disappointing, but given that for some reason Epson is selling the WorkForce 635 for $50 LESS than the old 610 model, I think we can forgive those shortcomings.

Price: $149.99
Pros: Fast, cheap, high quality, 4 devices in 1 small desktop footprint, wireless printing
Cons: New “simple” menu makes some tasks more difficult

7 Responses to “Review: Epson WorkForce 635 All-in-One”
  1. mister harry crumm says:

    That’s weird about the double-sided printing thing. Are you sure that you didn’t select some top-binding option that prints that way deliberately? There has to be an option that prints double-sided, “normally,” on portrait-oriented pages.

  2. imajoebob says:

    I don’t have a WorkForce. but I just bought an Epson Stylus NX515 and I’m impressed with the price, speed, and quality. It’s my first Epson, and it came with WiFi. Setup was lightning fast and pretty easy (on both Macs and PCs). The only shortcomings are the onboard controls – absolutely miserable to be honest, and it likes ink. The cartridges are cheap (about 12 bucks) but there are 4 of them, so that ‘s probably equivalent to a 35 dollar 3-color cartridge. I just seem to have to replace them more than I did my old Lexmark’s. I think one problem is that, despite having separate cartridges, it still uses CMY to mix black when printing in color mode (my blacks streaked as I ran out of magenta ink). But for the price savings I can afford to buy extra ink for a while.

  3. ArtOfWarfare says:

    Can the iPad print to it?

  4. @Art of Warefare,

    yeah, but not natively. You need to install AirPrintHacktivator.

    – The Doc

  5. @mister harry crumm

    Yeah, weird. I swear there is no “obvious” setting for it, and I was printing with the defaults, so if there is, this is how it will print by default. An Epson rep said he’d look into it, but after over a week with no answer, I’m left thinking this is how it goes.

    – The Doc

  6. Fixed the double-sided printing problem. You need to change the binding side from short to long under print options.

    – The Doc

  7. SMC says:

    @ artofwarefare and anyone else for Ipad or Iphone… Download the free Epson App from Itunes… Print Jinni allows you to print to any wireless Epson printer installed within your network

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