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New Epson WorkForce printer_Very poor Draft print quality

epson workforce text quality draft

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#1 Cheryl_27



  • Joined: 09-January 07

Posted 28 March 2013 - 01:23

HI everyone,

Just bought an Epson WorkForce WF-3540 AIO to replace a dying HP C6280 Photosmart AIO. Concerned & surprised about very poor text quality when printing on Fast mode (Draft)- grayscale.

Did a printer alignment on the Epson (fairly tedious). Got it done. Print in Standard mode looks fine. The draft mode kind of reminds me of dot matrix or when use keybd characters to make pictures.

The HP on its "Fast Draft" mode AND w/ the "ink volume" amount it used, set at LOWEST possible level, had far better quality than this Epson's Draft mode. From my research, this Epson was suppose to be a pretty good printer.

In draft mode, slanted characters have a "stair step" appearance. At reading distance, it's blocky, ragged. Curved letters also ragged.

When you look closely at both printers' draft mode prints, it's obvious why Epson's looks ragged. Curved letters are missing spots - w/ no ink, not just slightly "fuzzy" edges. As said, slanted parts have definite stair step look.

In draft mode, the HP (& another HP C5180 Photosmart) show VERY little of that ragged look. Its letters are fully filled in; no stair step look. Curved parts are smooth. Only difference in HP Draft & Standard (Normal) modes is draft has some fuzziness on character edges (not much) & it's lighter - but still quite readable.

Epson full manual mentioned, "if printouts are "grainy, select a higher print quality setting AND turn off any high speed settings in your product software." That's all it says.
Don't know if that means you can adjust print speed - of Fast mode (not found anything on that), or just means, "don't use draft (faster) mode?" If the latter, equates to, "use more ink."

Any suggestions, comments, experiences?

Maybe there's another setting I'm missing?

Maybe I got the one bad unit of 100 - it happens?

Epson's draft print quality REALLY sucks compared to HP?

With HPs, 80 - 90% of printing we did was Fast draft & looked just fine.
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Edited by Cheryl_27, 28 March 2013 - 01:40.

#2 tnt118



  • Joined: 09-August 09

Posted 28 March 2013 - 01:39

I'm on a fairly new Epson XP-600, but the draft quality was terrible. Having a (really old) HP 960c before this one... the difference was huge. I basically just forgo using draft quality (and fast print). For the little printing I actually do, I didn't feel I was sacrificing too much.

#3 OP Cheryl_27



  • Joined: 09-January 07

Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:10

Thanks. I don't know. Perhaps I can go back to the store & print some samples in Draft - maybe take a flash drive.

Did you ever see anything about "adjusting speed" as mentioned in the manual's excerpt? The part about, "AND turn off any high speed settings," leads one to believe there are separate speed settings, to be "turned off."

If that is as good as Epson's Draft mode gets, it'll be going back. Most of our printing is in draft. On the new Epson, there doesn't seem to be a huge difference in speed of text printing in Draft of Standard. But Standard will sure use a lot more ink. Had a couple of friends raving about their new Epsons, that they'd researched. Yes, I had trouble w/ HP's software installing (updating / reinstalling) & it was a huge hassle. But the Draft quality of MY Epson is worse than printers from 10 yrs ago.

Maybe I got a bad one. Or maybe it's par - which might explain why Epson has many times less market share as HP. If this is "normal," Epson owners must not print in Draft, or they wouldn't be giving models like mine such high marks.

#4 tnt118



  • Joined: 09-August 09

Posted 28 March 2013 - 13:17

On the drivers for mine, there's a checkbox under the advanced tab for "High Speed". I didn't test the combinations of that and draft, but it looks like High Speed has been on for my normal and high quality printing and I haven't had any complaints there.

#5 OP Cheryl_27



  • Joined: 09-January 07

Posted 28 March 2013 - 15:56

tnt118, I'm not finding exactly what you describe in Vista. In Printer Properties > Advanced for the Epson, it shows a "new driver" button, but doesn't have a driver details option (can't view current drivers - even opening properties in Admin mode). Only option is to update / install new drivers w/ wizard. That's why the button's named "new drivers."
Same in general control panel / Printers. In admin mode, can't see currently installed drivers. How did you get to the point to see drivers AND options (not usually listed together)?

I see under Print properties > Printer preferences, a Maintenance tab, then "Extended settings" button. It has long list of options. Only one related to speed is "High Speed Copies" (unchecked by default).

Maybe it shows differently in your OS or Epson software vers.