Epson?s desire to push out new photo printers which can satisfy the needs of digital photographers took a step forward earlier this month with the announcement of the new Stylus Photo R1800. This printer, set to appear in March for $549, builds upon technologies from the older Stylus Photo R800 model, which has garnered high marks from the likes of PC Magazine, CNET and About.com.
The R1800 is a rather robust 24.2? x 12.6? x 9.1? silver and dark grey printer with a weight of 33 pounds. It connects to computers running Windows 2000, Windows XP or Mac OS x 10.2.4 or higher through a USB 2.0 or FireWire cable. A paper storage tray can hold approximately 100 sheets of plain paper or 20 sheets of photo paper.
Epson?s R1800 uses an eight cartridge system called UltraChrome Hi-Gloss, which houses cyan, magenta, yellow, red, blue, photo black, matte black and gloss optimizer cartridges in a manner which doesn?t require them to be swapped out. These pigment based ink jets, through the printer?s capabilities, produce a 1.5-picoliter ink dot size and resolutions of up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi.
Photo printing, especially related to size and speed, is something which Epson feels they have mastered with the R1800. Photo quality printing up to 13 inches wide and 44 inches long can be printed on a variety of different types of media paper, including Epson specific premium glossy, premium semigloss, enhanced matte, watercolor radiant white, double sided matte and photo quality ink.
Some of these paper types, in combination with the R1800?s ink, can preserve image quality for up to a reported 200 years when kept in proper storage environments. Additionally, seven print sizes up to 13? x 19? can be done with borderless edges, making photos which are frame and portfolio ready without the need to trim or tear.
Besides paper, other types of media can be printed to as well. Photographic rolls up to 13 inches can be printed. Printable CDs and DVDs are also supported via a front loading tray which slides out from the printer?s body. After loading, custom images or those included with software in the R1800 package can be ink jetted directly onto the discs.
All of these printing jobs can be done at speeds which Epson says are their fastest to date. As an example, an 11? x 14? color image can be pushed out in less than two minutes or a 4? x 6? color photo in 42 seconds, depending upon system configuration, the software application being used and the complexity of the image.
The R1800 comes bundled with a variety of software applications. There?s Epson Print CD Software, PRINT Image Matching Plug-In for Adobe Photoshop and three filters from Nik Multimedia Color Efex Pro 2.0. Also included is Epson Raw Print, which provides printing support of RAW format images files from digital cameras such as the Epson RD-1 and Nikon D70.
Epson?s R1800 comes with a standard one-year warranty in the USA and Canada.