[wprebay kw=”different+ways+to+save+money” num=”0″ ebcat=”-1″]
Ok, I’ve been an epson user for over 15 years, owning more than 20 epson printers for my home and graphic design business. Epson has always tried, and in most cases succeeded, in offering the best print quality at each price range. The reliability, consumables cost and customer support of their products has ranged from just ok to horrible, depending on the product and which way the wind was blowing at Epson.
This little printer indeed produces stunning prints right out of the box. But your smile will dim a bit when you realize that each ink cartridge runs out about 3/4 of the way through the provided paper in each pack, and that separate cartridges cannot be purchased. Oh well, so it’s really more like 40 cents a print, instead of the 25 cents advertised. You can live with that, right? But you let the printer sit a few days, maybe even a few weeks without printing anything. Then you try to print again and the photos come out looking a horrible, banded mess. So you run a test pattern and clean the print heads — usually between 2 and 5 times before a clean pattern prints out again. But you then find out each cleaning cycle drains the cartridge tremendously, so much that a brand new cartridge will only yield around 40 prints (which =$1.00 a print!!) if the cleaning cycle is used even 3 times, which seems to be absolutely necessary whenever the printer sites idle for more than a day.
In short, this printer seduces you with beauty, then steals your wallet. I have a stack of unused photo paper over a foot high, but I’m always out of ink! Of course, Epson could sell a cleaning cartridge for this, or sell the ink cartridges separately, or even expand the ink capacity, or even just advertise the real amount on images you’ll get from each pack. But then they would miss out on all that glorious revenue, and they know you won’t raise a big fuss over such a small initial investment (like the people who bought their much more expensive pro printers). You’ll just stop using it and go back to sending out for prints. So I guess this negative review is for the people who have not bought one yet, and for the extremely remote chance that epson reads amazon reviews and then decides to do the right thing an offer solo replacement cartridges for us poor suckers who did buy one.
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Photo quality is the most important thing to me. I’m making a photo album of my ‘trip of a lifetime’ and needed the flexibility of printing photos immediately and printing in different sizes, etc. I shot high-resolution photos on the trip. The photo quality from this printer is as good as I get at my local Fox Photo (high quality photo printer). The images are sharp and have excellent color saturation without beeing over-saturated and fake looking. I had some of the photos printed at Walmart as soon as I got back (first time I used them) and was very disappointed. The cost of print on this printer is pretty low also – .25 I have read. The first ink cartridge gets used up pretty quickly, 50 photos or so. Mostly it is priming the printer. Much better life on the second cartridge onward. I’m getting too wordy – anyway, I would definately buy this printer again, no question about it.
I agonized about this decision for over a month reading a zillion reviews. Finally we bought this… and it’s AWESOME! Better than we hoped! Not just the quality, but the pictures really are waterproof (we left one in a pot of water overnight to see) and seem really rugged (we tried to scratch off the image and it didn’t work). We are using them to make postcards (we use spray-on elmers glue and pop on a piece of 4×6 card stock and… that’s it) The quality is so far beyond what we were paying at the drugstore that the price difference per image feels totally worth it. The ONLY reason I’m not giving 5 stars is because I wish the screen was a bit bigger… but I guess that would have made the printer more expensive… and then I might not have bought it. The other thing I like about it is that it’s very fast to get TO the pitcture that you want to print… just pop in the camera’s card and it goes through the images and then you choose one and pop it prints. But it IS annoying that you can’t really see the quality of your picture on the crappy screen… you have to have decided on the image on the camera (or on your computer, I guess, but that would take time). I also really like that it is so very very small and has a handle and is all “protected” when it’s closed. It’s easy to kind of throw around (we’re gentle, but… you know.. we stuff it places). Bottom line.. I think anyone would be very happy with this. I’ll never be able to go back to inkjet pictures. It’s the perfect size for fast postcard printing which brings smiles to my granmother and it’s crazy fast… but it has a crappy screen, but I don’t really care so much about that. If this printer broke I would immediately buy another one.