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I have had an Epson R285 photo printer for over a year now. It is a fantastic little printer, and has kept on printing and printing without letting me down. I would say the only downside is that sometimes the ink jets get clogged and it can take up to 10 cleaning cycles to get rid of the blockage, by which time you have used up an entire ink cartridge. I find the colours true to life for printing photographs. All my wedding pictures for my album were printed using the Epson R285 and I am delighted with the results. I used it to print my invitations and it made an excellent job of that also. In addition to photo printing I use it to print cross stitch patterns created with software, and it makes a wonderful job of that also. I would definately buy another one if this one failed me. I have always preferred Epson printers, as the ink cartridges are very reasonably priced.
Having had a Canon iP6600D i decided to go for a different brand this time to try and take advantage of the CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System) to help reduce ink costs.
I purchased this from the site inkexpress.co.uk with the CISS for just £81 (10% member discount by signing up for free), but it's available at Oyyy.co.uk for just £59.29 an absolute bargain for this printer!
The printer runs a 6 tank supply with each official cartridge looking to cost you around £6 which isn't bad for ink of this high quality (Claria photographic ink)
--- Setup ---
Couldn't be easier, one single power supply cable and a USB cable and you're ready to go.
Pop the CD into your computer and you're away, install the programs you want/use and you're done.
Around 25 seconds start up time from cold.
--- Printing ---
Simple feeder system from the top for paper with an adjustable tab for different sizes and a tray provided with the printer for printing directly on to CDs and DVDs (really gives them a personal touch!)
--- Aesthetics ---
The printer is primarily black with a shiny silver lid giving it a very stylish and professional look.
There are only 3 buttons visible to the left of the paper tray that are for Power, Ink (changing cartridges) and Delete (deleting current document). The only down side to this is that only the power one is highlighted in white and so the other are a bit tough to see at times.
--- Quality ---
The printer comes with a sample of 5"x7" Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper and this really is top notch paper. To fully test the capacity of the printer i selected for it to focus on printing high quality rather than fast speed (an option at the print screen) and despite the extra time taken and more ink used, the quality is outstanding.
As a professional photographer printing on this printer was like taking a photo to the local print shop. The ink dried quickly and the colours were wonderfully vivid, so much so i have ordered some more of this paper (on offer at the moment at Cartridge Monkey (discount code HOT for 10% off, START1 for £1 off £10 spend or START2 for £2 off £20 spend)
I have also tested the CD/DVD printing which really couldn't be simpler and is explained wonderfully.
--- Spec ---
- Printer Type: Photo printer - ink-jet - colour
- Dimensions (WxDxH): 45 cm x 28.2 cm x 18.7 cm
- Weight: 5.4 kg
- Ink Palette Supported (Colours): 6-ink - cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta
- Max Media Size (Standard): Legal, A4
- Min Media Size (Custom): 90 mm x 130 mm
- Max Media Size (Custom): 216 mm x 356 mm
- Print Speed: Up to 37 ppm - black draft - A4 (210 x 297 mm) ¦ Up to 38 ppm - colour draft - A4 (210 x 297 mm)
- Max Resolution ( B&W ): 5760 dpi x 1440 dpi
- Max Resolution ( Colour ): 5760 dpi x 1440 dpi
- Image Enhancement Technology: EPSON Variable-sized Droplet Technology
- Print on CD/DVD: Built-in
- Interface: USB
- Media Type: Envelopes, plain paper, photo paper, mini CD, DVD discs, CD discs
- Total Media Capacity: 120 sheets
- Media Handling: 120-sheet input tray
- Printer Features: Borderless printing
- Environmental Standards: EPA Energy Star
- provided by Amazon.co.uk
--- Summary ---
This printer provides all the things you can possibly be looking for in a printer with quality prints, good value for money and printing to CD/DVD, for the price you'll struggle to find better.
As far as middle of the price range printers go, you can't do better than the Epson R285. It is billed as a photo printer but it is so much more than that. Features obviously include the ability to print your photographs, at the various standard sizes, but it also allows borderless printing which means that it can do photographs and prints up to A4 without a white border round the edge. The iks supplied are excellent quality and the printer itself has lots of compatibility with much cheaper inks available out there. This printer also connects to any computer with USB ports to allow document printing aswell as photo printing. This has come in handy for my personalised greeting card business, what with the borderless feature in there aswell. The lifespan is excellent and it is not unreasonable to be able to print a good 1,500 full A4 colour sheets without banding issues arising. The lack of an on printer display may put some off.
I purchased this printer for the kids to do homework, but have used it more for myself. The print quality is exceptional. i.e better than a lot of those photo booths you find in Boots etc. You can print to the very edge of all paper sizes upto A4. For this level of print quality at under £100 is great value for money.
I found the Claria ink pack for under £40 including delivery. This is for 6 ink cartridges, so under £7 per colour. I prefer to use seperate colours as you only have to replace the colour used rather than an entire combined colour cartridge.
As with all photo printers the best results come with using the best photo paper, and amazingly this printer was bundled with a pack of 7x5 Epson Premium Glossy paper.
I tend to use this printer for making A4 size copies of select photos. It really does justice to high resolution imagery.