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You can do many things with the Stylus Pro 4800. It is a large format printer aimed at the small business end of the market as well as the home user and it offers a range of specialized and flexible media options. I am at present setting up a graphic design and screen printing business and I hired the Pro 4800 in order to do some large scale images. The printer gives you the ability to print up to 17" wide on a variety of media types. This is a heavy device compared to other printers I have used and can prove quite a strain when shifting it about, in fact you might need more than one person. You'll no doubt need a strong desk top and plenty of space to collect larger sized print outs.
The design is quite common though alterations have been made to cope with paper sizes up to A2. Cut-sheet paper is fed from the front but inside the unit the paper makes a 180-degree turn so as to eject onto its paper tray lid. A large tray guides the paper (sizes can range from A4 to A2). Only one paper size can be loaded at once. However, many people might want to print using roll paper rather than cut-sheet. Too allow for this a roll feeder is provided at the rear. This also takes paper up to size A2 width. For paper of this type the printer has an auto-feed and an auto-cutter. This enables each print to be trimmed to its exact length. By lifting the paper guides on top of the cut-sheet tray the printed sheet should roll out smoothly - it has done so far after about 4 weeks of use.
There are some nice informative features that keep you tuned in to what's going on. There is a back-lit LCD display that gives an approximation of the ink status and the printer feeds a range useful statistics to the PC. Connections are made with a USB 2.0 or Firewire link, but there is also an optional Ethernet adapter if you want to set up the printer within a network. A full set of high-capacity cartridges gives you over a litre and a half of ink in total. These are fitted separately from the print head and connected by flexible tubes. Ink is pumped to the heads whilst the paper is held down via a suction method. The suction level can be altered in order to match the weight of the paper you're using. Using the printer is pretty straight forward once you've been at it an hour or so. It will also probably be easier for those familiar with the cheaper range of Epsom printers because there are some similarities in terms of design.
It has to be said that the print quality on all types of paper is impressive. There is excellent colour depth and superb colour saturation and rendition. Dark areas and blacks come out dense and full. This printer is kind of unique in that there are two additional 'light black' inks that no doubt contribute to the smooth gradations of tone. However, all this does not come cheap and if you want to print a large quality photograph on A3 size for example, it's going to work out about £4.00 a print.
There is another major negative factor about this printer and that is to do with the inefficient use of ink and disregard for waste and the environment. The 4800 uses what are called K3 inks and as mentioned, these include additional Light-Light Black cartridges so in effect there are three black ink cartridges. This use of three black inks does have some benefits, especially when producing monochrome (black and white) photos, but the aggregate cost of production is very high. Just changing a cartridges can take up to half an hour because of a long elaborate process that I won't bore you with here. The point is that a significant amount of ink is lost every time you change a black cartridge. As with cheaper Epsom printers you find yourself being forced to throw away cartridges that are half full of ink.
So in conclusion I would say that the quality of production is great but I still feel that printer manufacturers have a long way to go before the consumer and the environment are not being exploited.
You can pick this up for a snip at just over £1,620 from Amazon.
Printer Type: 17" large-format printer - ink-jet - colour
Dimensions (WxDxH): 84.8 cm x 76.2 cm x 35.6 cm
Weight: 40.2 kg
Max Media Size (Standard): ANSI C, Roll (43.2 cm)
Max Media Size (Custom): 431.8 mm
Print Speed: Up to 12.8 sq.m/hour - draft - A2 (420 x 594 mm)
Max Resolution ( B&W ): 2880 dpi x 1440 dpi
Max Resolution ( Colour ): 2880 dpi x 1440 dpi
Interface: IEEE1394 FireWire, USB
Language Simulation: EPSON ESC/P 2
Media Type: Plain paper, photo paper, continious forms
Total Media Capacity: 250 sheets
Printer Features: Borderless printing
System Requirements: Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Apple MacOS X 10.3.9 or later, Apple MacOS X 10.4 or later.
Previously published on another site under the name Nazuku.
Designed to meet the needs of the most demanding professionals, the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 incorporates a unique 17-inch wide printer design with a breakthrough new 8-color ink technology, forcing to reconsider what's possible from photographic ink jet printing. Imagine producing archival prints with amazing color fidelity, gloss-level, and scratch resistance, while providing consistently stable colors that significantly outperform lesser ink technologies. Imagine producing professional neutral and toned black and white prints with higher density levels and virtually no metamerism or bronzing.
Handling virtually any media type in roll or cut-sheet up to 17-inch wide, the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 incorporates a high-capacity paper tray capable of handling cut-sheet media up to 17" x 22". The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 represents a level of technology unprecedented in Epson's history. Combining the extreme precision of a Stylus Pro print engine, along with the extraordinary performance of UltraChrome K3 Ink Technology, results in a print void of any signs of how it was produced. Prepare to be amazed all over again.