Epson SureColor SC-P800 Photo Printer Review
Epson has taken what is arguably the top 17-inch printer in the market and made it even better by adding key features such as Wi-Fi, roll-feed, and an ultra-intuitive control panel
- Impressive print quality
- Wide variety of supported paper sizes
- Light and compact for its class
- Multiple HQ ink tanks
- Deep blacks and full-color saturation
- Some ink is wasted when switching modes
- No cutter with paper roll option
Epson is no stranger to the printer market and has been one of the leading names for many, many years. Products like the Epson SureColor SC-P800 is one reason the Epson name has had such staying power. In a crowded playing field of photo printers, the Epson SureColor SC-P800 stands apart from rivals like the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 by adding more paper choices, print speed, and a slight edge in print quality.
The Epson SureColor SC-P800 seems ready-made for a photographer’s wish list with its ability to print enormous images while being an affordable alternative to Epson’s pro-level 4800 and 4900 printers. The Epson SureColor SC-P800 represents an improved version of an already great printer with an established reputation. It is versatile in its ability to use all kinds of connectivity options and it will work in just about any operating environment. Able to print on widths of paper up to 17 inches, the Epson SureColor SC-P800 is a versatile machine for designers who need more from their printer.
In its closed state, the P800 is 9.9 x 27.0 x 14.8 inches and weighs in at 43 pounds. Add the paper roll adapter and a full complement of paper and you’ll top 50 pounds. In its ready-to-print state, it’s 30.3 inches deep with the paper roll adaptor and 37.9 inches tall with the paper tray extended. It’s a bit of a space hog, but this is to be expected from a printer that can handle so many paper sizes up to 17 inches and has multiple high-capacity ink cartridges.
The P800 is handsome in its matte black glory and looks capable just sitting there. Its control panel is prominent on the right front. It has striking lights and buttons that portray high-tech functionality while remaining user friendly. All-in-all, it is an attractive addition for any office or photo lab.
The P800 is sturdy and does not have any flimsy appendages. The look and feel of this printer is of a quality build. It is plastic, but it is a solid feeling build where steel or other metal is undoubtedly making up its internal infrastructure. The display and its buttons also have a solid feel that gives you the impression that they will last a long time. The optional paper roll adapter is solid. Doors, such as those to access the ink cartridges, are not flimsy and provide a reassuring click when shut.
The Epson SureColor SC-P800 is feature-rich. For starters, it adds wireless connectivity besides 100/10 Ethernet connections and USB. There is also support for Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. The printer has a tilting 2.7-inch color LCD touchscreen to control settings and other printer operations.
Maybe the most welcomed thing about the P800 is all the paper and ink capabilities. It has a maximum 17-inch (A2+) width paper size and uses nine 80ml ink cartridges. The P800 ships with a starter set of 64ml ink cartridges. All eight cartridges are available at any time. There is also an auto-switching capability that automatically switches between matte and photo blacks.
Maybe the real icing on the cake, as far as new features go, is the addition of the optional roll paper holder. The P800 is no longer limited to cut-sheet media. Unlike Epson’s smaller 13-inch printers, the optional roll paper holder is the real deal with a spindle and the ability to handle a full three-inch core roll. The roll adapter is about a $200 option that definitely opens up many new options for media.
The P800 differs from Canon’s PRO-1000 because it uses nine ink cartridges (Yellow, Vivid Light Magenta, Vivid Magenta, Light Cyan, Cyan, Light Light Black, Light Black, Matt Black, and Photo Black) instead of twelve. The printing quality differences between the P800’s output and that of the PRO-1000 are negligible.
The P800’s configuration is done through a 2.7-inch color touchscreen on the front. Other controls include a control panel with
Performance and Print Quality
The P800’s print speeds are on par with Canon’s PRO-1000 and other printers in this class. It produces about one page per minute for simple text. A 4×6-inch photo at a resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 dpi prints in about two minutes. An 8×10-inch photo takes about four minutes. The P800 prints a borderless 13×19-inch photo in about nine minutes and a 17×22-inch photo in about 12.5 minutes. For the ultimate in size, the P800 prints a 17×120-inch banner in around 50 minutes. It is noteworthy that most printers, including the PRO-1000, can’t do that at all. The P800 is as fast or faster than other printers in its class.
In terms of print quality, the P800 excels across the board. The P800 has several shades of black ink that helps it produce outstanding gray-scale images. Right out of the box, the P800 gives very accurate color prints of excellent quality. It works well with fiber papers and fine art media and canvas. There is a host of software available to manipulate images.
Epson has taken the SureColor SC-P800 Photo Printer and pushed it to the next level. This was done by adding new features such as Wi-Fi and an optional paper roll feed. Other improvements aren’t as noticeable such as an improvement in the density of blacks. There isn’t anything to complain about with the Epson SureColor P800 as it makes a worthy addition to any business or photo lab.
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