Epson Stylus Photo R2880 review

18 May 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT


Piezo inkjet, print speed, 2x USB Hi-Speed, PictBridge USB, 415x616x797 mm

Although externally identical to the Stylus Photo R1900, the Stylus Photo R2880 isn't quite the same inside.

Epson has tweaked the print engine to make it even better-suited to photo printing. The difference lies in its inks. The R2880 uses eight different colours: photo black, light black, light light black, cyan, light cyan, vivid magenta, vivid light magenta and yellow. If you thought three shades of black weren't enough, there's an also an optional matt black cartridge for printing on matt paper. Unlike the R1900, the matt black tank can't be fitted at the same time as photo black and has to be swapped manually when required. Since there's no way to seal cartridges once they've been removed from the printer, you run the risk of a black tank drying out, which isn't a cheap prospect at £11 a pop.

Annoyingly, the type of black ink that's installed has to be selected manually in the printer driver, but there's little risk of printing with the wrong ink and paper combination; matte paper can't be selected when glossy black ink is selected, and vice versa. Matt and glossy blacks can print on plain paper, though.

This rainbow of different inks increases the printer's colour gamut; in other words, it can print a wider portion of the visible colour spectrum. This means prints are extremely closely matched to the original image, which is essential for any professional-quality printer.

The R2880's photographic output is indistinguishable from a chemically developed photo (assuming the source image is up to scratch, of course). As with the R1900, colours are a little subdued compared to the vibrant output of Canon's Pixma iP4600, but they do contain more fine detail, although you have to look very closely to notice it. Text output is also more than acceptable, at least with matt black ink, making the R2880 a better all-rounder than the R1900. A3 prints took a fair pedestrian seven minutes and 40 seconds.

Unless you'll be printing hundreds of A3 photos, Epson's R2880 is simply a false economy for most people, and for this reason we can't recommend it.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Maximum native print resolution 5760 x 1440dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, colour A4 1ppm

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 8m 10s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 13m 44s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 8
Number of ink cartridges 8
Maximum number of ink colours 8
Maximum number of cartridges 8
Quoted photo durability 85 years
Quoted photo durability source Epson

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces 2x USB Hi-Speed, PictBridge USB
Size 415x616x797 mm
Weight 12.0kg
Noise (in normal use) 40dB
Power consumption standby 4W
Power consumption active 20W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A3+, custom length (roll)
Maximum paper weight 255gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 120
Maximum paper inputs 3
Maximum paper input capacity 120
Duplex (code, cost if option) No

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Borderless printing up to A3+
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards N/A
CD printing Yes


Printer technology Piezo inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/XP64/Vista/MacOS 10.3.9
Other inkjet features Paper roll printing
Other inkjet options Optional 3-year warranty

Buying Information

Price £500
Consumable parts and prices £11.33 per ink tank
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge Matte black 495 pages
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) Vivid light magenta 835 pages (lowest yield)
Price per colour A4 page 0.1p
Warranty one year repair or replace

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 8m 10s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 13m 44s