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Epson Stylus Photo R1900 review

Julian Prokaza
18 May 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
349.99
inc VAT
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Specifications

Piezo inkjet, print speed, 2x USB Hi-Speed, PictBridge USB, 415x616x797mm

A3+ printers are probably overkill for most people, but they're ideal if you need to print poster-sized photos or full-bleed A3 proofs.

The downside is that most A3+ printers are both huge and hugely expensive. Even so, an A3+ printer can be a cost-effective option if the alternative is paying £6 a pop to an online printing service.

At around £350, the Epson Stylus Photo R1900 is clearly a serious investment, but it's also a serious inkjet printer. It's no more difficult to set up than an A4 printer, although you'll obviously need a large desk to accommodate it. There's no paper cassette, and pages are instead stacked in the fold-out paper tray, which can hold 120 sheets of plain or 30 sheets of coated paper. There's also a separate paper feed for Epson's heavy 'fine art' paper, plus an attachment for printing on rolls of paper and a separate CD printing slot.

In common with many other inkjet manufacturers, Epson's quest for photo-quality printing has led it to expand the usual four-colour print process. The R1900 has eight individual ink tanks for matt black, photo black, cyan, magenta, yellow, orange and red, with the eighth tank containing an optional clear overlay for colour-fast high-gloss prints. Which of the two black inks is used depends on the paper used for printing: matt ink is used on matt paper, gloss for glossy.

The downside of this wide array of ink tanks is the cost of refilling them. Each tanks costs £11 to replace, which works out at around £90 for a full set. Fortunately, the R1900 produces lovely photographic prints that, thanks to the gloss overlay cartridge, have a sleek, professional feel. Colours weren't as vibrant as those from Canon's Pixma iP4600, though, and text quality was disappointing. An A3 print took a little under five minutes.

You won't be buying an A3 printer for printing text, but the R1900 still costs almost £100 more than HP's Photosmart Pro B8550, which produced impressive prints in our tests and is the better-value choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Maximum native print resolution5760 x 1440dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, colour A41ppm

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.05m 32s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.09m 8s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours7
Number of ink cartridges8
Maximum number of ink colours7
Maximum number of cartridges8
Quoted photo durability80 years
Quoted photo durability sourceEpson

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces2x USB Hi-Speed, PictBridge USB
Size415x616x797mm
Weight12.0kg
Noise (in normal use)5dB
Power consumption standby4W
Power consumption active20W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA3+, custom length (rol)
Maximum paper weight255gsm
Standard paper inputs2
Standard paper input capacity120
Maximum paper inputs3
Maximum paper input capacity120
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes

Photo Features

PictBridge supportYes
Borderless printingup to A3+
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsN/A
CD printingYes

General

Printer technologyPiezo inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows 2000/XP/XP64/Vista/Mac OS 10.2
Other inkjet optionsOptional 3-year warranty

Buying Information

Price£350
Consumable parts and pricesBlack & colour inks £11.33; gloss overlay £8.71 (twin pack)
Price per colour A4 page0.1p
Warrantyone year repair or replace
Supplierwww.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.epson.co.uk

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.05m 32s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.09m 8s