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Epson Stylus Photo R2000 review

Kat Orphanides
11 Jul 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
422
inc VAT

Despite potentially high print costs, this is the best-value pigment-based A3+ printer around

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The Stylus Photo R2000 is one of the cheapest printers in Epson's A3 range, although at £434, it still represents a substantial investment. It uses Epson's UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 inks and takes eight individual ink cartridges. This includes both matt and photo black, plus the usual cyan, magenta and yellow inks, with the addition of red, orange and grey cartridges.

Epson Stylus Photo R2000

The inks are pigment-based, which means they work by leaving particles on the surface of the paper, as opposed to dye-based inks, which are absorbed into the surface you print on. Prints made with pigmented inks typically last longer and don’t bleed, ensuring plenty of sharp detail. However, they can also look a little dull.

Older types of pigment ink were susceptible to bronzing, which means that they reflected light in bands of iridescent colour that gave the photos an unnatural appearance. Epson’s UltraChrome inks suffer no visible trace of bronzing and, unlike Canon’s professional pigment inkjets, they don’t use a clear overcoat to give them a glossier finish.

Despite this lack of a sealing layer, the R2000’s prints on Epson Premium Glossy photo paper were a bit glossier than those produced by Canon’s pigment-based printers. If you want something a little more traditionally artistic, our prints on Epson’s lustre paper had a similar semi-matt quality to Canon's pigment prints.

Epson Stylus Photo R2000

Although it’s not suited to all types of photo, particularly monochrome ones, we really liked the finish we got from glossy papers and the way this made our pictures' colour and contrast really pop out. Default settings didn’t produce as much detail and contrast in shadowy areas as we saw in prints from Canon’s comparably-priced Pixma Pro-10, but light colours were a little brighter. Natural tones and a range of skin colours were accurately reproduced and there’s plenty of detail in all our prints. Our black and white test print was a little murky, but again highly detailed.

The R2000 can take paper sizes up to A3+. It has a primary rear paper tray with a capacity of 120 sheets of 75gsm paper, as well as a front-fed single sheet-feeder which you can fit with the supplied adaptor to connect a roll of speciality paper to the front of the printer. The printer can handle the thickest Epson-branded papers at 255gsm, while the sheet feeder can handle fine art papers of up to 1.3mm in thickness (approximately 750gsm). We found the R2000’s main rear paper feed sometimes picked up two instead of one sheet of photo paper, but jams were easy to clear and damaged neither printer nor paper.

Unlike Epson's more expensive photo printers, the R2000 doesn't have an integrated screen. This means that you have to carry out tasks such as nozzle cleaning via the options built into the driver, rather than the printer's control panel. There are a few physical controls, including a Wi-Fi button for easy connection to routers which support Wireless Protected Setup (WPS). When connected to a network via either a wired or wireless network connection, you can print from a mobile device using Epson’s Android or iOS apps. There’s also a PictBridge port, so you can print directly from compatible digital cameras.

Epson Stylus Photo R2000

When you're printing on plain paper, you only get to choose between draft and fine quality settings, but the driver lets you choose from five different quality settings for photos. We carried out all our photo tests at the very highest setting. It’s certainly quick, spitting out an A3 print in just five minutes and 40 seconds. Two 10x8 prints took 5m 22s and six 6x4in prints emerged in 8m 55s.

We don’t advise using this printer for plain text documents as it’s a waste of expensive ink and a very slow process, too; illustrated documents printed at 1.6ppm and mono text at 2.3ppm. The driver’s fastest print mode only improves speeds slightly and really isn’t worth it, given how jagged draft quality lettering proved to be. When printed on 100gsm paper, our text documents looked good. We particularly liked the appearance of our illustrated colour documents and, unlike similarly priced Canon A3+ printers, we encountered no problems feeding 75gsm paper through the R2000.

Epson was not prepared to disclose detailed page yield and ink consumption figures to us, so we’ve had to approximate print costs based on best-guess data derived from an older printer, the R1900, which has a similar ink system. Our photo costs are extrapolated from plain paper costs, and thus do not include accurate consumption figures for a couple of the printer's cartridges which are primarily used in photo printing.

Each 17ml cartridge costs around £16. Based on that, a page of mono text works out at 3p, while a mixed-colour document adds up to 12.4p. Including the cost of Epson Premium Glossy photo paper, a 6x4in print should cost around 45p, with the ink accounting for around 16p of that. Meanwhile, an A4 print works out at roughly £1.22 and an A3 print should cost about £2.86. Cheaper photo papers are available, but it’s important to make sure you get good quality paper for which appropriate ICC profiles are available.

Although we’re none too happy about the lack of reliable page yield data and the high estimated print costs, we can’t help but like the R2000. Its print quality is astonishingly good for the price and the option of fitting paper rolls is an extra feature that’ll appeal to some print-makers. It’s a brilliant buy if you want a pigment-based A3+ printer and comes very close to winning our Best Buy award. In the end, though, it just loses out to the vibrant colour, surprisingly low price and cheaper print costs of the Canon Pixma Pro-100.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Maximum native print resolution5,760x1,440dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A413ppm
Quoted speed, colour A413ppm

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.05m 22s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.08m 55s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours6
Number of ink cartridges8
Maximum number of ink colours6
Maximum number of cartridges8
Quoted photo durability80 years
Quoted photo durability sourceWilhelm Imaging Research

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Size219x622x324mm
Weight12.4kg
Noise (in normal use)48dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA3+
Maximum paper weight255gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity120
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity120
Duplex (code, cost if option)No

Photo Features

PictBridge supportYes
Borderless printingA3+
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsnone
CD printingYes

General

Printer technologypiezo inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7/8, MacOS X 10.4+
Other inkjet featuresautomatic print head alignment
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Price£422
Consumable parts and pricesPhoto Black T1591, Cyan T1592, Magenta T1593, Yellow T1594, Red T1597, Matte Black T1598, Orange T1599
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge520 pages (5%)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)620 pages cyan, 1160 pages yellow, 890 pages magenta, 915 pages red, 1215 pages orange, supplemental photo black and gloss optimiser
Price per colour A4 page9.3p
Price per mono A4 page3.1p
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.printerland.co.uk
Detailswww.epson.co.uk

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.05m 22s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.08m 55s