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© Vincent Oliver 2005

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EPSON R1800 A3 printer
Page 1

EPSON R1800 printer review.

photo-i was launched three years ago, our first interactive review featured the Epson 2100 printer (2200 in the US). Today we are pleased to bring you the first full review of the Epson Stylus R1800 A3 printer. If you are new to photo-i, then this is the way the review works. I test every aspect of the printer on the fly, this also includes doing the product photography, close ups, detail shots etc. I aim to have the review completed within seven days, if there is any aspect of the printer you want me to test, then please use the R1800 forum to post your questions. Due to the amount of emails I get every day I am sorry but will not be able to answer questions posted directly to me. Enjoy!

What's in the box?

In order to get this review on line as quickly as possible, the R1800 printer that I have here is not the full packaged product, so I will just cover the accessories and inks etc. The full packaged product will have printed quick start guides and no doubt sample media packs etc.

Test unit contents

  • R1800 printer
  • Roll paper holders
  • CD/DVD tray with 8mm adapter
  • Multi sheet Matte tray
  • 8 ink cartridges
  • Rear sheet guide
  • Power cable (not shown)

Full production unit will include

  • Setup guide
  • Software CD
  • 5 sheets A4 PGPP
  • 5 sheets Archival Matte

No USB cable

Just a couple of initial thoughts. The R1800 is built like a tank, Epson have paid a great deal of attention to detail. I like the way the front paper tray is sprung loaded, just press the front to open and it glides up into position. Although I will cover all the parts in great detail later in the review. I will mention the Multi sheet tray, this clips on to the rear paper guides and has a rubber grip to stop the paper sliding. The rear sheet guide fits on to the rear of the printer and allows single sheets of Ultra smooth Fine Art paper to be fed. Multiple sheets are fed through the rear paper holder (extended in picture above). As per most other manufacturers there isn't a USB cable included, not that I have a problem with this as I have dozen's of them, but to supply a complete outfit including software, media and inks, then not include the very thing that communicates with a computer is beyond me. This reminds me of bygone days when you purchased an electrical appliance only to find there isn't a power plug included.

The inks.

The R1800 uses the same UltraChrome ink set as the R800, in fact the cartridges are the same. I would have expected larger cartridges for an A3 printer. If the inks perform as well on this printer as they have on the R800 then I think we will be in for a treat, I will hold back from saying more until I have fully tested the printer.

The advantage of UltraChrome inks lays in the longevity of the inks. The inks are pigment based, compared to dye based on most other inkjet printers. The ink droplets are encapsulated in a micro thin covering of resin, this protects the inks from atmospheric pollutants and rough handling.

Each cartridge has to be shaken at least five or seven times before fitting (8 x 7 = 56 shakes) great if you are an expert at making cocktails, too bad if you suffer with arthritis. The reason behind this is that pigment ink is heavy and can settle on the bottom of the cartridge. The cartridges are fitted with IC chips, these monitor the ink used by each cartridge and will let you know when they need to be replaced. Epson claims the inks will produce 440 A4 sized prints at 5% coverage, based on these figures I think we could expect about 25 A4 prints at 100% coverage. I will keep a count of the test prints I do and report my findings at the end of the review.

Shaken not stirred
Epson 2100 left, R1800 & R800 on right
Eight inks including two blacks (no grey though)
IC chips to monitor ink
Red lights show empty slot
If you can paint by numbers you can fit the inks

Fitting the ink cartridges is simple enough, just make sure you fit the correct colour in the correct slot. The cartridges give a positive click when fitted correctly. Close the chamber cover when completed and the inks charge automatically, this process takes about 2.5 minutes and makes a fair bit of noise.

Energy saving tip: If you don't want to shake the inks 56 times, then hold all 8 cartridges in you hand and shake seven times, this tip works best with lumberjack sized hands.

Next installing the printer drivers.

25 April, 2005

© Vincent Oliver 2008 www.photo-i.co.uk
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