EPSON Stylus Photo R1900 review
At long last after delays, we now have a full production Epson Stylus Photo R1900 printer on our test bench ready for our in-depth "interactive review". For those readers who are new to photo-i, this is the way the interactive reviews work. I test every aspect of the printer, from installation of inks and drivers, through to testing the print quality and usability of the printer. I generally don't swamp readers with too many technicalities, there are enough sites out there that do that. I test printers and other equipment from a photographer's perspective, and look at how well it can reproduce your photographs. If you want to put any questions, or test requests to us, then please use the R1900 dedicated forum which has been set up for this printer, I check the forum all the time the review is in progress. Finally, the pages are updated on a regular basis, press your F5 key to refresh the page
Enjoy the review and let your friends on other forums know that our review is in progress.
Hi, just a note on specs.
Hi-Def seems to be the new catch phrase of the day with most manufacturers. Cameras, TVs, stereo (formerly Hi-Fi) are all jumping on the Hi Def bandwagon. I am really interested in Epson's claim to "Hi Definition photos". I wonder what it actually means. It would seem that we have been producing Hi-Definition quality ink jet prints for the past three or four years already. Epson's web site claims the R800, R2400, R1800 and 1400 are all Hi Definition - I reviewed the R800 way back in Oct 2006, so what is this new claim of Hi Definition all about? I will give you the answer as soon as I find out.
The R1900 uses eight inks, to create 18,446,774 trillion colour combinations, I bet you didn't know there were that many colours. My mathematics are not too brilliant at 6.30 am but even if you printed each colour as a 1x1 pixel. you would probably have a print size of approx 5 x 4 miles (perhaps someone could work the actual size out for me). I am interested to see how the new Orange colour performs. "The new orange ink replaces the blue ink previously used with UltraChrome Hi-Gloss. It allows Epson to offer significant enhancements in colour reproduction for natural skin tones", But in our rich diversity of world wide cultures, what is a "Natural Skin Tone" . I will print a portrait of a Maasai lady - just to see what happens. Let's get on with the review.
What's in the box?
- Epson Stylus Photo R1900 printer unit
- Rear sheet guide for specialty media
- Roll paper holders
- Quick start guide, installation CD (Win XP, Vista and Mac OSX)
- Power cable
- CD-DVD printing tray with 8cm insert
- 9 ink cartridges, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Photo Black, Matte Black, Orange, Red and 2 Gloss Optimizer cartridges
The quality of manufacture on this printer is a marked improvement over the R1800 and indeed the R2400 printers. I previously commented on the flimsy construction on those two models, especially with the output tray. The R1900 now looks and feels like a professional quality printer that is going to withstand some heavier use.
Epson includes 9 ink cartridges, albeit 2 are Gloss Optimizer (GLOP) inks. I suspect that the GLOP ink is going to run out quickly. Which brings me on to the next point, I am disappointed that the ink cartridges are so small, given that any R1900 user is obviously going to produce A3 size photographs. During this test I will pay careful attention to ink consumption.