Product Review: Epson Stylus Pro 3800

As a graphic designer needing a printer that can print large format (up to 17 x 22), I recently purchased an Epson SP3800 Printer to replace my HP CP1700 and so far I am extremely pleased. I needed a printer that would work well and continue to work well under a moderately heavy workload. I also wanted something with large inkwells that wouldn’t need replacing as often as I was used to.
I chose this printer because I wanted pigment-based inks which are much more fade resistant than dye-based ones. I have also found that with the 9 80ml ink cartridges I don’t need to replace the ink as often and am happily saving myself a lot of money. I had used an Epson printer in the past and although I currently had an HP, decided I wanted to make the switch back.

My first impression of the printer was that it looked great-sleek and stylish-and it just looked important sitting on my desk. It was packaged well so I did not have to worry that anything could have been damaged during shipping and I had no trouble getting it out of the box and all set up. The set up instructions were very easy to understand and I was able to get everything working and start printing very quickly. I was impressed right away by my first test print of high-resolution art.

So far I have only used Epson inks and papers with my printer, and don’t intend to use any other kind, so I can’t give any account of print quality using non-Epson products. However, I have been extremely pleased with the speed, color and sharpness of the prints. The colors, compared to the HP CP1700 I was used to using, are miles more accurate and continue to be accurate with each print.

The RIP feature was very easy to install, although I did need to contact Epson support, where they helped me fix the problem in under 10 minutes. This was a much improvement over the 45 minutes I was used to spending on the phone with HP trying to get their RIP to work, only to end up being told they were no longer supporting newer Mac operating systems and were unsuccessful at finding me a run-around. I am now able to tile on 13″ x 19″ paper without having to save as a PDF and manually printing out my document in sections, which is saving me a lot more time than I realized I was wasting.

I would highly recommend this printer to any photographer or designer that needs sharp, accurate large-format prints.