The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 is a new professional photo printer on the market from the printer giant, Epson. It prints professional quality photo prints at a size up to 13 x 19-inches or even on a roll. While the price tag may seem expensive to the average consumer, to the professional or even the amateur photographer, it's well-worth the money.
The R2880 is a dedicated photo printer and it's a pretty large unit, measuring about 8.5 x 24 x 13-inches, compared to other photo printers. Setup of the device is pretty easy and straightforward, just connect the power cable, install the eight ink cartridges (cyan, magenta, yellow, light magenta, light cyan, light black, light light black, and regular black). The regular black also comes in two varieties, which depends upon the type of photo paper you are using, either glossy or matte. The light black and light light black inks combine to give you a wider scale of gray shades, which allows it to print monochrome photos with stunning quality.
Don't connect the USB cable yet, first install the drivers because if you don't, you might run into trouble with auto-detection (as we did). The Stylus Photo R2880 also has two USB ports, so you can connect it to two computers, but there's no network capabilities.
One other note about the black inks: When you have one cartridge removed (as you can only use one or the other), that means it has to be stored somewhere. Epson says on their Web site that it can be stored for up to six months without the ink drying out or otherwise being compromised. It's too bad they don't include some sort of holder to help keep it more air-tight, but perhaps wrapping it in aluminum foil would help prolong that and ensure it's quality, even for a short period of time. Also, when you switch between the two ink types (either glossy black or matte black), the printer has to run through a self-maintenance and some ink is used each time, so you'll want to swap wisely.
The Epson Stylus Photo R2880's main paper tray can hold up to 120 sheets of plain, business paper or 30 sheets of photo paper. Rolls of art paper can also be mounted to allow printing up to 44 inches long by 13 inches wide. For sheets of paper that are rather thick and cannot "roll" easy through the front-loading tray, individual sheets can be fed through the back, which is a huge plus. Printable CD/DVD's can also be used by means of the optical disc loading tray.
Print times were pretty speedy with the R2880 pretty much all the way around. Even while printing 5 x 7 photos from Adobe Photoshop, speeds were very good at around one minute. Photos measuring 8 x 10 took just under two minutes, also fairly speedy.
Photo quality with the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 is excellent as well. Printed photos looked absolutely stunning on Epson's recommended photo stock paper, both glossy and matte. In addition to color photos, grayscale pictures were excellent because of the above-mentioned different types of black ink. Text prints also were very crisp and readable, even smaller 6 or 8 point fonts.
Epson includes a one-year warranty with a replacement guarantee. If you ever need a replacement printer within the one-year time, Epson will send you a brand new one for free and pay for the shipping costs to send back your non-working unit.