Advantages A3+ capability, CD/DVD printing function, Resolution, Pict Bridge Port, Colour depth.
Disadvantages Bulky (but to be expected?), no ISB cable or firewire port, Plastic build.
|Ease of use|
|Range of extra features / functions|
☼ Introduction ☼My long lived Epson C42 plus gave up the ghost a while back so I decided to invest in a new printer. I’ve stayed loyal to Epson as there were no alternatives similar in specification and ability out on the market just now in the same price bracket as the Stylus 1400.
I chose this printer as I want a printer that can print high quality photographs from digital and scanned photographs, something capable of A3 print size to print technical drawings and with multiple ink cartridges to keep the costs down. The disc printing ability is an added bonus that promises to come in handy.☼ Costs ☼
The price I paid for the printer is in line with internet prices at £269.99 which represents good value for money for the specification and ability. Similar A3 capable printers tend to be priced at £90 more expensive but the range available is one in which you are not spoiled for choice.Cartridges retail at £9.45 each for oem Epson cartridges.
☼ Packaging ☼The box it comes packed in is a bit bulky as it is an A3 printer though it features carry handles to make life easier. It is well styled and describes key points of the printer in different languages.
My box contained:☺Software CD
NO USB cable. So you may get it plugged in and switched on but you can’t connect it to the computer and use it. It was alright for me because I had one already anyway. Ok, so they are cheap but why not just give you one anyway?It was easy enough to unpack by oneself, not requiring anyone to pull the printer free from the box and was securely packaged. Not much chance of damage.
☼ Cartridges ☼This printer has six cartridges which are:
☺Light Magenta (T0796)
☺Light Cyan (T0795)
☼ Instructions ☼We have a Quick start guide which provides basic information to get the printer plugged into the system. No instruction booklet with this printer so its all software based. It seems easy to use and user friendly.
☼ The Printer ☼Once you get it out the box you will be struck by the sheer size of it: Its one big printer. Too big to fit into my computer desk so I don’t know where to position this beast. Its size is down to the A3 capability (I’ve attached a photo with a darts board for size comparison).
It appears well built with 3 buttons - power, ink and another one. The buttons seem to be a bit spongy, there is no feel to them. It would be good to have a nice click when pressed.It appears very well made. I’m not used to this having came from a C42+. It looks stylish as well which is always a bonus. Don’t get me wrong, its nearly made entirely of plastic but I think that’s the norm nowadays and it helps keep the price down.
There is a USB 2.0 port and a ‘pict bridge’ port on the front which allows you to plug your digital camera in and print off direct from the camera. At present I don’t have a ‘pict bridge’ compatible digital camera so cannot comment on its usefulness but in concept sounds handy.☼ Software ☼
There is the option for ‘easy install’ or custom install that gives you the option to install:☺Printer Driver
☼ Installation ☼Installation is easy, it’s a case of inserting the installation disk and installing. No problems there, it worked first go. Plug in the cable to the PC after installing the software drivers.
☼ CD/DVD label printing ☼This printer enables you to print CD/DVD labels directly onto ‘printable discs’, the software included helps you do this. Its easy to use, its just a case of editing a label or ‘importing one’ from file. You can adjust the margins to enable you to print on 8cm or 12 cm CD or DVDs. Tried it and it works flawlessly. You insert the disc into the ‘jig’ which you insert into the printer and it does the rest. The quality is amazing and they look really professional, would be handy for making DVD video albums or such like.
☼ Print quality ☼The print quality is spot on at a claimed 5760 dpi x 1440 dpi. Really good quality like you would expect. I’ve had no problems printing up to A3 size. I’ve not experienced any paper jams or anything and I’ve used it quite a bit since buying it. Bordlessless printing is handy as it allows you to print photo looking photos without the border if you know what I mean.
I’ve used it for printing out photos; they are sharp and colour rich just like ‘real photos’. I’ve also used it for printing out house plans which were sharp and colour contrasted sufficiently to see detail. Printed out text documents which were very sharp and professional looking, like something you would find in a book.Its definitely orientated to colour prints, yes it will do black and white text documents but the size of the black print cartridge is the same small size of the rest which means it runs out fast when used. I’ve printed out a number of documents since purchase and the print seems to be running out quite fast, I’ve not been printing out silly amounts too which emphasises that it seems to be ‘ink hungry’ but I’ve read that the cartridges that come with the printer are usually not full Don’t know if there is any truth in that though.
I’ve yet to try printing on gloss paper but I’m sure it will make a great job of it as the standard paper is of excellent quality. The ink is dry to touch when you print it out unlike some printers that smudge the ink when you touch it soon after it has printed.Its not fast and its not slow on printing out, when compared to a C42+ its marginally faster printing A4 but lets face it if your wanting to print out large documents quickly an ink jet isn’t the best choice, you would be looking at a laser printer for that purpose.
☼ Noise ☼This printer is not noisy. I had a C42+, I know what a noisy printer is and this certainly isn’t one.
☼ Conclusion ☼I’m happy with my purchase. I think that this printer is a good price compared with others on the market, technically equal or superior in specifications. Though that’s on paper as I haven’t used any other A3 printer except this one.
Would I recommend it? Yes if you absolutely must print A3, you couldn’t go far wrong. If you don’t then there is probably no way to justify the extra cash in the purchase and it takes up a lot of room if you’re not planning on printing A3+It could have done with a firewire (1394) port for extra fast printing and they could have bundled a USB cable as that could present a problem if you didn’t have one already but these are minor points. The Epson Stylus Photo 1400 does what it says on the tin. It prints great pictures up to A3+ and CD/DVDs for a budget price, what more could you ask for?
© il_cacciatore 2007
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The Epson Stylus Photo 1400 is the perfect printing package for photography enthusiasts and digital fans alike. The Stylus Photo 1400 uses Claria 6...
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