updated 09:10 am EDT, Thu October 19, 2006
Epson Ultra HD Printers
Epson has just released three new inkjet printers it says are better than professional photo labs. The Stylus Photo R260, R380, and RX580 All-In-One are all capable of what the company says are Ultra High-Definition prints. Using their new MicroPiezo print head, the new Stylus models are able to adjust the ink drops to one of five different sizes depending on what needs to be drawn, eliminating much of the coarseness common to printing photos at home. The new print head is also said to print photos extremely quickly: a basic 4" by 6" photo can be printed in as little as 13 seconds, while a full-quality image can be completed in 32 seconds. In combination with the company's new six-color Claria ink, this is expected to produce photos at least as sharp and vivid as commercial labs, according to Epson. Both the R260 and R380 can print at this quality and are also capable of printing directly from cameras, cellphones, and memory cards. Writing to printable CDs and DVDs is also supported.
While the R260 has only basic printing controls, the R380 adds a 3.5-inch LCD that aids in basic photo correction and editing; the RX580 adds a 1200x2400 DPI flatbed scanner for copying and transferring existing photos. All three are available immediately for $130 (R260) and $200 (R380, RX580) respectively.