Epson unveils new flagship 20 ppm ink jet printer

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Epson today unveiled the C80, a new color ink jet printer that can output 20 pages per minute, prints using light and water resistant inks and costs US$149 (after a $30 mail-in rebate).

The C80 is a four-color printer that sports a new design. It can output up to 20 pages per minute of black text printing and 10 pages per minute when outputting color. The C80 sports a resolution of 2880 x 720 dots per inch. It uses individual color ink tanks (including an extra large black ink tank) that sport valves that reseal if the cartridge is removed -- handy if you need to pull a cartridge low in ink out for a big print job, but don't want to waste it all together. The C80 prints at about 42 dB -- what Epson calls "whisper-quiet" operation.

The C80 is the first printer in Epson's line to use DuraBrite ink technology. DuraBrite is Epson's nomenclature for new pigment-based inks that offer water-resistance and light resistance. In fact, pages printed using DuraBrite inks can be submerged in water without the ink coming off the page -- this means that the C80 can be used to print flyers, menus, signs or just about anything else that might get wet. DuraBrite ink is also light-resistant up to 70 years when combined with Epson's own archival matte paper. Epson claims that DuraBrite doesn't soak as deep into the paper, either -- thus reducing the likelihood of "bleed through."

The C80 incorporates "Resolution Performance Management" (RPM) -- specialized algorithms that smooth the edges of low-res graphics and low-res digital images commonly found on Web sites, producing a less jagged image when printed. The C80 can mix three different droplet sizes to place ink more precisely, as well.

The printer can hold up to 150 sheets of 20 pound paper, and features both USB and parallel interface compatibility. It's compatible with both Mac OS (there was no specific information about Mac OS X) and Windows.

The C80WN is a wireless network-ready version of the C80 that supports the IEEE 802.11b standard -- the same standard used by Apple's AirPort products. It supports multiple network protocols and works with the Mac -- it'll sell for $399 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) in late September.

If you're using a hard-wired network, the C80N may be more up your alley. It combines the C80 with an EpsonNet External 10/100Mbit Print Server for $349. Look for it in November.

This story, "Epson unveils new flagship 20 ppm ink jet printer" was originally published by PCWorld.

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