Epson announced the Stylus Photo 960, the successor to the Stylus Photo 890, at this week’s Macworld Conference & Expo in New York City. This is Epson’s first dye-based printer to use a six-color separate ink cartridge system, creating superb detail, more accurate skin tones and an ultra-wide color range designed specifically for photography, company spokesperson Jane Bolhorst told MacCentral.
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The Epson Stylus Photo 960 utilizes Epson’s Advanced Micro Piezo ink jet technology and a six-color system that actually contains seven individual ink cartridges: two black cartridges for faster text printing-making this printer Epson’s first dye-based model to use a separate ink cartridge system.
The Epson Stylus Photo 960 offers resolution up to 2880 x 1440 dpi, wide-gamut, dye-based inks and two-picoliter droplet size. It can not only produce “dotless” photo quality with smooth gradations for prints that are indistinguishable from traditional photos, but it can do it quickly, said Parker Plaisted, Epson’s product manager of photo imaging. In fact, it offers fast photo printing speeds that are twice as fast as the previous model, allowing customers to print an 8 x 10 inch image in less than two minutes at 720 dpi on glossy and matte papers. Additionally, the printer can speed through black text with its twin black cartridges at up to 6 ppm.
You can use it to print photos on Epson’s Borderless 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 inch photo papers without having to trim the borders or tear off perforations. What’s more, the Stylus Photo 960 offers three separate paper paths including the standard paper path, a roll paper path and a front loading, straight through paper path for thicker media. The straight paper path supports a variety of media up to 1.3 mm in thickness. Using the separate roll paper path, the printer supports edge-to-edge borderless printing on 4 and 8.3 inch roll paper.
A roll paper holder is included with the printer, along with a convenient automatic cutter that will easily cut borderless and panoramic prints on roll paper as the prints come out of the printer, turning the printer into a mini-photolab. The cutter is enclosed in a detachable housing. Also included with the printer is a “photo catcher” that attaches to the printer and keeps prints in a neat stack as they are cut from the roll.
Mac and Windows compatible, the printer comes with a variety of bundled software. It will go on sale in September for an estimated street price of US$349 through mail order, computer superstores, specialty camera stores, and Epson’s retail Web site.