The 980 offers a three picoliter droplet — one of the smallest in the industry — and 2880 dpi resolution. As far as printing speed goes, the 980 delivers approximately 10 pages-per-minute in normal mode.
If you carry a digital camera and like to print some of your better pictures, the 980 certainly does a respectable job. This printer doesn’t include bays for CompactFlash cards, or similar types of media cards to interact with directly, but it’s not a specialized digital media printer. I was impressed with the color pictures it delivered for me. As far as speed goes, printing a picture in full color took about one and a half minutes.
The Stylus Color 980 offers a 5,000 page-per-month duty cycle and connectivity options for FireWire and Ethernet network solutions, which are great if you plan to use it in a business environment. I think the sturdy build of the 980 is better suited for the office rather than home/family use. If you like a stylish printer sitting next to your Cube or PowerBook, you may want to check out one of Epson’s other models.
But if you want a reasonable priced printer that will work when you need it, give the 980 a look. Priced at US$199 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) the Epson Stylus Color 980 is a good fit for the office or a Small Office/Home Office.
The 980 offers a USB connection for the Mac. The print drivers have many options to change settings for paper type; speed vs. quality; utilities to clean and align the print heads; and many more. The 980 has a paper capacity of 100 sheets and/or 10 envelopes and it can perform two-sided printing.
One thing I didn’t like about the printer is the noise level. I like a printer to be seen, not heard. I understand that most inkjets are noisy, but I don’t want to schedule print jobs around my phone calls because I can’t hear.
Unfortunately, the Color Stylus 980 is not among the printers Epson is currently supporting in Mac OS X. If you are planning to migrate to Mac OS X in the near future, you may want to contact Epson to see when or if this printer will be supported.
All said I liked how the 980 performed. When you click the print button, you want your equipment to work — the Epson Stylus Color 980 works.