Epson America Inc.
took the wraps off a new USB-based ink jet printer aimed squarely at consumers — the Stylus Photo 820. It’s a six-color printer that ultimately costs less than $100 and replaces the Stylus Photo 780 model.
The Epson Stylus Photo 820 can print up to 12 pages per minute of black text, and Epson clocked the printer outputting a 4- x 6-inch photo in 48 seconds. A full 8- x 10-inch photo took about 1 minute 42 seconds.
The new printer features 2880 x 720 dot-per-inch resolution and utilizes Epson’s vaunted Advanced Micro Piezo ink jet technology, which it says provides greater accuracy and produces less wear and tear than thermal systems on other printers. The printer outputs four picoliter droplets, which Epson claimed produces smooth gradations and “dotless” photos that are indistinguishable from the real thing.
The Stylus Photo 820 can print from border-to-border using Epson’s own “BorderFree” photo-printing technology. The printer will output photos on special borderless 4- x 6-inch, 5- x 7-inch, 8- x 10-inch and letter-sized paper offered by Epson. Epson also offers archive paper that it said can produce fade-resistant images good for up to 25 years.
The Stylus Photo 820 also supports Epson’s PRINT Image Matching technology, which provides a color proofing system between supported digital cameras and printers. PRINT Image Matching-compatible cameras provide the printer with critical parameters like gamma level, color space, contrast, sharpness, brightness, saturation, shadow, highlight and color balance to help make sure that what comes out on the printer is what was in the digital camera. Various camera makers including Matsushita, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Toshiba and many others support PRINT Image Matching.
Various software titles are also included with the Epson Stylus Photo 820 including ArcSoft PhotoImpression 3.0, Epson Software Film Factory and QBeo PhotoGenetics TE.
An Epson spokesperson confirmed for MacCentral that the printer is compatible with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. The Epson Stylus Photo 820 is available with an estimated street price of US$149. A $50 mail-in rebate is also available, which lowers the end price of the unit to $99. Look for it through Epson authorized resellers, superstores, mail-order companies and elsewhere.