Price: £510 plus VAT
Using seven different colour inks, the Epson Stylus Photo 2100 raises the bar for high-end inkjet photo-printers. Epson adds “light black” to the cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta, yellow, and black inks offered in many quality photo-printers. This enhances contrast and gradations, so even monochrome photos look great. The 2100 is the first printer to use Epson’s pigment-based UltraChrome inks, which produce a wider colour range on a greater variety of papers than dye-based inks. In addition, UltraChrome inks should be less prone to fading in bright light. Epson now supplies individual cartridges, so you can replace one colour at a time, or you can swap two types of black ink – one for glossy paper, and one for matte. In addition, the 2100 uses Epson’s Print Image Matching (PIM) technology, which optimizes prints of photos taken with compatible cameras from major vendors by aligning the printer’s own colour profile to that of the camera’s. It isn’t as accurate as a full-on, colour-managed workflow – but it’s fast and usable in most situations. The printer’s 2,880-x-1,440dpi resolution is four times more precise than that of its predecessor, the Epson Stylus Photo 2000P, and equal to that of the cheaper (and newer) dye-based Stylus Photo 1280. Our production-level 2100 delivered brighter colours and better detail than did the 1280. A high-quality 8-x-10-inch colour print took more than nine minutes – slow, but still faster than most photo printers. The 2100 produces prints up to 13 inches wide. An automatic roll-paper cutter enables you to print a complete batch of photos unattended. The printer can support FireWire, USB 1.1 and 2.0, and parallel connections.