George Engel has been a friend to the Design Center and the User Group Network for more years than we care to admit. His writings are always intuitive, informative and fun -- he has been an Apple hardware/software guru since the beginning of the Mac, and is one of our favorite contributors...
Epson R260 Printer
a Hardware Review by George M Engel
At home I typically run 4 printers attached to my system. I have a Brother Laser printer for all my black and white copy, newsletter drafts included. I have an Epson CX3200 for my all-inone (copy, scan and alternate photos) printer, a Canon Selphy DS810 for all my 4x6 photos, and lastly I had an Epson R200 Photo Printer. Yeah, I know; I've heard it all already. Why so many printers when one will do it all? I'll get to that in a minute.
So here I am just about ready to print a final photo and my printer cartridge 'low cartridge' dialog box comes on. Well, many of them came on. My R200 has five color cartridges and one black. I prefer individual tanks to a multi-tank cartridge. On average, I was getting about 350 to 400 color pages on a set of cartridges. When I went to replace the set, a color set of five cartridges was around $56.00, less tax, and then adding in the black cartridge for another $16.00 or so, I was over $70.00.
Imagine my surprise at Best Buy when I saw the Epson R260 at just a sale price of $49.00, with a full set of cartridges! Whoa! Checking out the specs, the dpi was the same. It also included the CD/DVD Printing feature that I loved. I forgot to tell you, both printers can print on inkjet-printable CD/DVD's. And, they look great!
Looking further into the spec. sheets of the newer Epson R260, I saw that the R260 uses Claria Hi-Definition Inks, which claim to be smudge, scratch, water and fade resistant. It also Epson R260 Epson R200 & CD/ DVD Printing has six color tanks, not just five, like my R200.
Adding to my pot of decisions was the fact that the new DX5 Print head Technology can print variable size droplets down to just 1.5 picoliters. Oh me, oh my. The clincher was that Epson claims a Light Resistance/Print Longevity of up to 200-year album life when printed with Claria High Definition Inks.
Check out the industry tester on this: www.wilhelm-research.com.
Speed throughput claims to be up to 30 ppm on black and color test. That was it! Decision made! I bought the Epson R260 for $49.00 instead of repla cing the cartridges on my R200. After a simple install and test, I found that the R260's photos were outstanding. Fantastic definition and slightly more vivid than the R200, which I thought was great. What a shame it was, lugging my old (just a year old) working R200 out to the trash pickup. All because of the high cost of replacement cartridges!
Now you see why I use different printers for different tasks. Most all my work is done on the cheap-to-print $110.00
* Brother HL-2040-1200 dpi Laser Printer (~2,500-3,000 pages per $65 toner cartridge) versus the 100 + (maybe) of the
* Epson R260 photo printer. 4x6's are cheaper to print on my
* Selphy USB printer! Someone appears to have done a study that claims inkjet ink from the Mfr. sells at $5,200.00 per gallon! After replacing my first set of R260 (low capacity) cartridges at $14.95 ea. x 7 cartridges, I can believe it.
It'll be cheaper to throw out this printer next, even tho' it's only a month old!
Oh me, Oh my! Hope that helps you!
About the author: George Engel has been a computer guru probably longer than he will admit -- as a computer expert, he authored The Naked Serviceman book, about his journey through the history of Apple's Macintosh as owner/founder of an authorized Apple Service Center. He owned one of the first Apple II computers as well as one of the first Macintosh 128s. He hangs out with the Lakeland User Group in sunny Florida
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