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WinLab Reviews
Epson Stylus Color 3000
Epson Printer Takes On Large-Format Jobs

-- by Joel T. Patz and James E. Powell

One of the first things you'll notice about the Epson Stylus Color 3000 is its use of four high-capacity ink cartridges (CMYK). Although the cartridges appear costly ($58.65), their estimated output brings printing costs well within reason: 3,800 pages for black, about 1.5 cents per page, and 2,100 pages for color, about 2.7 cents per page.

The Stylus Color 3000 uses Epson's now-familiar Micro Piezo printing technology, which ensures more-consistent dot placement. The 3000 provides artists, graphic designers, digital photographers and business users large-format, high-quality color output on a wide range of media types and sizes.

The beta unit we tested measured 9.4 by 31 by 22.3 inches (33.5 inches with the paper tray fully extended) and weighed approximately 38.5 pounds with the cartridges installed. There's a built-in tractor feed and holder for banner paper. The control panel provides buttons for Power, Line Feed, Pause, Load/Eject, Color Cartridge Cleaning and Black Cartridge Cleaning. A pair of Micro Adjust buttons fine-tunes print placement.

The 3000 handles the same print media as its rival, the Epson Stylus Color 1520 (for example, paper up to 17 x 22 inches) and provides the same rich color saturation and accurate flesh tones. But the 3000 prints on a wider total area (16 inches) than the 1520 (13.5 inches)

In testing at 360 dots per inch, a 20-page text-only document printed at 3.86 pages per minute, while the three-page mixed text and graphics document produced 2.54ppm. At 1440x720dpi, a 5x8 glossy image printed in 4 minutes, 15 seconds, and 11x17 glossy photos required 14 minutes, 50 seconds.

If you need high ink capacity for heavy-duty, large-sized output, the Epson Stylus Color 3000 won't disappoint you.


Epson Stylus Color 3000

Bottom Line: Offers business users high-quality, high-volume, wide-format printing
Price: $1,999
Platforms: 95, NT
Pros: High-capacity ink cartridges; built-in tractor; handles wide range of media; outstanding color
Cons: Noisy; awkward to refill and change paper
Strongest Rival: Epson Stylus Color 1520

Epson America, 800-GO-EPSON, 310-782-0770. Winfo #853

Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 178.

[ Go to October 1997 Table of Contents ]