On Trial – Epson SureColor SC-P600
EPSON SURECOLOR SC-P600
Epson is currently in the process of updating its line-up of photo printers under the new ‘SureColor’ brand. Trevern Dawes tries out the A3+ format SC-P600 and finds it a very capable machine for printing at moderate volumes.
Epson is in the process of revamping its photo printer range under the new SureColor branding with new styling and a range of small, but nonetheless important revisions.
While new digital cameras tend to arrive at a rapid rate, it can be several years between an A3+ printer and its updated model. After four years, the Epson SureColor SC-P600 is the successor to the venerable Stylus Pro R3000.
The new SC-P600 (the “P”, by the way, stands for “Photo”) is essentially the same as the out-going R3000, but comes in a revised casing and has a new inkset, extended connections to remote devices and a 6.8 cm LCD tilt-adjustable touch screen to control most functions. The SureColor range is progressively replacing the Stylus Pro line-up, with the A2+ format SC-P800 – under testing here right now – announced most recently.
We might concede that inkjet printers have reached a plateau of image realism where little else can be achieved apart from the usual user wish list of cheaper prices for both printer and inks combined with faster speed and larger capacity cartridges. However, any improvements are undoubtedly welcome.
The new UltraChrome HD pigment inkset (coded as a T7601 to T7609) comprises five colours (Cyan, Light Cyan, Yellow, Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta) and four blacks (Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black and Light Black). The Photo Black and Matte Black share a channel and automatically interchange according to whatever media is selected to have eight inks running.
The D-Max of 2.84 is claimed by Epson to be the darkest for any pigment printer. In association with the new colourants, new resin encapsulation and high resolution, the print quality with pigments reaches to a new peak. For extra measure, the longevity ratings are expected to significantly increase, but we’ll need to await confirmation from Wilhelm Research.
The connections with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print plus WiFi Direct (for smartphones, tablets and PCs) will appeal to the technically minded, but is likely to have little bearing when it comes down to making exhibition quality display prints.
The sleek, black SureColor SC-P600 has a sturdy construction and is as elegant as a desktop printer can be. Weighing 15 kilograms, it’s easy enough to position on a sturdy desk and comfortable enough to carry over short distances. The top area is ideal for temporary placement of papers.
The LCD touch screen swivels out to 45 degrees. The top left button is a blank while the other three are for power on/ off, back to previous menu, and home. The LCD menu attends to most functions, including media selection, WiFi connection, CD/DVD label printing, black ink selection and a low ink warning. Via ‘Administration’ and ‘Print Status Sheet’ there is even a usage history to report on the date of first usage, the number of prints and the A4 equivalent prints.
The default for sleep mode is three minutes. If no operation occurs during that period the printer goes to sleep but