On Trial – Ep­son SureColor SC-P600

EP­SON SURECOLOR SC-P600

ProPhoto - - CONTENTS - RE­PORT BY TREVERN DAWES

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.

De­scrip­tion

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

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