The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is one of the most affordable high-end, wide-format inkjet photo printers currently available, and it doesn't skimp on quality or features. At $499.99 (or $399.99, if you take advantage of a $100 mail-in rebate available through February 29, 2012), it's not out of reach for serious hobbyist photographers who want to take their work to the next level. The R2000 is also a good choice if you're an illustrator, designer, or painter, particularly if you create your work on a Mac (or a PC; the R2000 is Windows-compatible).
Epson Stylus Photo R2000 - Pros
- Print quality is well above average. Colors are rich and vibrant.
- Also does a good job with text, on plain or specialty papers.
- Fast print speeds.
- Flat paper path for specialty papers.
- Can print on cut sheets of paper from 4"x6" up to 13"x19".
- Can create prints up to 13"x44" using rolls of paper.
- Prints are water, smudge, and fade resistant.
- Individual ink cartridges save money by letting your replace just the color that's running low.
Epson Stylus Photo R2000 - Cons
- Lacks an LCD preview screen.
- Control buttons are a bit cryptic.
- Epson doesn't provide yield information for the ink cartridges, so it's difficult to determine a cost per print.
- Epson doesn't provide a duty cycle figure per month, so it's difficult to know if you're working your printer too hard and risking shortening the printer's life.
- Doesn't support 802.11n Wi-Fi standards.
- The single-sheet guide and roll-paper adapter can't be attached to the printer at the same time.
- The roll-paper adapter doesn't include a cutting blade.
- Needs lots of desktop space.
- Mac OS X 10.5.x-10.6.x; Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
- Advanced Micro Piezo® AMC print head with ink-repelling coating technology; 8-channel, drop-on-demand, inkjet print head
- 7 individual pigmented ink cartridges plus a gloss optimizer cartridge
- Maximum print resolution: 5760x1440 optimized dpi
- Maximum paper width: 13"
- Minimum cut-sheet size: 4"x6"
- Maximum cut-sheet size: 13"x19"
- Maximum printable area: 13"x44"
- Can print on a variety of specialty papers, including canvas
- Can print on inkjet-printable CDs and DVDs using included tray
Review: Epson Stylus Photo R2000
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is aimed primarily at professionals, but its price puts it within reach for many amateur photographers, designers, illustrators, and painters who have their sights set on eventually cracking the professional marketplace.
The R2000's print quality doesn't quite match that of top-of-the-line professional-level printers, but it's way above average, and should satisfy all but the most discerning of eyes. The R2000 uses seven high-gloss pigment ink cartridges, including photo black, matte black, cyan, magenta, yellow, red, and orange, plus a gloss optimizer cartridge. The red and orange cartridges help create more realistic skin tones, and the gloss optimizer makes every color look its best. On the down side, even though you can print on matte paper, the gloss in the inks means you won't be able to create true matte prints. That's a minor point for a printer that overall delivers outstanding print quality.
Setup and Connection
The R2000 supports USB 2.0, 100Base-T Ethernet, and wireless (802.11n only) connections. It can also print directly from PictBridge-compatible digital cameras, but it doesn't have any memory card slots.
The printer comes with just about everything you'll need except USB or Ethernet cables; if you plan to go that connection route, you'll have to supply your own cable. In fact, you'll need a USB cable to set up the printer, even if you plan to use it on a Wi-Fi connection.
Setting up the R2000 is easy; the included CD handles most, if not all, of the installation, and things generally proceed without a hitch. Be prepared to sacrifice a larger-than-usual amount of desktop space, though. The R2000 is 24.5" wide, and with its trays open for printing, it requires a minimum depth of about 36" to work in (31.4" for the printer itself, and at least several inches of clearance at the back, for manually loading sheets of specialty papers). With its sheet feeder open, the R2000 tops out at 16.5", but height isn't usually a problem in most workspaces.
Installing the ink cartridges is easy, and takes a matter of minutes. The cartridges need to be charged after you install them, so you'll need to wait three or four minutes before you can actually start printing.
All printer functions are available through a somewhat cryptic row of icons on the front of the printer, and a series of indicator lights. It doesn't take long to figure everything out, but we would have preferred to see the printer include an LCD panel.
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000's sheet feeder handles plain paper, as well as most glossy and matte photo papers, plus a variety of specialty papers, including fine art papers, canvas, and poster board. It can print cut sheets from 4"x6" to 13"x19", and create prints up to 13"x44" from rolls of paper. If you want to use specialty papers, you'll need to use the single sheet guide and the manual feed slot on the rear of the printer. Attach the roll-paper adapter (you'll have to remove the single-sheet guide first), and you can produce prints up to 13" wide and 44" long. The process of loading single sheets of specialty papers is a bit awkward, as is the fact that you have to remove or insert the single-sheet guide or the roll-paper adapter, depending on the type of paper you intend to use. Although the results are generally outstanding, we'd prefer to spend a little less time on the print setup process.
You can also print on inkjet-compatible CDs and DVDs, using the supplied CD/DVD tray and Epson Print CD software.
Epson doesn't offer the choice of standard and high-capacity ink cartridges for the R2000, but the cartridges are described as larger capacity than typical, with the ability to deliver up to 50% more ink than a standard cartridge.
This versatile wide-format printer is a bargain, and offers features that will please amateurs and pros alike. Print quality is outstanding, with rich, vibrant colors, pleasing skin tones, and good detail in highlights and shadows. The array of ink cartridges includes both photo black and matte black, so you don't have to interrupt your workflow to switch between them. According to Epson, depending on the paper you use and how you store it, prints can last anywhere from 52 to 80 years if exposed to light and air, and 160 to 300 years if stored in a dark place, such as a photo album. The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is bound to be a hit with designers, artists, and photographers.