Objects of Desire: Epson Stylus Pro 4900

November 15, 2010

By Dan Havlik

If you bought a 17-inch Epson Stylus Pro 4880 a couple years ago you might have been annoyed by one thing with that otherwise stellar inkjet photo printer: You have to manually switch the black inks.

 The black ink bugaboo has been corrected with the new Epson Stylus Pro 4900 which can not only automatically switch between Photo Black and Matte Black inks depending on what paper you’re using, saving you time and reducing ink waste, it can also auto switch between roll and cutsheet papers. Other features in this 17-inch monster include Epson’s excellent MicroPiezo TFP print head which offers 360 nozzles per channel, low vibration for accurate dot shape and placement, and an ink-repellent coating to reduce nozzle clogs.

In terms of image quality, the 4990 is loaded with Epson’s high-performing UltraChrome HDR 10-color pigment based ink system, which uses 11 high-capacity 200ml ink cartridges. There’s also an optional SpectroProofer which was developed jointly with X-Rite, to help keep your proofs accurate and consistent.

One downside to the new printer is that it’s considerably heavier than its predecessor—we were told about 30 pounds heavier—so you’ll definitely need someone to help you set it up. But isn’t that why God created photo assistants?

Cost: Epson Stylus Pro 4900 Standard Edition ($2,495); Graphic Design Edition ($2,995) includes SpectroProofer
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