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Epson's pro printer for ambitious prosumers

Epson's pro printer for ambitious prosumers

If you dropped $2,000 on a good dSLR and lenses, don't you think you deserve a printer to match? Epson does, and it thinks the Stylus Pro 3800 should be that printer. This is the first desktop printer from the company's pro graphics division, which positions it well for shooters and digital artists who want to embark upon the journey of selling their work or those who've considered--and discarded--the idea of spending $2,000 on a Stylus Pro 4800 for the ability to produce their own 17x22-inch prints.

The Pro 3800 also produces 17x22-inch prints, though unlike the 4800, it doesn't support roll paper. On the other hand, it does allow you to print full bleed (borderless) on cut sheets, which the 4800 could do only on rolls, and print as small as 4x6. Like that model and the 13x19 Stylus Photo R2400, it uses Epson's 8-color UltraChrome K3 pigment ink set, with all of that printer's grayscale and color printing perks but without the need to swap the Matte and Photo Black ink tanks. Though the droplets have the same 3.5pl volume, Epson claims its new screening algorithm does a significantly better job at producing grain-free output. Depending on the ink/paper combo, prints are rated to last upwards of 100 years. Epson also claims the 3800 is faster than the 4800, by about 30 seconds on a 16x20 print. And finally, it has built-in networking and a USB 2.0 port.

So are you ready to shell out $1,295 for all that? Yeah, I'd want to think about it a bit, too. But it's not slated to ship until November, so you have some time.