Steve's ConclusionEpson's Artisan 810's sleek black shell will look stylish in any office or home.The 810 is quiet, but not reserved, aggressive but not intimidating. With a host of capabilities, this All-In-One can hold its own in any situation. Can I print form any computer without a host of cords running everywhere? Check! Can I print all two-sided documents to save paper? Check! What about other media, can I print on anything besides paper? Well, not a brick, but if you like to create CD or DVD covers then; Check! The 810 can send color faxes as well as traditional B&W, the feed tray can hold up to 30 letter sized sheets of paper for faxing or scanning and two paper trays will keep you from having to change paper every time you want to go from printing a report to making a 4x6 or 5x7 picture. What, you need a picture fast and the computer isn't on? Just pop the card out of your camera and into the universal card reader or slap the Flash drive into the USB slot or even hook up via PictBridge and your picture is already almost done. But wait! You say, "my iPod is running low", even this can be remedied by the 810; just plug it in to the USB port and charge it up.
We had fun with the 810, that is once we got it running. Wanting to test the wireless aspect of the printer was a bit of a struggle. In the end it came down to the settings on our router needing to be changed. Not wanting to lose anyone to technical talk, our router was running WEP security settings and had to be changed to WPA settings for everything to communicate properly. Another piece to the struggle was that the installation software that was included on the CD-ROM was not supported by Windows 7. There is no paperwork included to notify the consumer of this, but fortunately we discovered at the Epson website this was the case. We were able to download the proper drivers at Epson for Windows 7 and once that was straightened out loading the driver and software was fast and easy.
The 810 has a very large 7.8-inch wide view display (which includes an actual 3.5-inch LCD) that was very easy to operate. The display can articulate up and has several stopping points up to 90°. All the controls on the touchscreen and well laid out. My fingers are fairly large, however I had no problem navigating through the screens and setting up the wireless information.
Printing from a flash memory card is quick and easy. Just insert the card, view images on the 3.5-inch LCD, set your printing preferences and print - it's
just that simple. You can trim (crop) photos before printing if desired, just select the Trimming
option and follow the on-screen prompts. There are also options for photo correction, removing
red-eye, scene detection, sepia and black&white.
We found the bundled software to be average. The necessary scanning and faxing software worked well, but Epson adds on third party software for management of documents and images as well as the program for creating things like photo calenders and scrapbook templates.
I was very pleased with the 810's print quality. We created all of our test pieces with Epson Photo Paper, and the results showed prints that you'd have a hard time discerning whether or not they were printed by a professional quality photo printer or the local photo lab. This was not just our 4x6-inch prints either, even our borderless 8.5x11-inch prints look awesome.
Test print times were completed using an Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Glossy. These are actual "click to drop" times meaning the
timer started when we clicked the Print button and stopped when the paper dropped in the
|Input Source||Paper Size||Type||Quality||Time|
Note: computer times measured with an Intel Centrino Duo Core/ Windows 7 computer using Wi-Fi connection. The first few seconds of our computer speed tests consisted of the time it took for the devices to communicate with each other. The Canon PowerShot SD3500 IS was used for PictBridge tests, and a 4GB SDHC card was used in the card reader timings.
There is a lot to like about thee Artisan 810. Our test prints that came from it look spectacular. We also have a tip for you to save some ink and money. We found no real need to print in the higher resolution setting, just be sure the "fix picture" tab is checked in the printer preferences when using normal quality. This seemed to yield smooth, well blended pictures. When comparing prints side by side, the normal quality prints simply "looked better" to our office. The high resolution setting did produce photos with deeper contrast, but this is not always desirable. I liked that the paper tray held a good supply of two different kinds of paper. Other cool features are the CD/DVD tray for printing labels, the 30 sheet auto feeder for the fax/copy functions, and the large 7.8-inch display. There are things to dislike too. A big one was that we tried to print on photo papers other than Epson brand with dismal results, so don't expect to save money there. Also, the slow printing speeds for the higher resolution setting were disappointing. Another drawback is that there is no external paper feeder,which for the price, should not have been overlooked. The coloring book feature was ok, but its very hit or miss depending on the image you use, but it was a good effort.
The bottom line - You will love the pictures you get from the 810. The inks are rich and vibrant and dry quickly for smudge proof prints. We think It is a great multi-featured All-In-One machine despite a few drawbacks.
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