Epson Stylus Photo 785EPXThe new Epson ink cartridges are "smart" -- they have a computer chip in them to keep track of the ink useage. This means that a partially-used cartridge can be removed and then replaced in the printer without confusing the ink level readouts in the printer driver. This can be extremely handy if you're getting ready to print a 44-inch panorama print and you know the ink levels are too low.
How do you know the ink levels are too low? The printer "popup" panel always tells you the status of the ink cartridges. It also has a progress bar across the top to graphically show you where you are in the print job. Pop in a new cartridge, make the print and then put the old cartridge back in and use it until it's empty and then put the partially-used new one back in again.
You can even retrieve the information about your ink cartridges, their type and manufacture date.
As with all of the Epson Stylus Photo printers, the 785EPX has both a color cartridge and a black cartridge. There is no "swapping" necessary when you go from a photo printing job to printing regular text or mixed text and graphics pages. The color cartridge is the T008201 (same as T008) and contains cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta and yellow ink chambers.
When connected to a computer the 785EPX's user controls are very minimal. On the side is a paper thickness lever which stays on the "0" setting unless printing envelopes or very thick paper stock. On the front are four buttons, the big one is the power switch. The next button is used to used to feed paper and clear paper jams, the red LED next to it is illuminated when a cartridge needs to be changed. The third button is used when printing from the roll paper holder, it can feed or remove the paper. The last button is used when changing ink cartridges.
In standalone mode (without computer), you use the monochrome LCD display and the buttons located on the top to print images directly from your flash memory cards. You select the print mode (index, all, one or set), paper type (plain, glossy, matte), paper size (letter, 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, 4" roll) and layout desired (borderless, border, two per sheet, four per sheet, three per sheet or twenty per sheet) then you select the photo(s) to print and what quality (high 720dpi or normal 360dpi) to use. The Photo Enhance option enables the use of the PRINT Image Matching settings embedded in the image headers if from a camera that supports it, or enhance the brightness and contrast of all photos. The Select Photo button lets you access the filters (b&w, sepia, high contrast, brighter, darker, more vivid or sharper). If you have the optional color preview monitor you can visually select the photo to print otherwise you need to print an index sheet to know which image number to print.
This shows all the possible icons that can be displayed on the monochrome LCD panel with the exception of the brightness menu that comes up in the Select Photo area and the filters menu that displays in the Copies area.