We received our Stylus Photo R1900 recently, and have been quite busy testing Epson’s new pigment-based photo printer. We should have a full review online in the next week or so, but overall, we’ve been quite impressed with the R1900’s output. The glossy prints are as beautiful as we’ve ever seen from a pigment printer, which is no surprise, given the gloss optimizer and the new screening technology. But we’ve also been quite taken with photos printed on matte and fine art papers — they are rich and vibrant, and look as good, if not better, than output from other printers in its class.
While we’re finishing up the review, we wanted to post the initial results of our benchmark tests. While print speed is rarely the first concern when choosing between two higher-end photo printers, it can still be a consideration — especially if you feel that the output is comparable. Below are two charts, noting the print speeds for six different print sizes on the R1900 and its predecessor, the R1800, as well as against the immediate competition: HP’s Photosmart Pro B8850 and Canon’s dye-based Pixma Pro9000.
The first chart, shown below, displays the times (in seconds) for prints at the printers’ default photo modes. This is the setting most people will use, and one that produces very good results for snapshots and everyday use. As you can see, the R1900 and the R1800 are about the same speed here — much faster than the B8850, but nowhere near as fast as the Canon inkjet. (Click on the image to see a full-size PDF of the results.)
The second chart shows the print speeds at the highest resolution setting, the one that produces the most optimal prints, but which also uses up more ink. We rarely use this setting except for when we’re dealing with problematic images, ones with wide dynamic range, or when we want to create gallery-quality prints. Here, the R1900 keeps up quite well with the Canon, beating it in the smaller print sizes, and keeping it close at the larger sizes. The R1800 is the slowpoke here, taking more than 10 minutes to print the 12"- by 18"-inch print. (Click on the image to see a full-size PDF of the results.)
As you can see, overall, the R1900 is a stellar performer.
Stay tuned. As we said, we should have a comprehensive review in the coming days.