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Epson Bows New High-End Photo Printer

Epson announced last week that it is shipping the successor to its 2000P high-end inkjet printer, the Stylus Photo 2200, in June.

The printer, which carries a suggested retail price of $699, is being positioned as not only an addition to its higher end line of photo printers aimed at studios and graphic artists, but also a bridge to digital imaging enthusiasts seeking more flexibility and improved performance.

The 2200 features an improved, third generation UltraChrome ink set which, according to Epson, sports the highest color gamut in the industry and achieves light-fastness for up to 44 years on certain Epson photo papers.

The new ink set includes a new light black ink, an inkjet first, which helps improve the rendering of grays, improves gradation quality and reduces the graininess of the photo, according to Parker Plaisted, product manager, Epson Photo Printers.

The new ink replaces some of the regular black ink normally used in the darker shadow tones and replaces some magenta inks in the highlights and mid-tones.

Epson also tweaked the ink cartridge system, giving each color an individual cartridge, a practice the company picked up from some of its lower-end models. This spares consumers from replacing entire ink sets just to replace a single color. Each ink cartridge will retail for approximately $11.95.

The 2200 features USB connectivity, Epson’s PRINT Image Matching technology, MicroPiezo inkjet system, roll paper printing, and increased print speeds. The 2200 also creates 4-picoliter droplets, 35 percent smaller than its predecessor.

The printer features a new paper handling system with a new auto-cutter to automatically cut roll paper.

The printer can handle a variety of papers up to 1.3mm in thickness including matte board, fine art paper, and envelopes. It can handle a maximum paper width of 13 inches and, depending on computer operating system, lengths up to 129 inches (Windows 2000, ME and XP).