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Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Sciart-L Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 12:27:17 -0500
text/plain (110 lines)
>Dear Sciart members:
>I am asking this question separately to keep the labels clear on the e-mail.
>I must get a printer to finish my thesis and avoid the difficulties I had
>printing materials for my poster.  I want to have something with art
>printing capabilities but do not want a slow printer when it comes to black
>and white print output, nor do I want to regularily shell out for expensive
>replacement supplies.  Should I buy the cheapest laser printer I can get now
>and wait for later to get a better and hopefully improved inkjet?  Should I
>get a cheap bubblejet with no color but quicker high resolution production?
>I've been looking in computer shopper at articles and talking to people but
>do not seeem to be able to resolve the issue either way.  I'm not sure how
>large my budget is, it depends on how much debt I take on or what else I put
>off now.  Otherwise around $300.
>Thanks, Miriam


I just joined a Listserve group that deal exclusivly with output questions.
Below is some dicustion that may be of help.  I am not clear from your
e-mail if you are interested in B&W only or Color as well.

From: [log in to unmask]

Being new, I don't know if this has already been discussed on this list, but
Epson's soon-to-be released 1440 dpi inkjet printers (3 models) supposedly
blow away any previous inkjet models for photo-quality output.  The new
models, Epson Stylus Color 600, 800, and 1520, are already available in
Australia, the UK, and other countries, and have received rave reviews by
users as posted in the newsgroups.

These 1440 dpi printers combine the Micro-Dot (tm) techology, found in the
old Pro series, with the new super-saturating alcohol-based inks from the
recently released Stylus Color 500 model.  Also, print speed has been
significantly improved over previous models.

More detail and specifications can be found at Epson's UK web pages,


The Epson Stylus Pro XL gives the best output, and may be the best for our
needs.  There's nothing else close in its price range.
But we should try to get some samples of output from the Apple StyleWriter
2500 to see if that would be good enough for our clients.  The StyleWriter is
cheaper and easier to use.

General Summary

Everyone agrees that the Epson Stylus Pro XL has impressive color output,
especially for photos - but only on expensive coated paper.  It gets a lot of
pages out of the ink cartridges compared to other ink-jet printers.  You must
buy the Birmy Power RIP software to get it to print Postscript (which we
need).  It is VERY slow, but the additional Ethernet card will speed it up
noticeably.  Everyone is happy with the performance of the printer itself.
 However, several people have had difficulties with the Power RIP.  One
person mentioned that the inks will fade in sunlight.

There were very few alternate suggestions to the Stylus Pro XL.  Most of
those were for the Apple StyleWriter 2500.  Its output is not as stunning as
the Stylus Pro, and it uses more ink.  But it does print Postscript with the
addition of StyleScript software, it's fast, the people who have it love it,
and it costs substantially less.

Macworld gives the Epson Stylus Pro four stars and Editor's Choice for best
high-end color ink-jet printer.  "This printer is in a class by itself when
it comes to output quality and features.  For an ink-jet it's expensive, but
graphics professionals should consider it as a low-cost alternative to a
dye-sublimation printer."  (See review)

They give The Canon BJC-4100 and the Apple StyleWriter 2400 each four stars
and both the Editor's Choice for best midrange color ink-jet printer.  (They
give the Canon the edge on output and the StyleWriter the edge on price.)
 However, no one on the mailing lists ever mentioned these two printers.
 Macworld gives the StyleWriter 2500 (the one people did mention) four stars
but no Editor's Choice.  (See star listings)


I received 15 responses to my request for information and recommendations
from the PageMaker list, the Freehand List, the Photoshop List, the Litho
list (printing professionals), the NAQP message board, and a former
co-worker.  I had previously collected 18 messages about color printers from
the MacChat email newsletter and the PageMaker list.

Out of those 33  total messages:
Epson Stylus Pro: 13 very happy, 4 very unhappy
Apple StyleWriter 2500: 6 very happy, 1 very unhappy
Apple Color LaserWriter 12/600 ($6,000): 2 very happy
HP Color LaserJet 5M: 1 very happy
HP 850C: 1 very happy
Tips and questions only: 10

Britt Griswold
Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA
Code 253,  Bldg. 8 Rm N15
Greenbelt, MD 20771
[log in to unmask]