This article will review the Epson Stylus Pro 7890 and Stylus Pro 9890 wide format inkjet printers. These printers were announced in the fall of 2010 and started shipping to customers in December of 2010.
The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 and Stylus Pro 9890 are high quality wide format photographic and fine art printers. They meet and exceed the demanding requirements of photographers and fine art print makers.
The main difference between the two printers is the size of the printer itself and the maximum width that it will print. The 7890 allows users to print up to widths of 24″ while the 9890 allows users to print images up to 44″ in width.
Print head technology
Both printers use a MicroPiezo TFP print head that produces a variable drop size, the smallest of which is 3.5 picoliters. These printers have the capability of printing images at a resolution as low as 360×360 dpi and as high as 2880×1440 dpi. Most users will typically print photographic quality images at 1440×1440 dpi or 1440×720 dpi. This tends to be the happy medium between print quality and print speed.
Compatible operating systems and connectivity
The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 and Stylus Pro 9890 will both run on a Mac or a PC. The supported operating systems for Macintosh are Leopard 10.5.8 or higher. For a PC, users need to be using Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.
Both printers come capable of being connected through a 10/100Base-T Ethernet port or a hi-speed USB 2.0. Both are extremely reliable and stable ways of connecting the printer. For those businesses where multiple users will be printing or if the printer can’t be situated close to the host computer, the Ethernet connection is a great option. For those users connecting via USB, a cable of no longer than 10 feet is recommended to avoid connectivity issues.
Supported roll paper sizes
The Stylus Pro 7890 and Stylus Pro 9890 allow users to print borderless images. The roll sizes that can be used are 10″, 13″, 16″, 17″ and 24″ wide for both printers. The 9890 also allows users to print borderless images on 36″ and 44″ wide roll media.
Both printers allow users to print to roll paper or to manually feed a single sheet. While feeding single sheets can be time-consuming, some users prefer this method to eliminate the curl that is associated with printing to roll paper. However, many users that print to roll paper will simply “reverse-roll” a printed image to eliminate the curl in the paper.
Ink and switching between Photo Black and Matte Black
The ink used in the Stylus Pro 7890 and Stylus Pro 9890 is the Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink Technology. These inks are offered in three sizes – 150 ml, 350 ml, and 700 ml. While there are nine inks loaded in the printer, eight inks are used at one time. The ninth ink is either a Matte Black or a Photo Black ink. This ink channel can be switched forth depending on the media that the user is printing to. This provides the optimal black ink density on specific types of papers (matte surface or photographic surface). The small drawback to switching black inks is the minimal loss of ink during the black ink change. Users will lose between 1.13 ml and 3.34 ml with each switch. The process for switching ink also takes between 2:00 and 3:00 minutes to complete.
The Epson Stylus Pro 7890 and Stylus Pro 9890 can produce high quality, high-resolution photographic output for businesses that require consistently outstanding results. This printer is suited for color critical fine art reproduction studios and photographic studios printing their own work in-house. The wide array of roll paper sizes and borderless printing options and the ability to switch between black inks should meet any user’s needs.