My Epson Artisan 810 printer arrived the other day and this afternoon I was able to give it a spin. Let me just say that I am no stranger to printers reviews (see: Brother Printer Test Drive) and I’ve been using printers since the good old dot matrix days so I am confident that I know enough to conduct a fair review.
Out of the box
My personal printing needs
In our home office we currently have an all-in-one printer however since we’re pretty much a paperless company, I only use it on occasion to print out a trip itinerary or event guest list. We do not use the copier on a regular basis and have never used the fax component. What our current printer does well is print documents. What it does poorly is print images. I bought some special printer photo-quality paper and I have to say, a rough n’ tumble office printer can’t print high quality photos no matter what paper you put in its tray. This is where the Epson comes in.
Back in December I got a new camera and since that time you may notice my photos on Flickr have increased in quality and clarity. I would love nothing better than to have a printer that can print out some of these images so we can send them back home to Iowa or hand out to loved ones. I selected 3 photos from recent trips, put them on a thumbdrive and loaded them into the Epson. It took me all of about 10 minutes to get it out of the box, add the ink, paper, setup the network, plug in a USB thumbdrive and start printing. Results can be see in the following video:
Printing from a USB thumbdrive
Pluses and Minuses
I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I was handling the photos there was absolutely no smudging, which is a common issue with photo printing on computer printers. The Artisan gets an A+ for photo print quality in my books but then I thought about those documents that I sometimes need to print…
I loaded up the standard Letter paper tray and printed out a document as well as a copy of my Epson Reviewer’s Tip Sheet. The documents printed out nicely but were not the same quality as the original. On the original document the images and thumbnails were a bit glossy, and on the copy they lacked luster. They didn’t look bad by any means (and are definitely good enough for my everyday use) but I simply couldn’t replicate the quality of the original document. That being said, and now that I’ve covered the printer’s two main functions that interest me the most, here is everything else you can get with the Epson Artisan 810.
One of the Artisan’s defining features is the Smart Touch Panel. It’s super slick and easy to navigate with 7.8 inches of touch screen. However, when I was entering the password for my wireless network it didn’t display a full keyboard for me to type in my credentials. Instead I had to scroll through all of the letters of the alphabet in each slot, to complete the password — and with a 14-digit password it was a little bit tedious. Luckily I only need to enter that once since it’s now stored in the printer’s settings.
I haven’t tried the options for kids (like the colouring book or the software that it comes with) so maybe I’ll have my sister’s family over to see how she and her five young ones like it. I’m sure she has some photos to print and that my niece would be able to use the program to print some things for her little brothers. Either that or they can print some invitations to a fun party in honor of their beloved auntie – the possibilities are endless, really. Once that happens, I’ll update the review with a “family-friendly” component.
Bottom line, the Epson Artisan 810 retails for about $349.99 and has those extra perks that make it worthy of being your all-in-one printer. It’s not as large as your standard office printer/scanner/copier, it looks sleek, and can get photos right from your iPhone. If you don’t need to print off 100-page documents but do want to print out photos from the last road trip up the Canyon, it’s ideal.
Disclosure: I was not paid to write this review and I was not given this printer, it is just a review item that will be returned… unfortunately.