Epson Artisan 810 Printer Review

Thursday, September 17th, 2009 — 10:15pm PST
Comments 14

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:

Original photos

Beach, Punta Cana Providence Farm, Duncan Blackcomb Trail Walk

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.

  • It can charge iPhones and iPods (and you don’t get that awkward message about it being an incompatible charging device for your iPhone)
  • You can print from your iPhone either by Bluetooth or with the Print & Share application available in the iTunes App Store
  • You can load in photos via SD memory card, xD-Picture Card, compact flash, MultiMedia Card, USB thumdrive, USB cable to computer, network (wired or wireless)
  • Full-featured faxing & over-the-network scanning
  • Two-sided printing and two paper trays. It also supports printing on recycled paper.
  • Office Mode, Home Mode or Professional Mode copying (I realize I should have been using Professional Mode to achieve my desired results earlier)
  • Print photos, calendars, colouring books, and CD/DVD artwork
  • Adjust photo settings using the Smart Touch Panel
  • 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.

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    1. wyn says:

      Did you post the final review of the Brother MFC to this site? At the mention of that brand and series, I flipped over to the overview post you linked because I’m wrestling with Brother MFC scanning (to email, FTP, file) and wondered if you mentioned it since that goes far towards creating a paperless office and is beyond plugging it in and printing. Thanks.

    2. Shaz says:

      I think that was a great review, might be out tomorrow to buy one. Thanks for such a detailed review.

    3. Sam Avampato says:

      Have you used the 810 enough to determine how well
      your ink cartridges hold up printing photo quality prints?

      The last few Epson’s I have used ran through ink rather
      fast and I am hoping the newer models improve.

      (R200, R220, R800, R1280,380, 257 etc)

    4. Valerie says:

      I would be interested in your response to Sam’s question as well. I have an old Epson Stylus Photo RX500 and looking to upgrade. Orginally, I thought I’d buy a Kodak ESP to save on ink, but then saw the 810 and it caught my eye. I don’t print a lot of photos but do like to update the grandkids photos now ant then. I have found the 810 on sale for $199.99. I’d appreciate your thoughts – thanks!!

    5. Dreamwiser says:

      I purchased the Epson Artisan 810 all in one. Ink is about 14 mil in each 6 cartridges in all/none refillable. The best part is when the cartridges are empty you can purchease them online for cheap & some are refillable auto chip reset with bulk original type ink that can be used for thousands of refills for cheap.

      Cheaper printers have no refill cartridges on the market and are impossible to refill.

    6. r4 dsi says:

      I did a lot of research before buying this printer. The printer did everything my HP, the printer I was replacing did, and far more. The wifi is a fantastic feature.

    7. Aries says:

      To Dreamwiser,

      Hi. I was just reading this review on the Artisan 810. I won’t advise you to use refillables cause you can’t be sure of the quality of ink you would get. Besides, you may need to do nozzle checks when your printer fails to print properly, thus wasting your money in buying refills. I have read an article on Epson’s website about refills clogging the “Micro Piezo”. Well, it is still your option. Another think, not all refills are water proof.

    8. Dreamwiser says:

      If you look hard enough you can find U.V. dye ink that is very compatable with the printer & yes you can get water proof none OEM ink aswell.

    9. Kimberly says:

      I have had my 810 for about 3 months now. I use it often for homeschooling and basic documents. I love the coloring book!!! There are also ways to use pictures for backdrops for stationary, you can even make greeting cards with your own pictures. I haven’t had a chance to check that one out yet, but will soon. It’s great! I’ve been homeschooling for 9 years now and it’s the best printer yet. A++++ Oh, btw, you can get ink refills on ebay to make it that much affordable. ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for the article.

    10. Kenny says:

      I just received my Artisan 810 yesterday and I must say that the unit is very eye-appealing. The setup was easy, I first connect it ‘wireless’ to my main desktop pc and added the other two laptops and I was up and running in very little time. There is this love/hate thing between me and the 810. I love the printer for its design and features; like the ability to scan files to a specified computer, plus you can do many things on-the-fly like printing photos w/o a pc. Also, the photo print quality (with Epson Premium Photo papers of course) is the best I’ve seen so far compared to two of my older HP printers…but…unfortunately the regular day to day print documents lacks vibrancy, the texts are a bit fuzzy on the edges and color images rendered darker tones compared to the source. I’m not sure if this has got to do with the cheap 20 lb sheets from Staples, but I will try heavier gauges and we’ll see if that improves.

    11. Caprice says:

      I have to smile here. Staples first sold me a Kodak 5250 and I soon got bogus mesages that both cartridges were suddenly, simultajeously empty. Staples next sold me a 4 in 1 HP. Similar message for the black ink cartridge on Day 1. Now, Staples promises me the 810 is the best of all and will happily take back the HP. I hate to think of the time I have wasted on installations and configurations. Thanks all, for the helpful feedback here.

    12. Allan says:

      I got the 810 yesterday. I agree that the 4*6 photos are of decent quality. I am disappointed about the very slow scannng speed. I am not certain how much the speed is impacted by the fact that the printer communicates wirelessly with the computer.

    13. Kenny says:

      Regarding slow scan speeds; you’ll need to go to Epson Even Manager (right click on it) and choose ‘Make Job Settings’ and customize your print resolutions. I programmed all my scans at ‘Custom’ mode set to 210dpi B&W. This will scan an 8.5×11 document in less than 7 seconds, might take a bit longer for COLOR but definitely speed up time for overall scans.

    14. Hi, I’m going to buy a photo printer; mine broke (Dell). I want the best because I do a lot of geneology photos. Is the Epson Artisan 810 still the best, or is another coming out?

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