Last week the NYC Moms blog, to which I contribute, hooked me up with a brand new Epson Artisan 800 All-In-One Printer to try out and review. My current (soon to be old) printer prints really great-looking documents and photos, but it’s just a printer – it’s not a fax, it’s not a scanner, it’s not a copier, it can’t print on CDs and DVDs. The Epson Artisan 800 is all that and much, much more.
Of course, before I could use it I had to find a place for it. This was the perfect excuse to clean my desk.
After finding a place for everything that had been on the desk…
…I unpacked the printer and set it up.
This was really easy to do, it basically just involved taking off a lot of tape holding things in place during shipping.
This may seem frivolous, but it just looks so pretty sitting on my desk. I’d like very much to NOT be the kind of person who would choose a printer based on looks, but I’m always attracted to the ones that don’t look like they came from an office. It has a big touch screen that can be tilted up or down. The paper tray is very easy to access, and has space for regular-sized paper and a little tray for 4×6 or 5×7 photo paper. This is really handy if you print a lot of smaller photos – you won’t have to change paper to do it. You do, however, have to change paper if you want to print an 8×10 or larger photo. But this is very easy to do. There’s also a little paper tray to catch the printed docs and pictures that easily slides back into the printer when you want it out of sight.
I’ve been playing around with this printer all week, and I still haven’t had a chance to try out all of its features. I didn’t bother to hook my computer up to it for days because I hadn’t run out of things to do with it that didn’t require a computer. I love the fact that I can take my SD card right out of my camera and insert it into the printer, choose which pictures I want to print, crop them and make other corrections to them right inside the printer, and then print them, without ever having to hook my camera up to anything or run the pictures through a computer. Here’s a big picture of my kids I printed right from an SD card.
I could have chosen the “borderless” option to print all the way to the edges. I could also have printed a “school pack” with various sizes on one sheet, a contact sheet with all of the different pictures from my SD card, lined paper with or without a picture as the background, a picture from one frame of a video, invitations and greeting cards using a picture, I could have printed a picture on a printable CD or DVD…the list of things you can do with pictures using just the printer is huge. And simply making a copy of a picture is just as easy, you just put the original on the scanner and make a few quick choices from the touchscreen. It also makes great black and white or color copies of all sorts of documents.
Another great feature is the ability to take any picture and turn it into a coloring book page. You simply put a picture on the scanner, choose the coloring book function from the touchscreen, and you get this!
My daughter went absolutely nuts for this. One small complaint is that I wish I could do this from images on an SD card, not just an actual picture. But still, it’s a very cool feature. I keep thinking of great ways to use it, like making a coloring book full of pictures of my kids’ classmates to hand out on their birthdays. Or for some kind of PTA fundraiser at their school. I can see myself getting totally obsessed with this.
Speaking of my kids’ school, I do a ton of printing for the various events that we have, and since the school’s logo is all red, I know that when my old printer’s big, expensive color cartridge is out of ink, it’s actually just out of red ink. The fact that the Epson Artisan 800 uses six different ink cartridges means that when I use up all of the red ink, I only have to replace the red ink! This probably would have saved me over $100 last year in needlessly-replaced color ink. I also don’t have to switch a cartridge every time I want to print photos, which I did have to do with my old printer. I’m all about things being easy. I don’t like extra steps.
I actually started out with the copier functions first. I was really excited and wanted to try something out without reading the instructions (yes, I’m a geek, I got giddy over a printer). You can put a single document or picture right on the scanner, or use the document feeder to copy multiple documents. Using the Artisan 800 as a copier is very quick and easy.
Before this printer, if I wanted to make one copy, I would have to connect my scanner to my laptop, open the scanner’s program, scan in the document, save it, and then send it to my old printer. I made four copies in under a minute with the Epson Artisan 800 in just one step. It’s idiot proof. The automatic document feeder is also where you’d put documents that you wanted to fax (I haven’t tried this yet).
The Epson Artisan 800 retails for about $300 on most of the sites I checked, but is being sold right now on their site, after rebate, for $230. With everything it does, and how well it does it, I think this printer is worth the full $300, so it’s a steal at $230. After the ease of copying and printing with this all-in-one printer, I’ll never be able to go back to a regular printer again.
There are a couple of optional accessories available for the Epson Artisan 800. If you want to print wirelessly using BlueTooth (for example, from a cell phone), you can buy a BlueTooth adapter for $39. I don’t need that – my laptop has WiFi and I never need to print pics from my cell – but it would be very useful for someone who doesn’t have a home WiFi network but does have BlueTooth. There’s also an optional duplexer available for the Artisan 800 that will allow you to make automatic double-sided copies, for only $30. I’m sure I’ll be ordering that sooner or later (probably sooner – I don’t like having to get up and turn the paper around and reload it in the middle of a print job).
I’ve never tried another all-in-one, but I can’t imagine another printer in this price range doing more or doing it better. Sometimes I find that when a bunch of features get crammed into one machine things get all muddled up, but this printer is easy to use thanks to the large touch screen and great design. I totally recommend this printer. And I send a big “thank you” to the SV Moms Blog group and the great people with Epson who sent this printer my way!
Originally posted on Selfish Mom