The L800 is Epson's first photo-quality inkjet printer which makes use of its low-cost ink tank system.
At $428, it is double the price of the mainstream L300 ink tank printer but it comes with a six-colour ink tank instead of a four-colour one. The L800 is also the only one which can print borderless photos.
Unlike ink cartridge printers where you replace the cartridge when it runs dry, you simply top up the ink tank. Epson has been selling these ink tank printers in developing markets since 2010, but launched them here only in March.
While Epson offers multi-function ink tank printers that can scan, copy and fax, the L800 is just a photo printer. It connects to your computer via a USB cable. There is no Ethernet port or Wi-Fi functionality. This device can print DVD or CD labels which you can create using the included software utility.
While I did not refill the ink on my own, the instructions are prominently displayed at the top of the printer. Besides the physical process, you also need to register the IDs of the ink bottles using the included Epson software. This step is to ensure that only original Epson ink is used with the printer.
After refilling the ink, it is advised that you wait for 20 minutes before using the printer. You do not have to wait too often, though. Each 70ml bottle of ink refill is good for up to 1,800 4R photos and costs $15.90. For black-and-white prints, Epson estimates that you can print up to 9,000 pages.
In comparison, an Epson colour ink cartridge for a similar photo printer, such as the Epson Stylus Photo T50, is estimated to be good for around 860 pages in colour and costs $22.10.
The dye-based ink provided by Epson makes for vibrant colours. It also helps that the L800 supports a print resolution of up to 5,760 dots per inch.
Epson claims that the L800 is able to print up to 34 pages (black only) per minute in draft mode. It took me around 45sec to print 10 pages, which works out to around 13 pages per minute. Printing a colour photo in photo draft mode took 23sec, rather than the 13sec touted by the company. The numbers are different because DL uses the standard ISO test page while Epson uses its customised test page template. The L800 may not be as fast as document printers but it produces good-quality photo prints.
The Epson Inkjet Photo L800 is an affordable low-cost solution for those who print colour photos in high volume.
Yield: Up to 1,800 4R photos per bottle of ink refill
Print resolution: Up to 5,760 x 1,440 dots per inch
Value for money: 8/10
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