The announcement of the 7900 Stylus Pro was made public by Meridian Cyber Solutions on October 15, 2008 through disclosure agreement with Epson America. With the release of the new Epson 7900 professional printer, many people are wondering if the Epson 7880 printer is being replaced. If not, why did Epson introduce another 24 inch professional printer and how do the Epson 7900 and the Epson 7880 compare?
The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 is not replacing the Epson Stylus Pro 7880. The Epson 7900 will be an addition to the 24 inch line of Epson professional printers. The Epson 7880 will remain a part of the Epson line for the foreseeable future.
The Epson 7880 has proven to be a stalwart production printer for photographers, fine artists, prepress and commercial users. The print quality, color gamut, flexibility, performance and price point of the 7880 will continue to make it a very viable choice in professional inkjet printers. If you buy decide to buy an Epson 7880 your compromises are little to none.
So what makes the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 special? As good as the 7880 is; Epson has made significant improvements with the 7900 in terms of print quality, color gamut, ease of use and performance.
With the release of the 7900 Stylus Pro, Epson introduces the HDR, High Dynamic Range ink set, with green and orange inks. Additionally the HDR ink set includes the long awaited auto-switching matte black and photo-black inks. Finally, users can select from three cartridge sizes including 150 ml, 300 ml, and 700 ml. The 700 ml cartridges offer the lowest pigment ink costs in Epson history. That compares to a maximum ink cartridge size of 220 ml for the Epson 7880.
The following is a short list of comparisons between the Epson 7900 and the Epson 7880. You can go to the information below for a complete comparison chart and information:
Ink: the 7900 10 HDR, High Dynamic Range inks, including both matte black and photo black as well as the new additions, orange and green. That is a total of 11 inks in comparison to the 8 inks of the 7880. (Note- Matte Black and Photo Black, a long awaited feature.)
Print Head: The 7900 uses a TFP, Thin Film Piezo, technology while the 7880 uses the older MicroPiezo AMC technology. Both have an ink repelling coating but the 7900 print head is more than twice as large with 360 nozzles X 10 inks as compared to the 7880 at 180 nozzles at 8 inks. In addition the Stylus Pro 7900 has nozzle verification and cleaning that was not available in the 7880.
Speed: The larger print head speed the 7900 along at nearly twice the speed of the 7880. A print of 20 by 30 inches printed at 1440 by 720 dpi High Speed takes 12 minutes on the 7880 and 6 minutes 39 seconds on the 7900.
Ease of Use Features: The 7900 has several improvements that are not implemented in the 7880 these include: spindle-free roll media loading (no more spindles); Rotary Cutter instead of blade cutter which permits the cutting of even thick media like canvas and water color paper; and ePlaten technology for paper and media loading ease and accuracy.
The 7880 will remain a real contender in the 24 inch professional inkjet printer market but the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 offers significant advancements that many uncompromising professionals will find compelling.