Caffeine Priority: Epson SureColor P800 first impressions


posted Friday, November 27, 2015 at 5:58 AM EDT


The Epson SureColor P800 printer is Epson’s direct sequel to the venerable Epson Stylus 3880 printer. The P800 brings with it numerous improvements over the 3880, including wireless networking and an optional roll media attachment. It's surprisingly compact for its 17”-wide printing capabilities as well.

The printer looks really nice. It has a matte black finish with glossy black and blue accents. There is also a tilting 2.7" touchscreen that works quite well, although it can be slow to cycle through the menu options because you have to keep tapping the arrows on the side of the display (and the arrows are small).


The P800 utilizes Epson’s latest MicroPiezo AMC print head and UltraChrome HD eight-color pigment ink set. These new features lead to excellent print quality that leaves the 3880 behind in every regard. Epson claims that the new Photo Black pigment has 1.5 times more pigment per droplet than the previous generation ink set. My initial testing has so far backed that claim up as the P800 prints visibly deeper blacks than my 3880 does on the same media. It also prints more vibrant colors and slightly better detail.

I have so far printed numerous types of images on a variety of papers and the P800 has handled all images and papers very well. Using thick fine art papers is very simple. There is a front-loading area for thick media that requires you to press it in so that it pops out. You then use the touchscreen to guide you through a couple of steps, and then you place the paper in the front slot of the printer and the printer handles the rest. This is in contrast to the rear loading slot on the 3880 that was a bit difficult to reach and was also inconsistent in its ability to load paper without skewing.

The P800 handled this image, Dancing Lights, very well. The black hills and dark foreground looked really black, while the P800 still retained detail in the shadow areas. The sky looked very vibrant as well. Image credit: Jeremy P. Gray

So the first impressions have been very positive with the P800, but there is much more to discuss. Keep an eye out for my upcoming full review of this printer!

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Caffeine Priority is a new series of short photo-tidbits to ease you into your day, and give us a chance to share a bit more of what life’s like here at IR. We're more like a group of friends testing and talking about cameras and lenses than the buttoned-down, big-corporation world that some of our photo-friends at other companies work in; hopefully these little snippets will share some of that. So... grab another coffee and join in the conversation with us down below!