One of the most popular printer companies in existence has brought us to a whole new level: printing from our phones. The Epson 730 printer allows users to not only print via built-in wi-fi capabilities from your computer, but also directly from the most popular phones in use today.
First Impression: The printer is very sleek with an easy to read panel and a nicely sized screen.. It is not bulky or odd shaped – just square and flat. The box contains the printer, 6 different-colored ink cartridges and a power cord. No USB. It was simple and easy to set up to my computer and I didn’t have to ask my techie husband for help! I love that it connects via wi-fi and requires no extraneous cords. In my small Manhattan apartment, I am very particular about what gets hidden and what can be displayed. This printer I am happy to have out (if I had the space for it – now it sits tucked away).
After a pain-free hookup to my laptop and my desktop, I attempt to print. It flies! Anything I print out, takes mere seconds. There is a built in capability to print double-sided (which I am a huge fan of, if only to lessen my paper usage) and it’s so quick! I immediately print out a slew of newly-taken photos and I am surprised at how smooth it comes out – not pixelated at all. My only concern is the color saturation on the photo, which makes the picture darker than it was on the screen and very intense. I print the same photo out on regular printer paper and the colors are the opposite – too light and desaturated. After a few more photo printouts and some minor tweaks to the settings, I am more than satisfied. I also appreciate the edge-to-edge printing when using an already-cut 4×6 paper and it actually does take only 10 seconds. It’s amazing how clear and bright and fluid the pictures are… and they came from my photo printer! This is due to Epson’s patented MicroPiezo technology, the same used by professional wide format printers and different from any other inkjet printer on the market. In thermal heating, used by most consumer inkjets, tiny resistors create heat which vaporizes ink to create a bubble, then pushed out of a nozzle onto the paper. Epson printers employ a piezoelectric crystal in each nozzle that vibrates, changing size & shape, based on electric currents received and forces tiny droplets of ink onto the paper from the nozzle. Importantly, it is the different size droplets that allow for finer detailed printing allowing sharper, grain-free photo prints with smoother tonal transitions.
There are several ways of getting the printer to scan, be it from the computer for more detailed options or a quick scan directly from the printer’s touch panel. When I scanned a small 3×5 photo, I tried a few options to obtain better photo quality and found the tweaking menu on the PC relatively easy to use. From the front panel alone there are many ways of scanning something: scanning to PC, to PDF, to e-mail, to memory card/USB flash drive or to just convert to coloring book pages. I did try that latter option for my amusement and it works. The idea of using just the front panel and avoiding the printer middle man is great and very handy for all options.
In addition to the high-quality printing and scanning, there is a super cool feature included in this model (and just one other in the Epson Printer line): printing directly from your phone, no computer required. There are programs available to download for your non-Blackberry devices and thankfully, Epson did not leave us Blackberry users in the dark. You can e-mail your printer to print something for you! I went online to Epson.com/connect, created an account, followed a simple setup and within minutes I was typing away on my BB sending a photo to my printer. The response time was less than a minute before I received my Epson Print e-mail alert and heard the printer start up. [When logged in to Epson Connect, there are ways to customize who can print and who can be notified, among other options]. While it is true that anyone with an e-mail address can send a print job (with permission) to this printer, Epson highlights this option for Blackberry users, so no mobile device (with data) is left out.
Random fact: there is a USB port located on the printer for printing from or saving to a USB connected-device, which also doubles a phone/device charger.
Cost: Amazon ~$138
It is important to note that the cost of ink for any Epson printer is slightly lower than ink for other consumer inkjets in the same class because they have fixed print heads built in to the printer. Since the head need not be replaced every time the ink runs out, you are not always purchasing ink with cheap disposable heads and the head itself can be more precise than a disposable one, which typically requires no calibration.
Worth it. Love it. For it’s simplicity in appearance and usage and high quality results from anything I attempted to do, as well as it’s superior speeds. Anyone who needs to have a printer in their home should consider this one and given the price and abilities, it’s truly great.
Disclaimer: Epson sent us a review unit to conduct this review.