No large format photo printer is easy to use - but the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 is more simple than most.

The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 also has a clear edge in speed. Our test print of colour patches was output in a little over 80 seconds on the R2880 - that's half the time that some similar printers take to output the same file on the same settings on the same paper.

When printing photos on premium, glossy paper, the Epson Stylus Photo R2880's output is close to the original files. We printed photographs at A3 and A4 as well as test patches on all the machines.

Digital photography advice and camera reviews

The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 came up with results that weren't too lurid - that seemed real. Let's not forget, commercial film processing habitually ramps up the colour gamut to produce images that are more "vibrant" - meaning more saturated. The Epson R2880 lets you make your own mind up and the results are pleasingly cool and measured without being washed out.

We also printed scanned illustrations on to art paper. In this department, the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 faired less well - printing a little fuzzily on to the sample Fine Art Photo Rag stock supplied. We switched the paper out to some none-profiled, acid free watercolour paper and achieved better results - but the Canon Pixma Pro9500 seemed to win this round, with sharper lines and harder edges.

Printer reviews and buying advice

Epson has packed several tech innovations from other models into the Epson Stylus Photo R2880. The lauded UltraChrome K3 system - initially implemented in their highest end range - is responsible for the R2880's lifelike colour reproduction.

One bugbear we have with the system here is that you need to manually swap between Photo Black and Matte Black cartridges for different print jobs. It seems like that shouldn't have been an insurmountable design problem to overcome automatically; an extra tank space, a software switch in the driver. Easier said than done though, of course.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

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Epson Stylus Photo R2880: Specs

  • Colour inkjet printer
  • Epson Micro Piezo with Active Meniscus Control (AMC)
  • Print Method: 180 nozzles (per cartridge)
  • Number of Inks, Colours/Droplet Size: 8/3pl
  • Printer Enhanced Resolution: 5760x1440dpi
  • Maximum Paper Size: Super B
  • Plain paper, photo paper, glossy photo paper, DVD discs, CD discs
  • PictBridge, 2x USB 2.0
  • 616x322x214mm
  • 12kg
  • Colour inkjet printer
  • Epson Micro Piezo with Active Meniscus Control (AMC)
  • Print Method: 180 nozzles (per cartridge)
  • Number of Inks, Colours/Droplet Size: 8/3pl
  • Printer Enhanced Resolution: 5760x1440dpi
  • Maximum Paper Size: Super B
  • Plain paper, photo paper, glossy photo paper, DVD discs, CD discs
  • PictBridge, 2x USB 2.0
  • 616x322x214mm
  • 12kg

OUR VERDICT

Overall, the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 is a superb photo printer - if your budget can stretch to it.

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