We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 
Inkjet printers Reviews
15,103 Reviews

Epson Stylus Pro 3880 review

£984.89 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Epson

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The Epson Stylus Photo 3880 is a large-format inkjet printer that won't take up all your office space. In fact, it can live on your desk.

The Epson Stylus Photo 3880 is a large-format inkjet printer that won't take up all your office space. In fact, it can live on your desk.

Designed to sit on your desk (although it'll have to be a pretty big desk), the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is more like a regular inkjet on steroids. Something that makes it useful for all kinds of users – from design studios to professional photographers and even keen amateur snappers who love to show off their prints.

As you'd expect, the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 comes with both a USB 2.0 port and an Ethernet port so you can share it with other users across a home or office network. The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 can helpfully accommodate all kinds of print sizes and paper types from 4x6in photo paper, fine art paper and even 1.5mm board right up to A2+ size.

All the paper you want to use is fed into the paper at the back with three possible paper paths: an automatic sheet feeder for plain and photo paper, a single sheet feeder behind that for fine art papers, and a third flat paper feed at the front for thick card and board. The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 doesn't give you the option to use roll paper, although the printer does have a maximum paper length of 37.4in, which should be enough for most purposes.

Inside, the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 uses nine large 80ml tanks using UltraChrome K3 inks with Vivid Magenta. These are pigment-based with a wide colour gamut and should last for up to 200 years when displayed indoors under glass. Mono prints are similarly rated.

The ink tanks comprise cyan, vivid magenta, yellow, light cyan, vivid light magenta, light black, light light black, photo black and matte black. Each tank costs around £48.28 (inc VAT) to buy direct from Epson so feeding the printer isn't cheap. You'll also need to buy an additional maintenance cartridge – to store excess ink used during print head alignment and cleaning – for an additional £17.88. You'll be able to print 225 A2 prints at 1440x720 dpi per ink cartridge set, giving you a cost per print of £1.93.

The Epson Stylus Pro 3880's top control panel gives you easy access to printer settings and lets you carry out essential maintenance tasks without having to use your Mac.

One thing we really like about the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is because it houses both its matte black and photo black tanks internally, you won't need to do any messy ink tank swaps to switch from one kind of printing to another. Instead, that all happens automatically inside the printer, although you will notice a short pause while the printer swaps from one cartridge to another.

Getting the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer up and running is a breeze. The supplied software is easy to install and comes with a wide range of ICC profiles for use with Photoshop, etc.

The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 includes a top-mounted mono LCD with basic menu controls so you don't have to use your PC to carry out maintenance or adjust the printer settings – something that's especially handy if you plan to use the printer on a network. You'll also be pleased to hear that the Stylus Pro 3880 is remarkably quiet – you could happily have one on your desk and still get on with your work, something that can't be said for a lot of printers of this type.

As for the prints themselves? They're nothing short of remarkable. Our test images were wonderfully detailed with strong, vibrant colours and free of any colour banding and very little bleeding. The printer was able to maintain detail even in shadowy areas, while skin tones look natural and are beautifully rendered.

We didn't notice any significant difference between the printed output using different settings – such as Super Fine or Super Photo (which increases the print resolution to 2880x1400 pixels). However the results aren't quick. Printing out an A3 test page using the quickest setting averaged four minutes and 20 seconds; and more than double that in Super Fine mode and over 14 minutes using Super Photo. All of these times are pretty respectable – and is the price you pay for getting prints that are as good-looking as these.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Group test: what's the best printer?


Epson Stylus Pro 3880 [PCA] Expert Verdict »

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£931
£939
£939
£983
£1064
Large-format inkjet printer
Inkjet Technology: Epson Micro Piezo with Active Meniscus Control (AMC)
Ink Palette Supported (Colours): 8-ink - cyan, vivid magenta, yellow, light black, light cyan, vivid light magenta, light light black, photo black or matte black
8x 180 nozzles
Minimum Ink Droplet Size: 3.5pl
8 individual ink tanks
USB, Ethernet 10/100Base-TX
Max Resolution: 2880x1440dpi
120-sheet input tray, 1-sheet manual tray
Plain paper, glossy paper, matte paper, fine art paper, semimatte coated fibre paper
Borderless Photo Sizes: Super A3/B (330x483mm), 100x150mm, ANSI C (432x559mm), 279x356mm, 127x177.8mm, 203.2x254mm
Media Thickness Range: Up to 1.5mm
Total Media Capacity: 120 sheets
software included: EPSON CopyFactory , EPSON ColorBase 2.0, EPSON LFP Remote panel software
684x376x257mm
19.8kg
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is that most remarkable of things – a desktop A2+ printer that's quiet, easy to use and which produces great-looking prints. Ideal for use in a small offices, photo studios and for printer proofs, we simply can’t recommend it highly enough.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£931
£939
£939
£983
£1064
  • Epson Stylus Pro 3800 large-format photo printer

    Epson Stylus Pro 3800 large-format photo printer

    If you are a photographer looking to create high-quality, large-format prints for sale or exhibition, the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 is a great printer that is worth your consideration.

  • Epson Stylus Photo R2880 review

    Epson Stylus Photo R2880

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

  • Epson Stylus Photo R1900 photo printer

    Epson Stylus Photo R1900 photo printer

    The Stylus Photo R1900 is a £369 inc VAT B-size (13in by 19in) desktop printer with pigment-based inks, advanced paper-handling capabilities and productivity features aimed at serious amateurs and professional photographers.

  • Epson Stylus Photo PX710W review

    Epson Stylus Photo PX710W

    The Epson Stylus Photo PX710W doesn't have all the features that some of its competitors in the multifunction printer market do, but it's a very capable machine.

  • Epson Stylus C120 inkjet printer review

    Epson Stylus C120 inkjet printer

    The Epson Stylus C120 colour inkjet printer has something going for it other than a low price, namely blazing text-printing speed.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date, price and specs 2014

IDG UK Sites

What's the best smartwatch? 11 iWatch rivals compared in our wearables round-up

IDG UK Sites

App cloning: the mobile software industry’s hidden shame

IDG UK Sites

Developers get access to more Sony camera features