TechCraver Review: Epson Artisan 800

Overview

The Epson Artisan 800 is an all-in-one printing device. This means this multi-functional device can print, fax, scan, and serve as a photocopier as well. The Artisan 800 is unique because it has MANY additional unique features including a built in networking and on-board WiFi.

The Artisan 800 is very attractive device, especially for a printer. Epson has created a piano black device that has attractive smooth rounded edges. The device is very well designed with a huge touch-screen, media/usb ports, and paper trays adorning the face of the device. The media ports allow you to plug in an xD, Memory Stick, Compact Flash or SD card directly into the Artisan 800.

On the top, there is a flatbed scanner and automatic paper feeder that can accommodate up to 30 documents. Also, the Epson Artisan 800 features a CD Tray that allows you to print directly onto a CD instead of on custom stick-on labels.

Having built-in Wi-Fi gives the Artisan 800 a leg up on the competition. With my Mac, I was able to conduct scanning over Wi-Fi – meaning I didn’t have to physically hook up my MacBook Pro to the Epson via a USB connection just to scan a document. Also, you can easily print to the Epson Artisan 800 from anywhere in your home or office that you can be on Wi-Fi.

The Epson Artisan 800 has a list price of $299.99, however at the time of this writing, it’s available for at Amazon.com for $229.50.

Setup and Initial Use

To test the Epson Artisan 800 set up process, I installed Epson’s printing software on a Mac and on a computer running Windows XP. The installation and set up process was easy and straightforward. I was easily able to set up the printing profiles and necessary configurations to use a wireless printer. With other Wi-Fi devices, I have seen this set up process be time-consuming and very frustrating, so I’m happy Epson has made a good effort to ease this part of setting up the printer.

My initial reaction to wireless printing was “Cool!”. Also – scanning over WiFi using Epson’s scanning software is a very fluid process and makes me scan documents more frequently.

Another ace in the Artisan 800 is the device’s touch screen and administrative interface. The menu items are very intuitive, written in “plain english”, and make using the various functions with this printer a joy.

No Computer Needed

With the onboard USB support and corresponding touch screen, you can do many functions without a computer at all. For example, you can scan documents directly to PDF and have the Artisan 800 save the file to a USB key for quick scanning. Additionally, the user interface enables you to print photos off a USB memory key, conduct edits such as red eye reduction, cropping, and other photo corrections. As an alternative, you can scan photos and save them to usb key or computer on the network.

Print Quality

So, even though this device is an all-in-one, how does it perform as a printer? In my trials, I printed on CDs, traditional white paper and onto photo paper. I sent print jobs from my computer, made photocopies using the onboard scanner, and printed photos from a USB stick.

For plain black and white/color prints on normal white copy paper, I’d give the Artisan 800 a 6.5 out of 10 rating (10 being perfect). This printer shoots out normal looking print jobs for an inkjet powered printer, but I expected more from the Artisan 800 because of it’s overall quality.

However, as a photo copier this printer shines. When I would photocopy a standard document, it was hard to tell the original from copy. Also, the Artisan produced very good looking documents during faxing as well.

Also, as a photo printer, the Artisan Epson 800 absolutely shines. The six ink cartridge set up produces vivid color and outstanding detail on photo paper. When I want to print out photos for friends and family, I would definitely reach for the Artisan 800 as it creates breathtaking photos and visual media.

In Summary

The Artisan 800 has made a fan out of me. This printer/scanner/fax/copier is a must-have device for a home or small office. Whether you need to scan a document, fax it, or make a copy, the Artisan 800 can handle it the task and deliver great results. Also, for those creative types who need a to create professional looking results for a client meeting or portfolio, the color prints that come out of the Artisan 800 won’t let you down.

While the plain paper printing quality isn’t fantastic, it’s fine for casual and personal use.

If you are looking for an all-in-one printer, give the Artisan 800 a chance.

Check out the Artisan 800 at Amazon here.