It seems that the full colour range available to the human eye can’t be fully expressed just by mixing three or four colours. At least with our technology so far. So higher quality printing demands more “primary” colours in the mix. Which is why Epson’s new XP-6000 Expression Premium Photo printer has five inks, and the XP-8500 has six.
Both use Claria Premium inks. The XP-6000 cartridges are CMYK, plus photo black. The XP-8500 goes for harder core photographic optimisation, with black, magenta, yellow, cyan, light cyan and light magenta. More colours allow a wider range of colours to be produced, and even more importantly, allow smooth graduations of colour and brightness in lighter areas of a picture.
Both printers have all the smart wireless printing functions via WiFi, including WiFi Direct and AirPrint. You can even print remotely via email using Epson Connect. The Epson iPrint app on your smart phone manages local printing.
Epson Connect really does work, incidentally. The other day I was down the club with a friend, reminiscing about the horrors of communications in the olden days, back when I first entered the workforce. To emphasise the point, I demonstrated a contrast. I snapped a photo of him with my phone and shared it with the email address allocated by Epson Connect. When we returned to my office, there it was in the output tray of the Epson WorkForce ET-4750 multifunction printer I recently reviewed, along with the email cover sheet. I do love modern technology.
These new printers, though, are expressly photo printers, so of course they have a card slot for printing the “old fashioned” way, along with a USB port for a further options for transferring photos. The XP-6000 has a 2.4 inch colour touch screen, while the XP-8500’s screen is 2.7 inches. You can manage the prints effectively from the screens, without needing a computer. They feature things like red eye removal.
The printers are also all-in-one devices, with scanning and copying as well. They have 100 sheet plus 20 sheet paper trays, and a 50 sheet output tray. Both can do automatic duplex (flip the paper to print both sides without intervention). The XP-6000 is rated at 15.8ppm in black and white, and 11.3ppm in colour. The XP-8500 is a little slow, presumably due to the more complicated ink arrangements, at 9.5ppm and 9ppm respectively.
Both printers are available now from your friendly Epson retailer, the XP-6000 for $179, the XP-8500 for $299.