Epson Stylus R3000 Review: A Worthy Competitor

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Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service & Support
    • 6
    • Print Quality
    • 10
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 7
    • Performance / Print Speed
    • 8
    • Features
    • 8
    • Operational Costs
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.67
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Excellent print quality
    • Quiet printing
    • Easy Wi-Fi setup
  • Cons

    • Consumes a ton of ink
    • Single-sheet paper loading is a bit complicated

Quick Take

The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 is a workhorse that gets the job done with great results and minimum fuss.


The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 printer is the current flagship model of Epson’s 13×19-inch photo inkjet lineup, second only to the much larger Epson Stylus Pro 3880 and following in the footsteps of the popular Epson R2880.

This A3+ (wide format) photo printer offers two-way paper feeding with a 120-sheet standard paper rear tray (30-sheet photo paper) and a single-sheet manual feed tray in the front, it can print an 8 x 10-inch image in just over 1 minute and 30 seconds, has a print resolution up to 5760 x 1440 dpi, and features Wi-Fi and a PictBridge/USB print port.

Does the tried and true Epson Stylus Photo R3000 outperform newer A3+ printers like the Canon Pixma Pro-1?  Or the brand new Pixma Pro-10 and Pixma Pro-100 announced this week?

Build and Design

The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 is a large, wide-format (A3+) photo printer tipping the scales at 35 lbs. Its dimensions are 24.2 x 14.5 x 9-inches with the paper trays closed (24.2 x 32 x 16.7-inches with the paper trays open) so it takes more desk space than a regular consumer AIO printer, but it is more compact than the massive Canon PIXMA Pro-1.

The exterior of the R3000 looks like a logical evolution of Epson’s premium wide-format photo printers dating back to the Epson Stylus Photo R2880. The combination of matte black, glossy black and silver plastics looks professional and is easier to keep clean than the white plastics found on many printers. Both the input and output paper trays fold into the printer to keep it compact when not in use.

The top panel on the R3000 is clean and completely free of controls. If you’re looking for buttons, the main control panel is located on the front of the printer next to a color LCD. You just get a power button and an OK button surrounded by a four-way directional pad used to navigate menus on the LCD. While that might sound like too few buttons, it keeps things remarkably simple and the Epson printer software allows you to make all the needed adjustments when printing from Photoshop or other image editing applications.

The back of the R3000 is equally Spartan in terms of layout; the power cord, USB port and Ethernet jack are the only ports. You’ll find the rear paper tray and roll paper feeder in the back, but unless you’re constantly changing roll paper types you won’t be spending much time back here. One of the major advantages of the R3000 is the ability to connect the printer wireless using your home or office Wi-Fi network. All you have to do is plug in the power cord and use the front panel menu to select your Wi-Fi network and input your network password (assuming you have a secure network). After that, the R3000 is available to any PC or Mac using your Wi-Fi network … as long as the computer has the Epson drivers installed.

The Epson Advanced MicroPiezo printhead technology with AMC (Advanced Meniscus Control) makes a return in the R3000. The permanent MicroPiezo printhead produces prints with strikingly incredible detail by using piezo electric elements to place ink droplets as small as 2 picoliters onto the paper. Each ink droplet is so incredibly small that dots are indiscernible even under a magnification loupe. New Variable Droplet Technology allows the printhead to produce up to 3 different droplet sizes per print line improving print accuracy and printing speed. The 8-channel printhead also incorporates an ink-repelling coating which helps decrease maintenance and increase reliability over the life of the printer. That said, a user-replaceable printhead such as the one found in the Canon Pixma Pro-1 might be a better idea over the life of the printer.

One of the biggest changes between the previous generation of Epson printers and the R3000 is the use of Epson’s new pigment-based, 9-color UltraChrome K3 inkset. The full range of colors includes Photo Black, Matte Black, Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Vivid Light Magenta, Light Black, and Light Light Black. The new Epson Vivid Magenta ink technology was specifically designed to improve skin tone by bringing out the nuances in skin color.

Unlike dye-based inks that suffer from short-term color shifting and “chroming” problems, the pigment inks used in the R3000 provide immediate color stability so colors look the way they should as soon as the print comes out and the colors should stay that way. Epson claims the pigment inks last up to 200 years under glass and up to 300 years in an album.


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