Last week we showed you Epson's newest line of WorkForce printers, and this week Epson is back with another announcement: an "Artisan" series developed with the creative designer in mind. Unlike the WorkForce Series, the Artisan 700 and 800 are perfect for both household consumers and entrepreneurs that want a do-it-all printer that can perform multiple functions.
The Artisan 800 ($300) is the flagship model of the series with a comprehensive list of functions that include Wi-Fi, fax machine, copier with an Automatic Document Feeder, PictBridge support, and a dual paper tray to separate plain and photo-specific paper. Most intriguing is the huge 7.8-inch smart touch panel and accompanying 3.5-inch LCD with buttons that only light up the controls you need to perform a specific function. You can also do light editing right on the printer itself without the aid of external software.
The Artisan 700 ($200) is a slightly slimmed-down version of the 800 but still retains an array of features that will ease the creative consumer into printing, scanning, and copying documents and high-definition photographs. The 700 has the same "piano black" finish as the 800 and also uses the same six-color "Ultra Hi-Definition Claria" ink that delivers 1.5-picoliter size droplets for a more realistic and accurate print. The 700 and 800 both offer the ability to turn plain white paper into college, wide-ruled, or graphed school paper using software built into the driver that comes with the printer. Finally, Epson reports print rates at 38 color and black-and-white pages per minute, but we'll be sure to put that number to the test in our CNET Labs. Look for full reviews coming soon.
Both printers are backed by Epson's comprehensive two-year "Epson Preferred" warranty that includes toll-free telephone support and access to MyEpson.com, a site that has a number of tutorials designed to walk you through the various functions on the machine. Both printers will be available in September of this year.