Epson is replacing its Stylus Pro 3800 medium format (17x22) printer with the 3880, rolling its latest set of technologies down the product line from the Stylus Pro 4880, as well as introducing a new version of its screening architecture.
The 3880 is getting the 8-color UltraChrome K3 Vivid Magenta ink set that's already been incorporated in most of Epson's other pro graphics printers, plus the same ink-repellent coating on the printhead to minimize nozzle blockages. With this model, Epson introduces Accuphoto HD2, an update to its screening technology with look-up tables co-developed with RIT; the new LUTs go a step beyond choosing the appropriate color for any given dot to selecting the appropriate color with the lowest metameric index (i.e., the least likely to change appearance under different lighting conditions).
The 3880 is also greener than its predecessor, built from identified (labeled) plastic for easier recycling, and with smaller ink packaging.
Much from the 3800 remains: essentially the same 3.5pl-drop printhead, ink cartridges are still 80ml capacity (though there's a new ink set), and Advanced Black and White Photo mode. And like its predecessor, the 3880 uses only cut-sheet paper; for roll feeding you'll have to move up to the 4880, or down to the smaller R2880.
None of this comes cheap. The 3880 debuts at the same price as the 3800, $1,295; a Graphic Arts Edition bundled with the ColorBurst RIP will run $1,495. The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 will ship in mid October.