Most reviews describe the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 as an upgrade of the discontinued Epson Stylus Photo R2400 because it is faster and does a better job on color photo prints. But its hallmark is still what reviews describe as phenomenal black-and-white photo prints, partly because there are three black ink cartridges. A major annoyance, however, is the need to manually switch cartridges for matte and glossy prints, reviews say. And some experts and users say that messy process also results in ink waste. More pluses include the ability to print from rolls of paper and print directly on CDs or DVDs designed for that purpose. If you don't want to spend so much, we found good reviews for the less expensive Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II, especially for color photos; reviews say its sibling, the Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II (*Est. $765), produces fantastic black-and-white prints with no need to switch cartridges.
The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 receives fewer reviews from mainstream sources. Printerville.net is relatively new, but reviewer Rick LePage has covered printers extensively for Macworld and his expertise ranks first on the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 coverage. We also found helpful reviews at PDNGearGuide.com. Some of the owner reviews at Amazon.com say the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 guzzles ink, but professionals say it's about average after testing ink use.
Rick LePage, a veteran reviewer of printers for Macworld, says the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 offers "the best prints of any desktop inkjet printer we've used." There is a detailed ink-use test (including price per page for various print sizes), and LePage says the R2880's use is about the same as competing products.
Review: The Printerville Review: Epson's Stylus Photo R2880, Rick LePage, Sept. 14, 2008
The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 wins PCMag.com's Best of the Year award for 2010. Experienced printer reviewer M. David Stone says it prints "impressively high-quality photos and graphics," and it prints them fast. Its main drawback -- the need to switch black cartridges if you switch from glossy to matte paper -- won't affect most users who tend to stick with one kind of paper, Stone says.
Review: Epson Stylus Photo R2880, M. David Stone, June 30, 2010
This photography website says the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 is "a good value for the money" and "should be very high on your list." Tester Jon Canfield appreciates the R2880's vivid color prints, but he acknowledges that it's inconvenient to change the black cartridges every time you switch from glossy to matte paper. He says it's "a solid upgrade to the R2400 it replaces."
Review: Epson's Stylus Photo R2880; The New 13" Flagship Printer in the Epson Line-up, Jon Canfield, Nov 2008
4. PC World (Australia)
The Australian PC World magazine generally runs shorter reviews but covers some models that the U.S. website misses. One insight: The two USB ports are "nice in theory," but "if you send print jobs simultaneously from both computers, the printer will simply refuse one job in favour of the other."
Review: Epson Stylus Photo R2880, James Hutchinson, July 2, 2008
5. PC Pro
Reviews from this British computer magazine are always brief, but good testing is apparent. The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 gets a Recommended tag because of the quality of its prints.
Review: Epson Stylus Photo R2880, David Bayon, Dec. 12, 2008
The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 gets mixed reviews here: More than half of the 50 or so reviewers give it 4 or a perfect 5 stars, but about 30 percent give it only 1 or 2 stars. The most frequent complaint is that it drinks ink way too fast. One reviewer says it's "like giving me a Hummer and charging a mint for a pint of fuel."
Review: Epson R2880 Large Format Photo Printer (C11CA16201), Contributors to Amazon.com