Last Updated on 01/18/2021 by Brett Day
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We’re huge fans of printing here at The Phoblographer. We believe every photographer should be printing their images instead of just viewing them digitally. Thankfully, the printer market is alive and well, and there are many options. We recently had the chance to test and review the new Epson SureColor P900. An update to the P800, the P900 boasts a new 10 channel print head and a 4.3-inch touchscreen display. Still, is this a printer you should be reaching out for at $1,295? Find out in our full review.
Table of Contents
Pros and Cons
- Incredibly easy to set up
- The touchscreen and UI make the P900 easy to use
- Gorgeous print quality up to 17×22
- Inks are easy to access and load
- Priced at $1,295, the P900 isn’t cheap, but you’re getting a lot for your money
- The ink is quite expensive
- We wish the resolution of the LCD could be a little better, but this is us nitpicking
We used the Epson SureColor P900 with various print media including Ultra Premium Luster, Baryta II, Glossy, and Exhibition Fiber paper.
All of the technical specifications here are taken from the official Epson website:
- Printing Technology: Advanced MicroPiezo AMC 10-channel, drop-on-demand printhead with ink-repelling coating technology
- Maximum Print Resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi
- Maximum Printable Area: 17″ x 129″
- Print Speed: 8.5″ x 11″ print: 1 min 29 sec, 13″ x 19″ print: 2 min 23 sec
- Minimum Ink Droplet Size: 1.5 picoliters; Variable Droplet Technology can produce up to three different dot sizes per line
- Nozzle Configuration: Color and monochrome heads; 180 nozzles x 10
- Ink Type: UltraChrome PRO10 pigment ink; 10-ink, 10-color Cyan, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, Yellow, Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Photo Black, and Matte Black
- Fade Resistance / Print Longevity: Color: up to 200 years; Black-and-white: up to 400 years3
- Single Roll-to-Roll / Top-loading Roll: 17″ roll
- Media Core:2″ or 3″ core
- Maximum Paper Width: 17″, Max. cut-sheet size 17″ x 22″
- Minimum Cut-sheet Size: 3.5″ x 5″
- Printer Language: Epson ESC/P® raster photographic drivers standard
- Interfaces: Hi-Speed USB 3.0 (1 port), 100Base-T Ethernet (1 port), 2.4 GHz (802.11n) and 5 GHz Wireless (IEEE802.11 b/g/n/ac)6, Wi-Fi Direct®6, AirPrint®, Google Cloud Print™, Epson Print Layout for iOS
- Sheet Loading: Main Top-loading Up to 17″ x 22″; up to 120 sheets plain paper, 30 sheets photo paper, and single sheet loading of thicker fine art paper
- Front Media Path Up to 17″ x 22″; single-sheet manual feeder, designed for thicker papers up to 1.5 mm thick
- BorderFree Print Widths:3.5″ x 5″, 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″), letter (8.5″ x 11″), 11″ x 14″, B (11″ x 17″), A3 (11.7″ x 16.5″), Super B (13″ x 19″), 16″ x 20″ and C (17″x 22″)
- Sound Level: Approx. 41 dB(A) according to ISO 7779
- Dimensions: Printing: 24.2″ x 35.6″ x 20.5″ (W x D x H)
- Storage: 24.2″ x 14.5″ x 7.8″ (W x D x H)
- Weight: 35.3 lb
“This beast of a printer also weighs in at a hefty 35.3lbs. You’ll need a sturdy desk and a nice chunk of real estate to house it .”Brett Day – Gear Editor
Epson SureColor P900 – Ergonomics
As you can see from the image above, you’re going to need a fair amount of room to house the Epson SureColor P900. This should come as no surprise though as it’s the bigger of the two SureColor P series printers. If you need something smaller, you might consider the Epson SureColor P700. The overall dimensions of the Epson SureColor P900 are 2 feet by 2.9 feet by 1.7 feet. This beast of a printer also weighs in at a hefty 35.3lbs. You’ll need a sturdy desk and a nice chunk of real estate to house it.
The biggest feature that will stand out on this black hunk of plastic is the LCD touch panel. The panel can fold flat, or it can be angled for easier viewing when you are seated. The Epson SureColor P900 is otherwise devoid of any real styling apart from the large Epson logo on the front left-hand side. You can see here the front paper trays and the 4.3-inch LCD.
Under the main hood, you’ll find the ink compartment. Epson has done a really nice job with the design on the P900 here. The ink is incredibly easy to access, and inserting them is pain-free thanks to the ease of access.
The rear of the Epson SureColor P900 houses the rear paper feed trays, the power connector, UBS, and Ethernet ports. Overall the Epson SureColor P900 is a nicely designed printer with modern, sharp lines that should blend in well with office or studio decor. Let’s face it, there’s only so much you can do with printer design. As long as you have the space for it, you’ll appreciate the P900’s overall design.
“When it comes to printers, the P900 feels as nice as you can expect a printer to feel.”Brett Day – Gear Editor
Epson SureColor P900 – Build Quality
You’re not going to have any issues with the Epson SureColor P900 regarding build quality. Epson has used some premium quality plastics here. Nothing feels cheap or flimsy. The trays all lockdown securely into place and operate smoothly when being pulled out. All of the covers open and close nicely without there being big gaps between the panels. The LCD screen and mount it sits on feel nice and operates nicely as well.
The Epson SureColor P900 is designed to be unboxed, setup, and then left in location. Its weight will prevent you from taking it with you anywhere you go, so Epson has not had to over-engineer it. When it comes to printers, the P900 feels as nice as you can expect a printer to feel. My only gripe is that the matte and glossy black surfaces love to pick up and show fingerprints and dust more than, say, a white or grey finish would.
“The touch interface is incredibly easy to use, the menus are well laid out, options are easy to touch thanks to the size of the screen, and the display is easy to read. The EpsonSure Color P900 is a pure joy to use.”Brett Day – Gear Editor
Epson SureColor P900 – Ease Of Use
Ease of use is where the Epson SureColor P900 really shines. Out of all the printers I’ve used, the P900 is easily the most user friendly. Loading the inks is easy. Once you lift the top cover, you’ll see the spots for the 10 individual cartridges. You simply slide the cartridges in and click them into place with ease. I also have to commend Epson for including the 4.3-inch touch panel. The resolution of the touch panel isn’t the best, but it gets the job done. The touch interface is incredibly easy to use, the menus are well laid out, options are easy to touch thanks to the size of the screen, and the display is easy to read. The EpsonSure Color P900 is a pure joy to use.
Epson SureColor P900 – Initial Setup
Epson has made getting this printer up and running easy. The hardest part of the initial setup is getting the unit out of the box and unpacked. You’re going to be peeling the tape off the printer for a while. This is good, though, as it holds everything in place while shipping.
Once you have unpacked it, you’re ready to fire it up. Hold the round button near the screen, and the P900 springs into life with a somewhat pleasant jingle. You’ll be guided through the initial setup on the screen. You’ll be asked for the time, the date, and so on. Then you’ll be asked to install the inks. The printer will go through a 15-minute process of registering the inks and preloading ink into the print head. After this, you’ll switch over to your computer.
Epson SureColor P900 – Installing Drivers
Getting drivers installed is never fun, but again, Epson has made this easy. Simply go to their website, select the model, and download. Once you run the installation program, you’ll be prompted and asked how you want to connect to the computer.
I opted for a wireless connection. Setup was as easy as hitting connect, and the software found the printer and router, and copied the settings for my network into the software. Once that was done, the software transferred the settings to the printer. The Epson SureColor P900 was ready to print in about 3 minutes.
Epson Print Layout Software
I had a little bit of difficulty with the Epson Print Layout software to start out. For some reason, I had to reinstall Adobe RGB 1998 ICC’s before the software would load. Once I had done this, the software finally opened. You can either use the Epson Print Layout software as an Adobe plug-in or use it as standalone software. (I opted to use it as standalone software as the less time I spend in Lightroom, the better.) Just to note, though, I did also use the plug-in, and it works just fine.
The software is like everything else in that it’s easy to use. Simply import an image, and then from the right menu, you choose your options. You select your media type, paper profile, print quality, and layout. If you have a paper that you cannot find a profile for, the built-in media finder will help you locate the correct profiles to download. (I had to do this for Epson’s Signature Worthy Fine Art Exhibition Fiber paper.) As soon as you have set your parameters, hit print. The software shoots the data over to your printer, and it will spring into life. It’s really as easy as that.
Printing from Your Phone (IOS)
You can print directly to the Epson SureColor P900 from your iPhone or iPad as an added convenience. Download the free app, and you’re off to the races. Just grant access to your camera roll and then select an image.
You have all the same print options in the mobile app, as you’ll find in the desktop Epson Print Layout software. You select your paper type, print quality, and everything else and then hit print. Within seconds, the print will be processing. The app is slick, fast, and user friendly. Just make sure that your phone doesn’t turn off or that you quit the app before the file transfer has been completed.
Epson SureColor P900 – Paper Loading and Print Times
I didn’t experience any issues when it came to loading paper. I used several paper types, all with varying thickness levels, and the printer worked like a charm. We tested the papers in all the feed trays and there were never any issues with jamming or alignment. I have used printers that have struggled with various media in the past, so this was a nice change.
Now, for print times. These, of course, will vary depending on the size of your print and what quality you choose to print them at. Print time ranged from a minute to 20 minutes when set at maximum quality for a 17×22. Have patience, and you’ll be rewarded, though. Print times were the same regardless of if you choose to print from your computer or your phone. One great feature is the lit viewing panel that allows you to see how your print is progressing. Watching your print being made will help pass the time with your higher-quality prints.
If you’re new to printers, you’ll have no issues getting this model configured and printing. Kudos to Epson here for making such a user-friendly printer option. If you’d like more help with getting your prints right, check out our helpful guide here.
“The Carbon Black option will give you intense blacks on glossy papers. You may not think this would make a tremendous difference to your prints, but it does.”Brett Day – Gear Editor
Epson SureColor P900 – Image Quality
The images that come out of the Epson SureColor P900 are exceptional. The Epson SureColor P900 will print up to 17×22 images and take roll paper, too, when used with an optional extra. The images are detailed, color-accurate, and vibrant. For the SureColor P900, Epson moved to an UltraChrome 10 ink system with a wider color gamut thanks to a violet channel. The inks are Cyan, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, Yellow, Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Photo Black, and Matte Black.
The ink cartridges have 50ml of ink in them. The ink is rated to last 200 years for color prints and 400 years for black and white prints. The inks are pricey ($41.99 each, or roughly $420 for a whole set), but you get a lot for your money. If you’re a pro who sells their prints, you’ll easily make your money back quickly, and the rest is pure profit.
This system also includes Matte Black and Photo Black. You would have to switch these two blacks out in the past, which was a hassle, but now they have their own dedicated nozzles. Your print quality options are standard, quality, high quality, max quality, and max quality (Carbon Black). The Carbon Black option will give you intense blacks on glossy papers. You may not think this would make a tremendous difference to your prints, but it does.
In terms of color accuracy, the Epson SureColor P900 is fantastic. Still, I have my monitor calibrated (I use a DataColor SpyderX Pro), and I never needed to make any adjustments to get my prints to match what my display was showing. This is a far cry from using my current Canon Pro-100. Granted, these two printers really cannot be compared to each other at great lengths as the Canon is a prosumer grade printer, and the P900 is most definitely a printer aimed at those who make incredibly high-quality prints. Overall, you’ll not find a single thing to complain about when it comes to image quality.
“At $1,295, it’s not cheap, and the inks (at $41.99) are a little spendy. Still, you’ll easily make your money back with the number of prints you’ll get out of a set of cartridges.”Brett Day – Gear Editor
The Epson SureColor P900 – Conclusion
- Stunning print quality
- It’s so easy to set up
- The touchscreen and user interface
- Honestly, there’s nothing to dislike about this printer
The Epson SureColor P900 is a fantastic printer aimed at photographers who want to create prints with impeccable quality. The Epson SureColor P900 is easy to set up, it’s a joy to use thanks to the huge touchscreen and the friendly user interface, and the images it produces are rich, accurate, and detail-filled. Even the accompanying print layout software is easy to use, and being able to print directly from an iPad or iPhone is another added bonus.
If you’re a photographer who makes and sells their prints often, the Epson SureColor P900 is a printer you cannot afford to overlook. At $1,295, it’s not cheap, and the inks (at $41.99) are a little spendy. Still, you’ll easily make your money back with the number of prints you’ll get out of a set of cartridges. If you want your images to look better than ever before in print form and want an Epson SureColor P900, check out Amazon for the latest prices.