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Epson Debuts Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 Printers

New UltraChrome HDR pigment inkset.

Big Picture

Epson has launched its 24-in. Stylus Pro 7900 and 44-in. Stylus Pro 9900 printers here in the States, both boasting an improved ink formulation, a new printer mechanism, and other new features (the printers made their worldwide debut at the Drupa show earlier this year). The new printers are aimed at fine-art and photographic applications as well as production and contract proofing, and package proofing.

The new printer mechanism implemented in the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 builds on Epson’s MicroPiezo TFP (Thin Film Piezo) 10-channel printhead, which was introduced on the Stylus Pro 11880 last year. Its throughput (and number of nozzles) has now been doubled, providing a maximum speed of 40 sq meters/hr, Epson reports, and it can deliver resolutions up to 2880 dpi.

Also new is the Epson UltraChrome HDR (standing for "High Dynamic Range") aqueous pigment inkset, an 11-color set consisting of CcYOG plus Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, photo black or matte black, light black, and light light black. The addition of the orange and green inks increases the color gamut and the orange particularly contributes to skin tones, Epson points out. The HDR inks also allow the printer to address demand for color representation in proof production (especially if there’s a need for spot colors). The user can automatically switch between photo and matte black inks; the correct black-ink mode is automatically used depending upon the printer driver or front control panel settings. Inks are available in 350- or 700-ml cartridges.

The optional Epson SpectroProofer tool, developed in conjunction with X-Rite, turns the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and Stylus Pro 9900 into a consistent proof-verification and printer-calibration solution, allowing for remote proofing. By using this spectrophotometer solution, the user can achieve color-control workflows such as color calibration, color certification, a daily color check, profile creation, spot-color matching, color-shift tracking, and target measurement. Furthermore, a color-certification label, like the Fogra wedge, can be printed to support the certification process. The Epson SpectroProofer in-line, off-carriage system is powered by an X-Rite spectrophotometer and controlled by Epson SpectroProofer software or a third-party RIP; it’s available with or without a UV-cut filter as well as changeable black or white backing.

Other new technologies featured in the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 include: Epson’s new automatic nozzle-check technology; an integral automatic media rotary knife cutting system; a new spindle-less roll holder mechanism; an automatic paper set/release mechanism, and a new Look Up Table technology to aid the new ink in maximizing color gamut-allows for color constancy, smooth transitions between colors, grain reduction, and gamut smoothing, Epson reports.

The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 will be available in late 2008. MSRP: $3995 (24-in.) and $5995 (44-in.); the Spectral Proofer is optional.

In addition, Epson has:

* Launched a new lineup of fine-art and backlit media. New additions include a 10-mil Standard Proofing Paper, a Display/Trans Backlight Film, Epson Color Press and Epson Hot Press Fine Art Media, and Epson Flexographic Proofing Media, and CrystalClear film.

* Introduced the myepsonprinter.com website, a Web-based printer information and management system that: allows users to automatically track consumables usage; provides real-time cost-per-print estimates and print-job-run information; allows for the creation of various custom reports using actual job information; provides remote-monitoring and remote printer alert capabilities. The service is free during its public beta testing.

* Released dates and locales for its Print Academy for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009. The remaining 2008 sites include Atlanta (November 8), Washington DC (November 16), New York (December 6), and Dallas (December 13); visit www.epsonprintacademy.com for the 2009 locales and dates.


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