Epson announces new UltraChrome K3 inks and three new Epson Stylus Pro ink jet printers

Epson Stylus Pro 4800, Epson Stylus Pro 7800, and Epson Stylus Pro 9800

New professional wide-format printers use color and unique three-level black ink system to create highest-quality archival black and white images

See additional information about the new Epson Stylus Photo R2400 featuring the new UltraChrome K3 inks

Long Beach, Calif.—May 10, 2005—Epson is once again advancing its printing technology into new territory for professional photographers and graphic artists with the launch of the Epson Stylus Pro 4800, Epson Stylus Pro 7800, Epson Stylus Pro 9800, and new Epson UltraChrome K3 ink technology.  The combination of these new printers and archival inks not only gives today's most demanding professionals the widest gamut of archival color ink jet printing to date, but an almost infinite degree of black and white image control that rivals all other forms of photographic printing.

All three printers introduce several new and advanced features and technologies, most notably Epson UltraChrome K3 inks - a new archival technology that uses eight individual colors to create even better exhibit-quality output on a wide selection of media.  The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 replaces the award-winning Epson Stylus Pro 4000 for printing images as wide as 17 inches, while the Epson Stylus Pro 7800 and Epson Stylus Pro 9800 replace the Epson Stylus Pro 7600 and 9600 for printing up to 24 inches and 44 inches in width, respectively.

"By combining the high-precision of a new Epson Stylus Pro print engine with the extraordinary performance of Epson UltraChrome K3 ink technology, today's most discerning creative professionals have the tools to express their true creative visions," said Mark Radogna, group product manager, professional graphics, Epson. "Whether an artist's goal is to create the best exhibit-quality color prints possible or world-class black and white photography, their only limitations will be talent and imagination."

New Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink Technology

Inspired by Epson's past generations of pigmented inks, Epson UltraChrome K3 uses higher density pigments designed to increase image quality for both professional color and black and white prints.  In addition to cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan and light magenta, Epson UltraChrome K3 features a unique three-level black ink system that simultaneously uses black, light black and light-light black inks.  This technology is designed to create professional neutral and toned black and white prints without color crossover or color casts.  It also reduces the effects of metamerism or bronzing often associated with basic pigment chemistry.  Furthermore, Epson's proprietary driver and screening technology offer users a unique method for converting color digital images into professional quality black and white prints.

Epson UltraChrome K3 also produces higher degrees of color fidelity and uses a new high-gloss Microcrystal Encapsulation(tm) resin chemistry to create prints with greater scratch resistance and reduced gloss differential.  These prints are rated to resist fading up to 108 years for color prints and more than 200 years for black and white prints on specific Epson papers.*

The Epson Stylus Pro 4800, 7800 and 9800 offer users two unique ink modes - Photo Black and Matte Black - that are designed to optimize the level of black ink density on different types of media.  The Photo Black ink mode can be selected to help maximize the deepness and richness of black tones on glossy/luster media such as Epson's Premium Luster.  The Matte Black mode uses a different black density to maximize the deepness and richness of black tones on fine art surfaces such as Epson's Velvet Fine Art, Enhanced Matte and UltraSmooth Fine Art.

New 8-Channel Print Head Technology

Epson's new high-performance, one-inch wide print head features 180 nozzles per channel and can achieve resolution levels up to 2880 x 1440 dpi with variable-sized ink droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters.  The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 is also one of the fastest ink jet printers ever made by Epson, capable of printing a 16"x 20" photo lab-quality print (using 1,440 x 720 dpi - HS mode) as fast as 6 minutes, 41 seconds.  The Epson Stylus Pro 7800 and 9800 offer print speeds approximately two times faster than their predecessors, the Epson Stylus Pro 7600 and 9600. Photo lab-quality 24" x 30" prints can be printed as quickly as 14 minutes, 18 seconds, and same-quality 44" x 60" prints can be printed in approximately 42 minutes, 30 seconds (all using 1,440 x 720 dpi - HS mode).

Epson has enhanced its manufacturing process to include colorimetric calibration.  A technology called Epson PreciseColor(tm) evaluates each printer's output during the manufacturing process and automatically fine tunes each printer's settings to ensure consistent color output from one printer to the next.

Setup time is also greatly reduced by a built-in auto head alignment feature.  This technology uses a built-in white beam sensor that automatically scans printed alignment patterns created by the printer and then makes automated adjustments if necessary.  The same white beam sensor is also used to detect clogged nozzles and automatically activate head cleaning cycles when/if necessary.

Professional Media Handling

The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 can handle virtually any type of media, either in rolls up to 17 inches wide or cut sheets between 8" x 10" and 17" x 22".  There are four ways to load media, which include an adjustable roll feed for 2-inch and 3-inch cores, a high-capacity cut-sheet tray for up to 50 sheets of photographic media, top manual feed, and straight-through front manual feed capable of handling up to 1.5-millimeter-thick poster board.  The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 also supports printing on both sides of the media without damaging the previously printed side and has a built-in media cutter that automatically trims top and bottom edges of roll media safely and accurately to produce full-bleed images on all four sides.

The Epson Stylus Pro 7800 and 9800 offer nearly all of the same advanced media handling capabilities as the Epson Stylus Pro 4800, but in sizes up to 24 and 44 inches wide (respectively).  Both cut-sheet and roll media are loaded via the printers' straight-through media path.  An optional automatic take-up reel system is also available exclusively on the Epson Stylus Pro 9800 for unattended production of large print runs.

Intelligent High-Capacity Ink System and Print Job Information

Each of these new printers' ink cartridge channels/slots can handle either 110 ml or 220 ml cartridges (or a combination of both sizes) that can even be replaced in the middle of a print job.  Each cartridge uses Epson's Intelligent High-Capacity Ink technology, a feature that stores a variety of information on a memory chip and communicates the data to the printer whenever the power is turned on.  Also, the printers use built-in memory to track key print job statistics such as ink levels, ink usage, remaining media, print times, data file names, user names, print dates and more.

Superior Connectivity and RIP Support

The Epson Stylus Pro 4800, 7800 and 9800 use Epson's professional-level photographic drivers for Macintosh and Windows, allowing for complete density control even when the driver's color management feature is turned off.  Printer interfaces include one USB 2.0 port, one IEEE 1394 FireWire(tm) port and one expansion slot for an optional 10/100 BaseT Ethernet card.  All three printers are fully supported by most leading third-party RIPs.

Pricing and Availability

The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 is now shipping through Epson dealers for $1,995 (estimated street price).  The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 "Pro Edition," which includes a PANTONE(r)-licensed, SWOP(r)-certified PostScript(r), Language Level 3(tm)-compatible RIP by ColorBurst(r) , and a 10/100 BaseT Ethernet card, is expected to begin shipping in July to authorized professional graphics resellers with an estimated street price of $2,495.  The Epson Stylus Pro 7800 and 9800 will begin shipping in Fall 2005 and are respectively priced at $2,995 and $4,995 (estimated street prices), which includes a complimentary stand for each.

Service & Support

The Epson Stylus Pro 4800, 7800 and 9800 are supported by the standard Epson PreferredSM Limited Warranty.  This one-year program includes toll-free advanced telephone access Monday through Friday and usually next-business-day full unit exchange service (for the Epson Stylus Pro 4800) or on-site service (for the Epson Stylus Pro 7800 and Epson Stylus Pro 9800) in the unlikely event of any hardware failure. Optional Epson Preferred Plus Service Plans are also available, offering one or two additional years of protection.  For more information on Epson warranties, service programs and products, call 1-800-GO-EPSON (1-800-463-7766) or visit our Web site at www.epson.com.

* Ink lightfastness rating based on accelerated testing of prints on specialty media, displayed indoors under glass. Actual print stability will vary according to media, printed image, display conditions, light intensity, humidity, and atmospheric conditions. Epson does not guarantee longevity of prints. For maximum print life, display all prints under plexi, glass or lamination or properly store them. Visit www.wilhelm-research.com for the latest information.

Note: Specifications and terms are subject to change.  Epson, Epson Stylus, and Micro Piezo are registered trademarks, and Epson UltraChrome K3 and Microcrystal Encapsulation, are trademarks of Seiko Epson Corporation. Epson PreciseColor is a trademark, and Epson Preferred is a service mark, of Epson America Inc.  All other product brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Epson disclaims any and all rights in these trademarks.

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