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Published on November 29th, 2011 | by Greg

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Epson Prints Your Holidays With The Artisan 730

Christ­mas and hol­i­day cards. Pho­to prints of the fam­i­ly. Doc­u­ments of ev­ery shape, size, and style. Tis the sea­son to be print­ing!

But print­er costs are tricky. The print­ing in­dus­try is in­fa­mous for their “ra­zor and blade” mod­el, where the print­ers them­selves might not cost much, but the ink quick­ly adds up. That’s why we pay care­ful at­ten­tion to the “life­time cost” or longer term cost-per-page met­rics, which can help make a print­er a good in­vest­ment. Gen­er­al­ly, Ep­son print­ers of­fer some of the best bang for your buck, as we’ve seen in the past. Last hol­i­day sea­son, we checked out both the Ar­ti­san se­ries, as well as the Work­force line, which of­fer slight­ly dif­fer­ent fea­ture sets and are aimed at the au­di­ence you’d ex­pect from their names.

This year, we’ve got the Ep­son Ar­ti­san 730, a rea­son­able up­grade to the ex­cel­lent print­er we saw a year ago. Of­fice users may want to stick with the speed­i­er Work­force line (we saw a sib­ling about six months ago that was one of the best print­ers that we have seen so far). But those who print a lot of pho­tos should def­i­nite­ly stick with this ver­sion, as it is per­haps the best all-around mul­ti-pur­pose pho­to print­er in this price range. It might not of­fer a fax ca­pa­bil­i­ty, but if you’re will­ing to lose that fea­ture, you get ev­ery­thing else: scan­ning, copy­ing, and ap­par­ent­ly achiev­ing the “World’s Fastest 4×6 pho­to print speeds”- still tak­ing about ten sec­onds, but that’s bet­ter than the com­pe­ti­tion and the prints are amaz­ing.

Black and white print speeds are a rea­son­able, if not zip­py, 9.6 ISO pages per minute, and around 9.1 for col­or sheets. Like many print­ers to­day, wire­less N is now built-in, and fair­ly easy to use on a net­work with min­i­mal fuss. Mac users on OSX and PC users on any re­cent ver­sion of Win­dows are in luck, we didn’t try out Lin­ux print­ing. But we did try the card read­er, which sup­ports SD, Com­pact Flash, and Mem­o­ry Stick cam­era mem­o­ry cards. Driv­er in­stal­la­tion still takes a while- not long for ba­sic print­ing, but the oth­er func­tions re­quire their suite of soft­ware. It’s worth it, though, for some of the best pho­to prints we’ve seen, es­pe­cial­ly when us­ing Ep­son’s va­ri­ety of cus­tom pa­per. The pa­per tray was our on­ly re­al is­sue- it felt a bit cheap, and wasn’t quite large enough for us. But it does hold both pho­to pa­per and reg­u­lar pa­per at the same time, and a love­ly LCD screen helped make up for it. Plus the touch screen ac­tu­al­ly worked, mak­ing it sim­ple for most users to han­dle tasks right from the print­er.

We haven’t talked costs yet. The print­er it­self comes with pret­ty spa­cious print car­tridges, and will set you back around $170 on­line at the mo­ment. A high ca­pac­i­ty black car­tridge costs on­ly about $17, and you’ll get around 520 pages out of it. Air­Print and Cloud­Print sup­port are not com­mon yet, but the Ar­ti­san 730 of­fers them, and though we didn’t test thor­ough­ly, our An­droid and iPhone prints came out nice­ly. It’s not a small, com­pact print­er, and the scan­ner doesn’t han­dle ran­dom stuff through the feed­er (al­most no all-in-one does), but we pho­tog­ra­phers and those who love them- this is a great gift and won­der­ful ad­di­tion to your desk or that of a loved one.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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