Stylus Pro hits high end for an ink-jet, produces striking quality

Stylus Pro hits high end for an ink-jet, produces striking quality

By Michael Cheek

GCN Staff

For the most part, ink-jet printers suit the needs of individuals better than those of workgroups. But sometimes the situation demands high-end ink-jet output rather than laser or solid ink.

The Epson Stylus Pro 5000 produces excellent ink-jet output and has high-end features, but it's not exactly a speed demon.

That's the niche for which Epson America Inc. built the 1,440- by 720-dot-per-inch Stylus Pro 5000. It costs almost $2,500, is not much smaller than a workgroup laser and can handle many media sizes and shapes, such as tabloid pages. It produces stunning, near-photographic quality, especially on glossy paper.

Epson has pegged the printer for publishing applications. An optional printer server for Adobe PostScript Level 3 raster image processing significantly speeds printing and provides high-caliber output.

I didn't look at the Stylus Pro 5000 with the RIP server, but even as a standalone the Stylus Pro 5000's high-end features approached those of some laser and solid-ink printers that cost $5,000 or more.

Box Score ''''''''''''

Stylus Pro 5000

Ink-jet printer for publishing

Epson America Inc.; Torrance, Calif.;

tel. 800-463-7766

Price: $2,476

+ Costs about half as much as laser and solid-ink alternatives

' Media selector settings too easyto jar

The Stylus Pro remains attached to its end-user roots. Its media tray has two selectors'one for media size and the other for media type. The problem is, someone can brush by the tray, which juts out a little far, and accidentally change the selection. The selectors are easy to jar when changing media, too.

Before changing to expensive paper stock, I tested first on plain paper. Even when I made the correct selection, the Stylus Pro saturated the paper with too much ink.

Nor was the Stylus Pro a speed demon. Top-quality output on a letter-sized page took three minutes at least.

The printer applies six colors from four cartridges: black, yellow, cyan/light cyan and magenta/light magenta.

The Stylus Pro makes a good low-end choice for high-end needs in a small area.

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