Epson makes few claims for the speed of this printer, other than producing 1.72 A3 pages per minute. We don't know what Epson printed to produce this figure, but the full bleed A3 page we printed took 3:56, which is about 0.25ppm. We're still quite impressed by the speed, even though it's only about a seventh of the claim.
A 15 x 10cm photo printed from a PC in best print quality took 1:15 and one from a PictBridge camera in standard print mode did better, at 59s. Our five-page text print gave 2.0ppm and the five-page black text and colour graphics test did nearly as well at 1.8ppm.
Photo quality is what you really want to know about with a printer like this, though, and we were impressed by the results we obtained. Colours are natural and transitions from shade to shade are very smooth. The extra support in the red area of the gamut works well to produce clean, natural flesh tones and is also useful in other images with red or brown content.
Black text on plain paper is well printed, and suffers less from ink bleed than some of Epson's less expensive inkjets. Colour graphics are smooth and reasonably vivid and registration of black text over colour is near-perfect. Thin strokes in reversed text are strong and don't peter out through black overload.
The cartridges vary quite a bit in price, but the best prices we could find give a cost per page of 2.5p for black and 5.6p for colour. These are good costs compared to some similar machines, such as Canon's PIXMA iX7000 which is over 0.5p more expensive in both cases.
This is another excellent, medium format printer from Epson. It has very versatile paper handling, including direct CD/DVD print, doesn't cost that much to run and benefits from the improved gamut provided by extra colour inks; it produces impressive photos right up to A3 . It's not cheap to buy, but if you need quality print on larger page sizes, it should certainly be on your shortlist.