Much of Epson's research has focussed on developing new and improved inks. Its new mainstream range of printers use its Durabrite Ultra ink, a pigment based ink designed use on all sorts of papers, from plain to photo papers.
Epson's claims that this pigment based inks rest on the surface of the paper, as opposed to its dye based inks which tend to dissolve and bleed into the paper causing spideriness in text and blur in photos.
The resin encapsulated pigment causes it to stick more effectively to the paper, makes the ink waterfast and producing more distinctive colours. Epson's Piezo Electric head is crucial in enabling this to work as thermal print heads would melt the thermal resin.
There new printers- the Photo Stylus DX7400 and Epson Stylus DX8400 use the new Durabrite Ultra inks. These have an RRP of Â£79.99 and Â£99.99 respectively and will be available from 3rd September.
These All-in-Ones both employ the new fast print head and claim print speeds of up to 32ppm and the ability to produce a borderless 10 x 15cm print in 26 seconds - though that is in a fairly pointless draft mode. The DX8400 also sports a 6.3cm LCD view screen making it possible to view and print photos. There's also a 1,200dpi scanner with Epson's Easy Photo Fix software, which is designed to restore colour, remove dust and compensate for backlights in photos.
The Epson DX9400F is the top end unit, and as well as the 6.3cm viewer offers a full colour 33.6 fax and an automatic document feeder for an RRP of Â£129.99 and will be available from November. A Wi-Fi version is also available for those who want to print free of wires pushing the price up to Â£159.99, also available from November.
The printer that Epson made a bit of a fuss over though was the D120, which is a statement of its intent to move from purely consumer into business printing. The D120 is a Personal Business printer, designed to replace the business laser than many have on their desks. Epson claims that it can produce laser-like text without bleed and smudge resistant at a quite impressive sounding 25ppm. It can achieve this through the use of the new high-speed print head and a new extra large black print head, which has twice the nozzles of previous black print heads - it's like SLI for printing!
An advantage the D120 has over laser printers is power consumption - drawing only 15W when printing compared to 250W for lasers. The promise of lower power consumption is one that could really attract business users looking to save money but whether this can actual live up to its claim of fast speeds and laser like text remains to be seen.