Moving onto photo tests, our standard 15 x 10cm print on Epson Premium Glossy paper took 1:59, which is not too bad, but a full A3+ borderless print took 11:01, which is quite a while, even given the size of the image.
The quality of the pages we produced was reasonable, though plain paper prints suffered from some feathering, where ink obviously ran along the fibres of the paper. While this is not severe, it is noticeable to the naked eye and makes text pages look slightly fuzzy. All our text prints use the same multipurpose office paper we use for all printers.
Colour ink on plain paper, as in the text and graphics page, was cleaner and even black text on coloured backgrounds, which can cause problems, didn’t do so here. Those coloured backgrounds were clean and band-free.
When we printed our photo tests, the main task of this class of printer, we saw high-quality photos with smooth colour gradations, sharp outlines and good detail in areas of shadow. The large format photo prints were clear and finely detailed and overall photo output from this machine is excellent.
Epson quotes a sound output figure of 47dBA for this machine and subjectively it’s very quiet. This is mainly because the majority of any noise from an inkjet printer is when it’s feeding paper and with the larger, A3 and A3+ sheets, it feeds less frequently. Unless you like things very quiet, it’s not going to cause any irritation.
Each of the six ink cartridges costs around £9.50 and from our tests is good for at least 400, 5 per cent cover pages. This means a typical text page costs around 2.75p, which is at the high end when compared with similar printers. A 30 per cent colour page comes out at 43p, which is also higher than average, but not the most expensive by a good margin. Interestingly, in our tests the colour cartridge yielded over 100 more pages than the black.
If you’re buying primarily to print photographs larger than A4, the Stylus Photo 1400 is an excellent choice. It produces very high-quality photographic output and although it’s not particularly fast or cheap to run, it sits in the middle of the market. Plain paper print isn’t so good, but if that’s your chief need, there are four-colour office printers that will suit you better.