Aug 192009

I got my Epson 1400 on Monday, so I’ve had a few days to play with it. Here are my initial impressions.

It’s big. No, I mean it’s menacingly huge. That’s no moon… okay, I’ll stop now.

It’s large enough to create problems about “Where do I put this… thing?” The extendable feed trays and output trays add to the problem. You wind up with this massive rectangular block with this one thing shooting 8-9 inches out of its head, and another tray shooting 5-6 inches out of its  belly.

It reminds me a bit of a NASA experiment. “This will be a servicing mission to deploy the feed and output trays for the Epson 1400 in low Earth orbit.”

So make sure you have enough room for it.

It’s also heavy. 29-30 pounds heavy. Don’t hurt yourself carrying it across the room. Its mass is significant enough that when it prints, it shakes the solid steel shelving I put it on. This isn’t some flimsy shelving, either. This is stuff made out of rigid steel tubing with reinforced steel shelves.

Yet when I print a photo, the shelves shake.

So don’t put it on that breakaway balsa-wood table.

The print quality is excellent. I grabbed some random photos from my trip to Japan, printed them on 4″ x 6″ glossy photo paper, and was impressed with the results. Even photos with really fussy light colors came out looking great. Bold colors are suitably bold, shadows and light areas are evenly printed.

Printing speed is noticeably slow. It takes about 2 minutes to print a 4″ x 6″ photo when you have it set at its highest output mode.

The software is thorough. You get options on top of options.

The much-hyped borderless printing is kind of a let-down. Whenever you select it, you get all sorts of warnings that the prints aren’t going to be as good as they would be if you printed with a border. The results are okay.

Installation was painless. (Except for lifting the printer.) The instructions say it takes around 3 minutes for the ink cartridges to charge. I’d guess it takes closer to 5 minutes. Just be patient.

One other thing: Staples just called me today to make sure the printer had arrived and that everything was okay. That was a nice touch. I give them a lot of credit for turning an unpleasant experience into a very pleasant one.

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