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Massive borderless prints
Affordable operating costs
Print on a variety of paper sizes
Optional roll adapter available
Beautiful vivid color and deep blacks
Roll adapter doesn’t have a cutter
Takes up a lot of space
Manual feed tray is tough to work with
The Epson SureColor P800 prints beautiful photographs in a wide variety of sizes, including massive 17x22-inch prints right out of the box.
The Epson SureColor P800 is a photo printer that’s capable of printing on a variety of paper types and sizes, with a maximum standard print size of 17x22 inches. With an optional paper roll feeder, it’s capable of printing significantly longer panoramas and banners.
Straddling the edge between the sort of expense a hobbyist photographer can justify, and the sort of capabilities required by professionals, the SureColor P800 represents a decent upgrade over the older Epson Stylus Pro 3880 and a worthy competitor for the likes of the Canon Prograf 1000.
I recently spent a few weeks with an Epson SureColor P800 set up in my office, printing some of my favorite shots I’ve taken with my Canon Eos Rebel T6 DSLR, smaller shots I grabbed with the deceptively competent camera in my Pixel 3, and endless photos for friends and family pulled off their own devices. So is this massive printer worth the investment or the sheer amount of space it takes up? Keep reading to find out.
Without anything next to it to provide scale, the SureColor P800 looks a whole lot like any other single-purpose printer. All of the parts are in more or less the same place as any consumer model, and there isn’t really anything to set it apart. Then you realize that the paper sticking out of it is 17 inches wide, not 11, and it becomes immediately clear that this printer is a beast.
Aside from its prodigious size and weight, the P800 is really down to earth and designed with ease of use in mind. The front left panel flips up easily to reveal the nine ink cartridge slots, and a flip-up touchscreen is located directly to the right of that. Below the print head and display, you’ll find a flip-down panel that provides access to the single-sheet feeder and the paper tray.
Toward the back of the printer, you’ll find the automatic paper feeder. It looks, and works, just like a sized-up version of any other top-loading paper feeder. It can also be flipped down for storage, or to accommodate an optional paper roll feeder.
Aside from its prodigious size and weight, the P800 is really down to earth and designed with ease of use in mind.
Setting up the SureColor P800 isn’t any different from setting up any consumer-grade Wi-Fi printer, with the obvious exception that it’s significantly bigger and heavier. Get some help lifting it up on your table or desk if you need, and the setup process is easy going after that.
The P800 comes encased in cling film and blue tape, all of which has to be removed during the setup process. Then you’re ready to power it up and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. I was able to accomplish this entirely through the on-screen interface built into the printer, after which the Epson app on my phone and printing software on my computer found the printer without a hitch.
As part of the setup process, you have to install nine separate ink cartridges, including four varieties of black, two types each of cyan and vivid magenta, and one of yellow. These cartridges are quite large, but they slot into place effortlessly.
During the setup process, I recommend turning off the “black ink auto change” feature. This feature automatically swaps between photo and matte black whenever a job calls for it, which can waste quite a bit of ink. With the feature turned off, you’ll see a prompt whenever a switch is necessary. If you have any print jobs using the current type of black ink, you then have the opportunity to run through them and save a bit of ink.
There are a lot of other settings and options, like paper size and type, and print quality and speed, but you don’t necessarily have to do anything with them right away. Just make sure you’ve adjusted everything to the appropriate setting before your first print.
With my Windows computer connected to the SureColor P800 over Wi-Fi, I started my testing procedure by printing a number of basic documents, both with and without graphics, to get a feel for the printer. This printer is a whole lot of overkill for black and white basic documents, but I was able to ascertain that it’s perfectly capable of printing extremely crisp text and graphics without a hint of banding.
That part of the test out of the way, I moved on to printing a variety of photographs from both my Windows PC and my Pixel 3. I printed small 4x6-inch snaps, larger 8x10 shots, and a bunch of massive 17x22-inch photos, including portraits, action shots, landscapes, and nature shots, to get a really good feel for this printer’s capabilities.
Without exception, the SureColor P800 met and exceeded my expectations. While it only has nine ink cartridges in comparison to the 11 or more found in some of the competition, I was blown away by the fine detail, vivid color reproduction, and abyssal blacks.
Whether you’re a hobbyist photographer looking to print your favorite shots, or you’re a pro who wants the ability to print-on-demand without any excessive turnaround time or delays, you should be more than impressed with the way the SureColor P800 handles your images.
While it only has nine ink cartridges in comparison to the 11 or more found in some of the competition, I was blown away by the fine detail, vivid color reproduction, and abyssal blacks.
The two default paper handling methods provided with the SureColor P800 are a front-loading single sheet path and an automatic feeder located on top and to the rear of the unit.
The capacity of the top tray varies depending on the type of paper you put in it, and it features a sliding mechanism to accommodate sheets of different widths. The general range is about 20 sheets of especially thick media, or as many as 100 sheets of thin media. I had no trouble loading the feeder up with multiple sheets, and the mechanism never failed to grab one sheet and feed it in square.
While the automatic feeder can technically accept paper that’s up to 18 millimeters thick, the front loader provides an easy way to feed in single sheets of thick paper up to 17 inches in width. If you’re printing to fine art paper or poster board, this is the method to use.
Unlike the older Epson Stylus Pro 3880, the P800 has an optional roll feeder. My test unit didn’t include the roll feeder, so I don’t have any personal experience or test results to relate, but this is a fantastic option to have in your back pocket.
The optional roll feeder adds about $200 to the total cost of the printer. It’s fairly basic, without a built-in cutting tool or even a tensioner, but it does allow you to print photos up to 10 feet in length.
Imagine being able to print standard 17x22-inch prints without worrying about touching the printable surface during setup, and then seamlessly transitioning to printing massive panoramas from the same roll. With the optional roll feeder, the SureColor P800 can do that.
When printing massive 17x22-inch prints in standard quality and speed, the P800 takes about six and a half minutes per print. Smaller photos go by significantly faster, with this printer churning out 4x6-inch prints in about a minute flat, and taking about two minutes to finish up 8x10-inch prints. Times vary depending on factors like image resolution and quality settings on the printer, but I didn’t run into anything terribly out of the ordinary.
The SureColor P800 has built-in Wi-Fi, which you can configure directly from the printer’s own touchscreen. With the Wi-Fi connection enabled, you can print wirelessly from any computer or mobile device that has the correct driver or app installed. You also have the option to use Wi-Fi Direct, Epson iPrint, Airprint, or Google Cloud Print to round out the wireless printing methods supported by the P800.
The Epson iPrint app facilitates wireless printing from mobile devices, and it’s very easy to use. If you have multiple Epson printers, you can even manage them all from the same app.
The app provides you the option to print photos or documents from your device, print from the cloud, or capture a document with your mobile device. You also have a handful of options that you can tweak with the app, like paper size, layout, and print quality.
If you prefer a more reliable connection, and you’re able to place your SureColor P800 in a location where a wired connection is possible, the P800 also includes a USB 2.0 port and an Ethernet port.
The SureColor P800 comes with the drivers necessary to use the printer with your Windows or macOS computer, but I recommend downloading Epson Print Layout if it isn’t included on the disc that comes with your printer. This software functions on its own, but also includes export plugins for both Photoshop and Lightroom to simplify your workflow.
The SureColor P800 uses massive massive 80 ml tanks, which helps drive the cost of operation down. This printer isn’t cheap to run anymore than it is inexpensive to buy in the first place, but bigger ink cartridges really do translate to lower per-print prices.
Each tank costs about $55, with a slightly higher MSRP of $60, and there are nine total tanks. It isn’t possible to say exactly how much ink any given print will take, but a 17x22-inch print should use in the neighborhood of $3.30 worth of ink, plus the cost of whatever paper you choose. A much smaller 4x6-inch print, on the other hand, takes about $0.20 worth of ink.
A lot of different factors affect ink usage, including printer settings like speed and quality, and the resolution and composition of your images. Switching between photo and matte black ink also incurs a small cost, as a little bit of ink is wasted every time the switch is made.
There’s no getting around the fact that this is an expensive printer. With an MSRP of $1,295, an optional paper roll that clocks in at around $200, and nine ink cartridges that cost about $55 each once your initial ink runs out, this is not a budget printer. If you aren’t a hobbyist or professional photographer, it’s probably difficult to justify that type of expense. If you are, though, it’s really not out of line with the competition.
If you’re in the market for a photo printer that can handle paper up to 17x22, or even longer with the optional roll attachment, the SureColor P800 won’t disappoint.
The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 has an MSRP of $1,300, putting it in a dead heat with the SureColor P800. The SureColor P800 is typically available for a bit less, and also has a steep rebate that’s usually available, but these two printers are fairly similar in both price and capabilities.
Both of these printers offer a maximum print size of 17x22-inches, both are capable of borderless prints, and they both feature fantastic image quality. The biggest differences are that the Pro-1000 ink costs a bit more, and that the P800 has an optional roll feeder. With the roll feeder, you can print to 13 and 17-inch print rolls that are up to 10 feet long, which is something the Pro-1000 just can’t do.
If you can find a Pro-1000 on sale, and you don’t need to print from rolls, it’s truly a fine photo printer. Given similar price tags though, the P800 wins out by a slight margin due to cheaper ink, the roll feeder option, and slightly simpler controls.
Massive prints with a low cost of operation.
Most people can get by just fine with a consumer-grade 11 or 13-inch printer, but the Epson SureColor P800 is for those who simply can’t. This printer handles everything from 4x6-inch snaps to massive 17x22-inch photographs with ease, churns out remarkably high-quality prints at acceptable speeds, and is even more affordable to run than a lot of smaller printers due to the economy of scale involved in the huge ink tanks. If you’re in the market for a photo printer that can handle paper up to 17x22, or even longer with the optional roll attachment, the SureColor P800 won’t disappoint.