The Epson SureColor P700's ten separate ink cartridges in combination with its piezo drop, on-demand inkjets yield brilliant photographs in color as well as high-definition black and white images. This machine accommodates various print mediums and dimensions spanning 3.5 x 5 inches to 13 x 129 inches. While this printer has impressive features and outcomes, it is not the right machine for everyone. The size and the cost of this printer may make it less appealing to the casual user. However, if you are running a small business as a photographer and are keen on getting your photos out into the real world, this is the best photo printer out there.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Epson SureColor P700 on March 28, 2022, with an unbiased take on value and suggestions for comparable products you may want to consider based on your needs and budget.
Epson SureColor P700 Review
Pros: Many print dimensions, several print mediums, low-cost prints, high image fidelity
Cons: Physically large, pricy
Compare to Similar Products
Epson SureColor P700
$879.99 at Amazon
$349.99 at Amazon
|$100 List||$130 List|
$99.00 at Amazon
$79.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Many print dimensions, several print mediums, low-cost prints, high image fidelity||Consistent color, easy set-up, broad format options||Easy to use, decent resolution, prints common sizes||User-friendly, sharp images, affordable, playful||Convenient, simple, inexpensive, bluetooth connectivity|
|Cons||Physically large, pricy||Microbanding in grayscale, relatively low definition in dark areas||Microbanding in larger formats, off skin tones, over saturation||Limited print sizes, limited tray capacity||Relatively low resolution, single print dimension|
|Bottom Line||This comprehensive printing machine delivers professional results, making it an easy pick for dedicated photographers||This low-cost, full-sized machine delivers high-end results||An easy to use mid-size printer at a good price||This portable printer kicks out quality 4" x 6" prints anytime, anywhere||This portable printer captures the fun of the old Polaroid cameras but with a fresh twist|
|Rating Categories||Epson SureColor P700||Epson Expression HD...||Canon PIXMA TR4520||Canon SELPHY CP1300||Canon IVY|
|Black and White (35%)|
|Print Capabilities (15%)|
|Operating Cost (10%)|
|Set up (5%)|
|Specs||Epson SureColor P700||Epson Expression HD...||Canon PIXMA TR4520||Canon SELPHY CP1300||Canon IVY|
|Resolution (dots per inch)||5760 x 1440||5760 x 1440||4800 x 1200||300 x 300||314 x 400|
|Max photo dimensions||13" x 129"||13" x 44"||8" x 10"||4" x 6"||2" x 3"|
|Cost per print (4" x 6" or mini print)||$0.37||$0.45||$0.58||$0.43||$0.50|
|Machine dimensions||20.2" x 14.4" x 7.3"||6.3" x 18.7" x 14.5"||7.5" x 17.2" x 11.7"||2.5" x 7.1" x 5.4"||0.7" x 3.2" x 4.7"|
|Printing technology||Inkjet (Piezo DOD)||Inkjet (Piezo DOD)||Inkjet (Theromal DOD)||Inkjet (Dye- sublimation)||In paper, thermal-activated dye|
|Print time per 4" x 6" (or mini print)||83 seconds||34 seconds||128 seconds||51 seconds||40 seconds|
|Color palette (ink cartridges)||Cyan, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, Yellow, Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Photo Black and Matte Black||Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Gray, Red||Black plus color cartridge||N/A||N/A|
|Battery||No||No||No||Yes (sold separately)||Yes|
|Memory cards supported||N/A||N/A||N/A||SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, miniSDHC, microSD microSDHC and microSDXC||N/A|
|Ink type||Pigment-based||Dye-based||Pigment (black) and dye-based (color)||Dye-based||N/A|
|Connectivity||Hi-Speed USB 3.0 (1 port), 100Base-T Ethernet (1 port), 2.4 GHz (802.11n) and 5 GHz Wireless (IEEE802.11 b/g/n/ac)6, Wi-Fi Direct 6, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Epson Print Layout for iOS||iPad, iPhone and Android tablets, Alexa and smartphones; Ethernet networking, andard Connectivity:
Hi-Speed USB, USB Host, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n5, Wi-Fi Direct 5, Ethernet 10/100
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n wireless networking, 2.4 GHz)
|Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN, 2.4 GHz, IEEE 802.11b/g)
Memory Card Slot
PictBridge (USB) & Wireless PictBridge (Wireless LAN)
Hi-Speed USB (Cable not included)
USB Flash Memory
|Operating system requirements||Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later; Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7 (32-bit,64-bit)||Windows 10 8/8.1/Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
Windows Vista (32-bit , 64-bit)
Mac OS X 10.6.8 — macOS 10.12.x6
|Windows:20 Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Mac:21
Mac OS X v10.10.5 - macOS v10.13 (High Sierra)
Mobile Operating Systems:22 iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and Fire OS (Amazon Fire) devices
|Windows:12 Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1
Mac:13 Mac OS X v10.10.x - macOS v10.12 (Sierra)
Mobile Operating Systems:14 iOS, Android™, Windows 10 Mobile, Amazon Fire devices15
|Scanner||No||No||Yes (bed and feed)||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Epson SureColor P700 is an elite home model that can legitimately claim to be of professional quality. At the same time, the Epson is easy to set up and operate while there are few limitations imposed on the user in terms of the print medium and the dimensions that they can use to actualize their vision. With performance characteristics such as these, one may expect a commensurate cost, and they would not be amiss in this expectation. This printer is one costly unit — though not out of proportion with what one receives in return for the expense.
Perhaps the most important evaluation in this review is the quality of the color prints. This is simply because most photographers want to print in color. To assess the quality of color renderings of the Epson SureColor P700, we use seven stock photos that highlight the variety of challenges in rendering faithful coloring in an image. While we will detail our assessment of the outcomes below, suffice it to say that the P700 nearly knocked our proverbial socks off. The color accuracy, resolution, and general quality are without parallel in the group.
Given such high praise, you may be wondering how we arrived at such an estimation. As we briefly mentioned above, we use a fixed set of images that allow us to make apples-to-apples comparisons across all the models in the test group. Specifically, testers are looking at two aspects of the print, resolution and overall impression.
Compared to the other top-tier photo printers, the P700 is just a bit flatter in terms of saturation and contrast. However, its dynamic range is, bar none, the best of the printers in the class. Moreover, this unit provides those inclined to tinker with more control over the level of saturation, contrast, and range than the competition, thus making for a unique print to the user.
Black and White Prints
The black and white analysis is as important as its color counterpart, though for different reasons. Before delving into the reasons why the above statement is true, let's first say that the tests in this evaluation are very similar to the color testing except, of course, that we use a set of stock grayscale images for comparison. Aside from that, the judgment again focuses on resolution and overall impression. While none of the printers we assessed blew our minds with the exceptional quality of their grayscale renderings, the Epson SureColor P700 certainly set the bar for the class.
Having established that the P700 is a leader in the black and white evaluation, let's wrap back around to the idea that grayscale is a critical aspect of a printer's overall quality, despite the format's relative lack of popularity. Grayscale images showcase the quality of a printer's tonal transitions and its border definition. Indeed, the simplicity of these two features makes them so hard to achieve. Moreover, the lack of color makes it hard to hide the printer's lack of technical precision. The P700 deserves special recognition for its impressive dynamic range and neutral color renderings.
As the name suggests, the capabilities analysis looks at the range of print dimension, print speed, paper capacity, number of ink cartridges, and diversity of print media that the model will accommodate. Unlike the oft-referenced jack of all trades, the Epson SureColor P700 is essentially a master of all the aspects of performance capacity. Admittedly, this is a busy metric that, in the case of the P700, necessarily involves lengthy lists of paper types and sizes, to name just a few of the avenues of inquiry. To save you some tears of boredom, we will stick to ranges instead of rattling off lists of paper dimensions, et cetera.
The most important component of this metric is print dimensions. This printer uses a paper roll that is 129" long and 13" wide. With few exceptions, it will print anything within those parameters. The P700 will also print flat paper in common sizes ranging from 3.5" x 5" up to 13" x 19". The photo paper tray will accommodate 30 sheets of standard photo paper, but the roll is better suited to bulk printing.
This machine is a veritable peacock for pallet options and print medium. Firstly, the P700 will print on just about everything short of your backside. Well, you can print temporary tattoos with this unit, but here we digressed. The printer will accommodate sheet media up to 1.5 mm thick of Epson Professional, Signature Worthy, Legacy papers, and third-party media. It will print double-sided matte (for brochures) and Fine Art Paper.
The only downside of this unit's capacity is that it is pretty slow to print — ~86 seconds per 4" x 6" color print. Yet, we think the cost in time is a small price to pay considering its drawing on a vast color palette supported by no less than ten ink cartridges.
Often overlooked when sizing up a potential printer purchase is the long-term cost of operating the machine. This cost is a pretty hard figure to produce, but that's where you're in luck. We did the heavy lifting to present you with a simple cost per 4" x 6" color print.
While the Epson SureColor P700 has a pretty hefty upfront cost, it is among the cheapest cost per print at $0.37. To put that in perspective, the average for the class is $0.56, and the price for that same photo at one national retail chain is $0.33. Not bad, right?
For those of you interested in the nuts and bolts of how we produced this figure, the crux of the matter is establishing how much ink it takes to cover 144 square inches or 1 square foot of paper. The answer is approximately 1 milliliter. Once we have that number, we simply divide the cost of the ink by the volume (in milliliters) of ink, factor in the cost of paper, and presto! Cost per print. This figure is a rough number, but our testing showed it to be on the conservative side and that the differences between the printers, if not the actual cost per print, are quite accurate.
The set-up metric addresses those unfortunate circumstances when you receive a much-awaited gadget and then, instead of enjoying it, you spend half of your weekend trying to get it to work. To remove the sting of such an experience, we have assessed photo printers from pulling them out of the box to printing the first picture so that you know what you're signing up for ahead of time. The good news is that the Epson SureColor P700 has about an average difficulty level for set-up.
If you are like this author, you may have read that last sentence and thought, how is that good news? A fair question. The average rating is good news because the P700 is being compared to mini printers that are essentially Polaroid printersfor cell phones and have no set-up aside from making a Bluetooth connection. The P700 got an average score speaks to the ease of this full-size, highly technical printer's set-up. You have to follow a multi-stepped process that requires one to download software. That said, if you follow the steps (we're talking to you fellas, just read the instructions), it's no problem.
Should You Buy the Epson SureColor P700?
This printer traverses every aspect of interest to both experienced and lay photographers. The question of value is often a personal one. However, we look at value as a cost to performance ratio. In this light, the P700 is neither a deal nor a rip-off. This unit's price pretty much matches its performance. However, if you don't need a professional-quality printer, then this printer likely has less value for you since its performance will be underappreciated.
What Other Photo Printers Should You Consider?
The Epson SureColor P700 is the best of the best but carries a price tag fitting of such a high-quality photo printer. If you are more of a casual photographer but still want to print full-sized pictures, the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is a capable, full-sized printer at a more approachable price point. If you're shopping on a tight budget, consider the mid-sized Canon PIXMA TR4520 as an alternative.
— Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer
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