Most of us want bigger prints, but inkjet models with 24- and 44-inch
carriages force you to choose between them and your washer/dryer. These 17-
and 18-inch printers are big enough.
Using a new, third black ink dubbed light light black, this model makes even better prints than its predecessor, the much-praised Stylus Pro 4000. It's more or less the 17-inch version of the 13x19 Stylus Photo R2400 (see page 94), and shares that model's UltraChrome K3 inkset. The light light black reduces metamerism and improves gradation in lighter areas, and like the other eight K3 inks (CMY, photo cyan and photo magenta, plus swappable photo and matte black) features what Epson calls Micro-crystal Encapsulation. This chemical technology completely tames the uneven surface sheen that has always plagued pigment prints. The new model's improved maximum density is most apparent in glossy prints, but we saw a difference even on matte paper. With ample help from the SP4800's black-and-white driver, in fact, we made some of the richest, most consistent monochrome prints we've ever gotten from an inkjet printer. About $1,800.