Review: Epson Artisan 810 All-in-One Printer
October 16, 2009
We highly recommend the Artisan 810, not only for its Wi-Fi capability, but also because of its superb print quality and performance.
Pros: Wi-Fi capability; print from iPhone; sleek design; easy to set up and use; fast print speed; great print quality; automatic duplex printing; color fax; two-year warranty
Cons: Bulky design; price
The Epson Artisan 810 ($299.99 MSRP) is a multifunction device (MFD) that packs a great deal of functionality into one. It prints, scans, faxes, copies, and even charges a cell phone or MP3 player. It features built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet, a 7.8-inch LCD smart touch panel, and image enhancement tools. It supports printing and scanning over a wireless network and Apples iPhone, and lets users share the printer among multiple computers.
We liked its the Artisan 810s chic, black, and grainy texture design, which is is similar to the Epson Stylus NX515 (reviewed here). However, at 18.3" wide, 18" deep, 7.8" high, and weighing 24.9 pounds, this MFD is a bit bulkier than the previous Artisan generation we reviewed. Unlike other Epson printers weve reviewed in the past, the output tray of the 810 is sturdier and were confident that it will hold up to long-term use.
MFD set up
Setting up the 810 was a snap, taking us about 15 minutes from the time we unpacked the printer. After installing the print cartridges, we followed the Epson Setup Wizard from the printers control panel to establish a connection to our Wi-Fi network. Then we installed the printer drivers from the installation CD to our laptop and we were ready to go.
The Artisan 810 has a large 7.8" front touch panel with a 3.5" color LCD for previewing, selecting, copying, and printing without using a computer. The panel only lights up the buttons needed to do the desired task and the menu is easy to navigate. For photo printing, you can enlarge, rotate, crop, or restore any images you want right from the panel itself.
Epson boasts that this printer delivers print speeds much faster than the competition. We found that it truly delivered as promised, printing black and color text up to 38 pages per minute and 4" x 6" photos in as fast as ten seconds, slightly faster than the 800. It produced outstanding, crisp, quality photos and documents at speeds comparable to our laser printer. The 810 contains two auto-selecting paper trays, one which can be expanded to hold legal size paper, and has a separate tray for smaller sized or photo printing paper. Up to 30 sheets of letter-sized can be loaded into the Automatic Document Feeder. Another nice feature of the 810 is that can automatically do two-sided printing with its built-in duplexer.
The touch panel display allows users to print photos directly from one of the printers high-speed multipurpose card slots for xD, SD, SDHC, MemoryStick, MultiMediaCard 6, and CompactFlash, or a PictBridge compatible USB port. It contains built-in Auto Photo Correction, Face Detection, Red Eye Removal, and Backlight Correction, Color Restoration, and standalone BorderFree photo printing in 4"x6", 5"x7," 8"x10," letter, and 16:9 wide sizes. Users can also view and print still frames from video taken with a digital camera.
This printer holds six cartridges of Epson's Color Ultra Hi-Definition Claria Ink (black, cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan, light magenta), which Epson claims delivers exceptionally smooth gradations, accurate skin tones, and sharp, grain-free photos that are smudge, scratch, water, and fade resistant. No disputing this claim. It delivered vivid color photos and excellent black-and-white documents during our testing phase. The only downside is that with six cartridges, its more ink to buy. However, when the black ink is low, the 810 combines the other color inks to produce black, extending its shelf life. Each standard capacity color cartridge sells at an affordable price: $15.99 and $17.99 for black ink.
The 810 features 4800 dpi resolution and 48-bit color scanning of images and documents. Like the 800 and the NX515, the 810 supports the "pull scanning" method over a wireless network using the Epson Scan application that was loaded on the computer during the initial software installation. In addition, the 810, like the NX515, can also push scan over a wireless network (or USB connection) to scan an image to a computer, a memory card, an e-mail, or into PDF format. It also offers standalone, one-touch color, and black-and-white copying, with the ability to instantly reduce and enlarge copies from 25 to 400 percent. The quality of our scans was excellent and it scanned our documents, both black-and-white and color, pretty quickly.
The Artisan 810 sends and receives high-speed color and black-and-white faxes, including photos at 33.6 Kbps. Faxes are sent by entering the number or selecting an entry from a speed dial list that stores up to 60 numbers and receives up to 180 pages in memory. By using the Automatic Document Feeder, a user can fax up to 30 pages at once. With the included PC Fax software, users can send a fax right from the computer. Our home office does not have a landline, so we tested it using our VoIP line with no problems.
The 810 has built-in 802.11b/g, and is compatible with 802.11n. Users can also connect a standard Ethernet cable for wired networking. Setting the 810 up for Wi-Fi was easy, just enter your network name and security password, and then follow the software wizard installation. While testing its Wi-Fi capability, we printed and scanned with no problems from within our home office, and from even our back porch. The 810 printed just as fast over a wireless connection as it did with the wired connection. The 810 can also print from the Apple iPhone or iPod touch, using the Print & Share application from the Apple App store. Again, we experienced no problems during the testing phase. Just another nifty feature of the 810 to mention, it can also charge devices, such as a cell phone or MP3 player, via the front USB port.
We love MFD devices with Wi-Fi capability because they decrease clutter around the office. Since the Artisan 810 is a USB device charger, this also means fewer chargers hogging outlets and desk space. We highly recommend the 810, not only for its Wi-Fi capability, but also because of its superb print quality and performance. The 810 is not cheap, but at the time of this writing, Epson was offering a $50 rebate to bring the price tag down to a more tolerable $249.99. Ordered direct from Epson, it ships for free and comes equipped with a two-year warranty and free lifetime customer phone support, as well. We think its a great buy and perfect for the SOHO crowd or for students.
Daniel Casciato is a full-time freelance writer from Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to writing for Wi-FiPlanet, he writes health, legal, real estate, and technology-related articles for trade and consumer magazines and has his own copywriting business.