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Epson Expands UltraChrome Offerings

9600, 7600 get faster print speeds, new inks By Dave Nagel
Epson today introduced two new printers that use the company's new UltraChrome inks. The new wide-format models, the Stylus Pro 9600 and Stylus Pro 7600, replace the Stylus Pro 9500-, 9000-, 7500- and 7000-series printers. The 7600 prints images as wide as 24 inches, while the 9600 prints images up to 44 inches wide.

Epson says the new models are their most advance wide-format printers to date. Both printers use Epson's UltraChrome ink, a new archival system that uses seven individual colors designed for output on a variety of media in color and black and white. Epson says the inks also produce a wider color gamut than previous incarnations of archival inks. UltraChrome inks are the latest generation of Epson's Archival Inks, which are pigment-based rather than dye-based, and build upon technologies used in the Archival and DuraBright inks. The inks have a lightfastness of 100 years (black and white) on fine art papers and 80 years on Epson's Watercolor paper.

The black inks in these systems are interchangeable. Currently there are three black options--standard photo black, matte black and dual matte black. (Dual matte black uses two black matte cartridges.)

At the time of purchase, customers have the option of configuring their 7600 or 9600 for use with six-color Photographic Dye rather than the new seven-color UltraChrome ink. (The Photographic Dyes have a slightly wider gamut, with a D-Max rating of 3.0.)

The Stylus Pro 7600 and 9600 print at 2,880 x 1,440 DPI resolution and use variable droplets up to three different sizes per line and as small as 4 picoliters. he models also offer BorderFree printing for full-bleed prints on all four sides of the paper (depending on media type). A built-in cutter is included.

Epson says the 7600 and 9600 print about 2.5 times faster than their predecessors, with speeds varying from 8 square feet per hour to a maximum of 192 square feet per hour. Images can be printed on virtually any media type (up to 1.5 mm thick) as wide as 24 inches on the Stylus Pro 7600 and up to 44 inches wide on the Stylus Pro 9600.

Both printers use a new Epson photographic driver for Macintosh and Windows, allowing for density control even when the driver color management feature is turned off. This standard driver also gives users the ability to set up a Macintosh or PC as a dedicated network spooler. Interfaces includes USB (compatible with 1.1 and 2.0), FireWire, ECP Parallel and Epson Type-B expansion slot standard, with optional cards available for 10/100 BaseT Ethernet networks.

An optional Fiery Spark Professional 2.0 PostScript 3 Software RIP with Pantone color matching from EFI is also available for the Stylus Pro 7600 and Stylus Pro 9600.

The Stylus Pro 7600 and Stylus Pro 9600 will be available in June for $2,995 and $4,995, respectively. The optional Fiery Spark Professional 2.0 Software RIP will sell for $1,995. For more information, visit>.

Contact the author:
Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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