Epson C1900 review

Price when reviewed

Epson’s C1900 is an updated version of the C900, which won our Best Value award in issue 109. Similarly priced, but with a 300MHz processor and 32MB of RAM, the C1900 is a four-pass printer including a 10/100 Ethernet adaptor for less than £400.

Epson C1900 review

Wireless networking can be added for £229, as can a duplex unit for £252. Using PC133 SDRAM, you can upgrade to the maximum of 1GB cheaply.

Our 50-page mono document printed at a decent 16.1ppm, while our colour document printed over four-passes at a rate of 4ppm, as did the 12-page Excel workbook. Our Word DTP document printed at 6.5ppm, thanks to the driver automatically detecting mono pages and printing them in a single pass.

Considering the price of the C1900, we were surprised at its uncompromising quality. The colour montage was the best on display, with neither half-toning nor banding, while colour reproduction was accurate – particularly on skin tones. Our Excel spreadsheet was also good – sharp text and exceptionally good dithering makes the C1900 ideal for producing presentation handouts.

But it’s one of the more expensive units to run, with 9.7p per colour page being down to the inefficient four-pass engine. The cost per mono page is a more affordable 1.2p. If you expect to print hundreds of colour pages per week, the low purchase price is of no benefit. However, the network software is excellent, and those who need great quality prints won’t be disappointed.

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