Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

Epson SureColor T5270

29 Oct, 2015 By: Curt Moreno

First Look Review: Quick, capable printer supports a wide variety of media types and sizes.


Editor's note: This review is part of a Cadalyst Labs Report. Read "Color Wide-Format Printers for CAD" to learn how this model compares to the others included in the product roundup.

Epson's SureColor T5270 36" wide printer with optional Multifunction Scanner Module is a very capable, compact printer/scanner solution. While the model sent to us for review is a single-roll, 36" wide system, the T5270 is also available in dual-roll and 44" wide variants.

Getting Started

Installation. The SureColor T5270 software installed without any hiccups. Once downloaded, the interface is standard and required a minimal number of clicks to quickly find the printer on the network and connect.

Connectivity. I connected the Epson SureColor T5270 system to my office network for testing and review. This process was as simple as plugging in a CAT 5 Ethernet cable and plugging the other end into my wall port. The included Gigabit Ethernet port (1000 Base-T) is conveniently located on the right side of the machine and easy to reach. Also present is a USB 2.0 port for direct connection.

Media support. There is a wide variety of media available for the SureColor T5270, including the standard bond and coated paper types in widths from 10" to 36" wide. Of exceptional note is the capability to handle media ranging from 0.08-mm sheets to 1.5-mm rigid posterboard, which is well suited for presentation exhibits. The ability to print to posterboard sets the Epson SureColor T5270 system apart from most wide-format printers on the market, and I found testing, loading, and plotting to the posterboard to be effortless.

Epson SureColor T5270

Wide-Format Multifunction Printer

Grade: A

Pros: Large ink capacity, sturdy construction, multiple configuration options, easy to change paper rolls, optional scanner system can be added at any time.

Cons: No onboard print server included with base model; dated onboard controls.

Price: Single-roll version: $3,995; dual-roll version: $4,495; scanner option: $4,500. Price as tested: $8,495.

Epson
1-800-GO-EPSON
www.proimaging.epson.com

Performance

The Epson SureColor T5270 is a straightforward plotting system that is available in a variety of configurations, with optional modules also available. Specifications for the review unit are listed as:

  • Print speed of 25 seconds per D-sized sheet (color)
  • Print resolution as high as 2,880 x 1,440 DPI

In production I found that this plot rate seemed correct for the D-sized color print, and very quick for black-and-white line drawings. Plots are available in three modes (speed, production, and high quality), with all three producing plots in acceptable times. You might ask what that means exactly. Well, the printer performed as the company said it would and as I was working, the print times were acceptable and kept me working.

The SureColor T5270 produced graphic images and photos to a level that would be expected from high-quality photographic products. Images were sharp and clear, with only the slightest distinction of individual ink drops possible at very close inspection.

Ink Cartridge System

The T5270 uses a standard separation of ink cartridges and printhead arrangement. The system has five individual ink cartridges located in single bay below the control panel. The combination of cyan, magenta, yellow, matte black, and photo black inks flow to a single printhead. Cartridges are available in 110-ml, 350-ml, and massive 700-ml sizes.

Scan Quality

The optional multifunction scanner component of the SureColor T5270 system ($4,500) is an impressive addition. The scanner mounts onto a sturdy aluminum alloy frame that bolts directly on the SureColor T5270. The unit then connects to the printer via a USB connection on the right-hand side of the printer. The scanner itself features a 600-DPI resolution, handling media up to 1.3 mm thick with a standard straight-through operation discharging out the back of the scanner. Scans were fast and easy, with no problems loading prints. It generates JPG and PDF files.

Other Impressions

The Epson SureColor T5270 system with the Multifunction Scanner is a capable and quick plot system. Paper is easy to access, and the options in configuration are a plus in accommodating the specific needs of design clientele. The overall impression of the printer is that of good design, and its white color scheme is a refreshing change from the common black/gray palette of most other printers. The entire impression of the unit is one of quality construction. Its ability to plot to poster board could prove a deal-sealer for some.

Epson SureColor T5270

The T5270 printer has several options, including the optional Multifunction Scanner, an internal print server, and an Adobe Postscript 3 option. Such options offer flexibility in both configuration and price, but could also prove to be a stumbling block for those unsure of their needs. Be sure to consult your vendor about which options will best meet your needs.

The T5270's control panel comprises a set of physical buttons and a full-color LCD screen with an icon-based interface. While usable, the arrangement seems out of date in today's world of ever larger, touch-enabled user interfaces. The impression is exacerbated by the presence of a large "Error Status Lamp" above the control panel. While the small LCD panel offers error code information, the large lamp is an old design. According to Epson, the large size of the lamp enables users in industrial-level print environments and office settings with multiple printers to recognize a printer error from across a large room.

The SureColor T5270 is sold with Epson's standard limited warranty, including one year on-site service and phone support. Epson also offers Extended Preferred Plans that extend the standard warranty up to three years.

Wrap Up

The Epson SureColor T5270 MFP with Multifunction Scanner is a fast, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing printer system that is surely up to the challenge of the average design office. Those wishing to find a plot system specifically suited to their needs will appreciate the system's width and roll support variants, as well as the optional expansions.


About the Author: Curt Moreno


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