Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

Epson Updates, Expands Selection of Large-Format Color Printers and Scanners

16 Jul, 2014 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin

New offerings in the SureColor T-Series range from 24" to 44" wide, and from less than $3,000 to more than $11,000.

Earlier this week, Epson America introduced a second generation of its SureColor T-Series, a family of large-format color printers designed for professional applications in fields including architecture, engineering, education, and retail. According to Timothy Check, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, the new printers are well suited to producing CAD drawings, as well as geographic information system (GIS) maps, indoor signage, and general-purpose print jobs.

Check explained that the first generation of the SureColor T-Series was designed from the ground up for small and medium-sized architectural and design firms; the new generation, in contrast, focuses on refinements rather than an all-new design, and expands the number of models from three to five. “We’ve added and expanded a lot of new options and configurations,” said Check, including double-roll models and an optional scanner.

More Models, New Capabilities

The Epson SureColor T-Series comprises five models. The three single-roll machines incorporate a horizontal catch basket that holds about 20 prints, while the two dual-roll versions feature a high-capacity catch basket that holds approximately five times that many sheets.

All but the smallest model can accommodate an optional multifunction printer (MFP) module ($4,500) that enables users to scan and copy in full color, without the need for a computer, and does not enlarge the printer’s footprint. MFP-equipped machines can also e-mail each other, so users can scan documents in one location, then print them in another.

The MFP module incorporates a 36" full-color scanner with 600 dpi optical resolution, a stand attachment, and a 320-GB internal print server. The scanner uses Epson's REALOID image processing engine to produce color D-size copies in less than 40 seconds, and to provide color scan speeds of as much as 6.0 inches per second. It can accommodate materials as thick as 1.3 mm.

The second-generation Epson SureColor T-Series comprises five models, three of which are pictured here: the T3270, T5270D, and T7270D (left to right). Image courtesy of Epson; click to enlarge.

Customers can buy a printer first, noted Check, then add the MFP module at a later date: “It’s an upgradeable feature, [so the capabilities] can really grow with the business.”

The single-roll options include:

  • T3270 (24"; $2,995)
  • T5270 (36"; $3,995 or $8,495 w/module)
  • T7270 (44"; $4,995 or $9,495 w/module)

The two double-roll members of the family are:

  • T5270D (36"; $5,995 or $10,495 w/module)
  • T7270D (44"; $6,995 or $11,495 w/module)

The double-roll models can be used for two different paper types or widths, which saves time for customers who need to switch between the two, Check explained. Alternatively, they can hold two rolls of the same media, and automatically switch to the second when the first is exhausted. Both rolls are auto-loading once the user feeds in the first half-inch of paper, said Check; “there’s really very little the end user needs to do.”

All five models use Epson UltraChrome XD pigment ink — the same as that used in the first generation, which simplifies supply management for customers who own multiple models, said Check. This ink creates prints that are smudge-, fade-, and water-resistant, he said. “[In conditions including] snow, rain, sleet, hail, California sun … you’re going to have durable output.” According to Epson, “the SureColor T-Series printers are designed to be used exclusively with these specially formulated inks, and not with other brands of cartridges or inks.”

The printers use cyan, magenta, yellow, photo black, and matte black inks, which are available in 110-mL, 350-mL, and 700-mL cartridges. According to Check, although it’s a four-color system, the printhead produces such small droplets of ink that it can create transitions and tonal gradients as smooth as those typically found in six-color printers. “This is the most precise instrument to put dots on paper,” he said.

Check noted that adding color to a technical document “makes it a lot easier [for the viewer] to know what’s important.” Although the CAD market has seen a slight decline in the total number of pages printed in recent years, he said, the number of pages printed in color is increasing.

The SureColor T-Series models also feature:

  • a 2.7" full-color LCD control panel, which is larger than in the previous generation
  • print resolutions as high as 2880 x 1440 dpi
  • Epson PrecisionCore Thin Film Piezo (TFP) printhead, which is designed to last for the life of the printer and produces line widths as thin as 0.018 mm
  • production of presentation-quality D-size prints in as little as 25 seconds
  • support for printing on media as thick as 1.5 mm
  • optional internal print server ($399.95); enables print queue management and print job save and reprint functionality
  • optional Adobe Postscript 3 hardware engine and internal print server hardware ($1,199.95); enables direct and batch printing and support for secure PDF printing.

The second generation of the Epson SureColor T-Series will begin shipping in September 2014.

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