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266 of 269 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swiss Army Knife Family Printer
I've had Epson printers for about 10 years. They can provide years of brilliant photo quality prints, but can also be painfully frustrating. Time will tell how this new printer fits on that continuum.
This thing is huge. It takes up almost twice as much real estate as my Brother 2270 laser. The duplexer hanging off the back adds about 4 inches to the depth.
It...
Published on September 23, 2011 by Amazon Customer

versus
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I loved it until latest firmware update made it worthless for me.
I started off by loving this printer. It prints fast and the colors look good on high quality paper.

... Then I let Epson "Upgrade" the firmware ...

Now I constantly get "Cannot recognize the following cartridge(s). Try installing them again.". Everytime I get this error the page that is printing gets ejected and the next page gets the second half...
Published on April 27, 2012 by JNKing


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266 of 269 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swiss Army Knife Family Printer, September 23, 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "Skeptic" (Harrisonburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've had Epson printers for about 10 years. They can provide years of brilliant photo quality prints, but can also be painfully frustrating. Time will tell how this new printer fits on that continuum.
This thing is huge. It takes up almost twice as much real estate as my Brother 2270 laser. The duplexer hanging off the back adds about 4 inches to the depth.
It has lots of surprising bells and whistles. Whether you need all that is up to you. More on that later.

The wireless setup was the best I've seen. Turn it on, it detects the network. Enter your SSID right on the panel, and your done. After that, setup on both XP and W7 machines went without a hitch.
The color printing by Epson is excellent. It makes Dye Sub printers just about obsolete. These'Claria' inks are dye based, but are supposed to have great UV resistance. I'll leave a photo in the Sun and let you know in 20 years.
Initial tests on photo printing are astounding. I use Kirkland Glossy Photo paper, best photo print mode, high-speed turned off. I compared it with a print (same photo) from Winkflash on Fuji paper. It was as sharp, or sharper. The blacks are blacker with more pop. It could use a little more saturation in the yellow and magenta. But without any tweaking, the profile is pretty much dead on.

I haven't said anything bad yet. What's not to like?

The only negative specific to this printer so far is the paper tray. It seems flimsy and complex. There appears to be no way to manually feed paper, so card stock probably won't work. Also, if you want to run a couple of sheets of full size photo paper, you have to replace all the paper. Or, put in 1 more sheet than you need on top of your regular stock. Otherwise it will snag on the last one and double feed, with disastrous results.

My general beef with Epson is their notorious ink costs. Epson has spent a lot of time and money in courts trying to make sure you can only buy their ink cartridges, with limited success. Instead of selling at competitive prices, they would rather sue. To me that's like Ford saying you can only buy Ford gasoline.
If you do a lot of printing, you can spend a lot on ink. However, I've found inksupply.com to be a great source to ease that pain.
If you don't use the colors regularly, the head can clog. They don't make cleaning the print head easy for you. They could make it pop out for easy cleaning and replacement, if they wanted to. A basic head cleaning cycle wastes a lot of ink and doesn't always work. That's when you start looking for the 2 lb sledge. I'm hoping these dye based inks are less likely to clog due to their smaller particle size.

Now for all those features. They really designed this printer as 'family-friendly'. They don't seem to be marketing it that way, though.

Duplex: Pretty handy if you do a lot of plain text printing. It is cool the way it prints the top side, then slurps the page back in to do the other side.
Scanner: The scanner is very accurate, and I've always liked the EpsonScan software. It's powerful, yet simple. You can mess with the settings, or just pop it in and do a quick scan to your desktop.
Copier: Really impressive copies. I couldn't distinguish between a print and a copy of the print. Try copying something with colored tape or similar on the original. You'll think you can peel the tape off the copy!
SD card slot: Print without the computer. I would never want to do that, but you can.
Print from your smart phone: There's an app for that. Reviews on the Android app are mixed so far. I haven't tried it yet, but it will useful, I'm sure.
Now for the family stuff:
CD printing: That could come in handy if your distributing wedding photos or something. You can also print a jewel case for your bootleg REM CD.
Coloring Book: Strange thing to build into a printer, instead of the software. You can only do it from an SD card or the scanner. But it will be fun for the kiddies.
Lines and Graphs: Make your own notebook paper and graph paper. Why no built in 3 hole punch?
Greeting card: Again, it seems this would be a software feature, but it's firmware on the printer.
I'm sure there's more features too numerous to tell.
I can't give it 5 stars yet until we see how it fares over time. But the engineering and design seem solid (if a little weird as noted). This printer does a lot, and it does it extremely well.

I will post some photos, and if I can find a way to make this review even longer, I will at a later date.

Edit 10/22/11: I've done a couple more full size photo prints. I'm almost out of 2 colors. But ohhh the sweet reproduction of color. I did a collage of some old photos using the copier function. One photo has a red ink mark. Another has a pushpin hole. For a second I thought the copy had a hole in it! The red ink mark looks like someone just swiped a pen across it. Also, I did borderless 8.5 x 11 and there was no smearing at the edges. Amazing reproduction. I was also pleased at the speed increase over the old EpsonScan software. Everything worked flawlessly.
Gotta go buy some ink...
EDIT 4/10/12: Apparently Epson did a firmware update that totally prevents you from using 3rd party ink cartridges. The error message says: "Cartridge not Recognized". It's hard to imagine that that's legal. It's also just rude. So although Epson says they recommend using only their own ink, what they really mean is the printer will only work with their own ink now.
I'll be looking for a Canon before Epson gets any more of my money. I can't believe their arrogance.
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129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome upgrade from HP - Apple IOS users READ THIS!!, September 11, 2011
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
TRUE AIRPRINT COMPATIBILITY:

Bought this printer today. So far so GREAT! Opened the box to find a yellow sheet titled: "Attention AirPrint Users". It then explains that to enable AirPrint capability install the latest firmware available from Epson's website. My first though was "WOW", I thought only HP printers had this capability. So OK, I'll bite. I installed the printer on MAC OSX Lion without any problems at all. Flawless. So then the firmware upgrade. This part always makes me a little nervous but the Epson step-by-step instructions were very clear. Firmware upgrade take about 10-15 minutes and remember DON'T turn it off or unplug it during this process. Once the firmware was upgraded I went to an email on my iPhone, clicked the AirPrint button, then Print, and EPSON Airtisan 730 shows up, along with a selector for the number of copies, and single/double sided (on/off). I hit Print and sure enough out comes my complete email. I then check Safari and iBooks and yes, it will print from those natively as well. No EPSON or third party app required. So, you ask what's the big deal? Well the deal is that nowhere on the Epson website or on the box does it mention printing compatibility with AirPrint. I even went to Apple's official list of AirPrint printers and it's not yet listed there either, just HP.

Artisan 725 VS 730
I had been looking at the Artisan 725 and couldn't find much product information on the differences on this newer model. Here's what I've come up with so far:
1. Very slightly high print speeds, but not enough for anyone to notice.
2. Difference in droplet size. Fixed size on the 725, 5 sizes on the 730.
3. Front panel. 725 has a bit of a clunky button arrangement to hold/release the front panel up at an angle. The 730 does away with that and replaces it with a nice, smooth friction-type design.
4. Appearance. 725 is all black. 730 has some dark blue accents around the top.

Printing
I've printed a few pages and a few photos. So far, faster than my old HP C6380 and better quality.

Scanning
Nice, high resolution at much higher speeds than my old HP as well.

I'll update this review as I get more time on this printer. But until then it gets two thumbs up.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Photos, Easy Set-Up, October 1, 2011
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Advisory: I did not test every feature of this printer. I will update review when I have tested printing from an SD card and a USB drive. I do not have Smart Phone so will not be testing Airprint feature. Not sure if I will be testing the CD printing feature.

Pros:

*Set-up was a piece of cake. I had to use the printer's interface to set up the wireless as I did not have the right size USB cable, but printer found my network without a problem. I have a Netgear router & Dell Inspiron Laptop running Vista.) Entering the password was somewhat like texting on my mobile phone but I had no issues. I was printing within 30 minutes after I began opening the box.
*Black text printing looks good. Very fast.
*Scanner worked fine; no problem.
*Photos were astounding!!! Printer uses 6 ink cartridges which probably accounts for the vivid colors. I printed 3 photos right after set-up using glossy photo paper. One photo was from a low-resolution file. All came out great.
*Paper tray holds both regular paper & photo paper. You don't have to change the paper out.

Cons:

*Depending on your needs, this printer might be a bit bulky. It weighs more than 20 lbs. so will not fit where my other printer was. However, it is geared for light commercial usage such as a home business so bulk/wgt. is probably appropriate for that class.
*Will not print at all if any one of the ink cartridges is empty. This, for me, is one of the serious drawbacks to Epson printers. My other Epson is the same way & it's really inconvenient as I do a lot more text printing than color printing.
*Unless you need high-quality color prints or other color materials like brochures, six ink cartridges is hard on the budget. But, if money is not a concern and you want to be able to print your photos when you want, then this printer is top-drawer.
*Paper tray is light-weight plastic that feels flimsy. You have to be very careful when pulling it out or in.
*No fax capability. Not a problem for me but might be for some.

I will update this review when I have had the printer a few more months and have tested the SD & USB features.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I loved it until latest firmware update made it worthless for me., April 27, 2012
By 
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
I started off by loving this printer. It prints fast and the colors look good on high quality paper.

... Then I let Epson "Upgrade" the firmware ...

Now I constantly get "Cannot recognize the following cartridge(s). Try installing them again.". Everytime I get this error the page that is printing gets ejected and the next page gets the second half of the picture printed at the top of the page wasting two sheets.

I am using a CISS system and can't imagine using an inkjet printer without one. It turns out the only reason for the firmware update is to disable CISS systems and prevent anyone from using competitors ink cartridges.

I contacted Epson and got this reply back. "Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your Epson Artisan 730. It is my pleasure to respond to your inquiry. However, there is no option to put the printer back to it's original firmware."

Now I have to decide between Canon and HP. Can anyone recommend a good Canon and matching CISS?
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Printer I've Ever Owned, October 20, 2011
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love Epson products, and have owned Epson printers for many years. My last Epson printer worked for me for at least five years, but lately began to have color and streaking issues, so I was in need of a replacement. I'm so glad I did replace it because the Epson Artisan 730 is literally the best printer I've ever owned!

First, the setup. It was really very easy. I took the Epson Artisan 730 out of the box, installed it's software on my computer, then plugged the printer in. Because of the printer's Wi-Fi capabilities, it recognized my home network right away. The handy color touch screen lifts up to allow you to see it more easily, and seems very responsive. Using the touch screen, I entered in the password for my home network, and the printer was connected! I sent a test print from my computer to the printer, and it not only printed right away, it was freaking fast!

One of the features I was most excited about trying out was the Epson Artisan 730's ability to use Apple's AirPrint technology. We have a two-story house, and the printer is on the second floor. So, for my next test, I went downstairs to another part of the house and pulled out my iPhone. One review I read here said that they needed to upgrade the firmware for the printer in order to use Apple's AirPrint technology, but that problem must have already been solved in later models, because without any firmware upgrade, my iPhone recognized the Epson Artisan 730 right away. I pulled up an email on my iPhone, pushed the print button, selected Epson Artisan 730 and pushed print. By the time I made my way upstairs to where the printer was, the email was printed. I tried the same thing with a photo. I had no problems whatsoever. Plus, the printer knew I was printing a photo, so therefore automatically chose photo paper! I even tried walking out to the very back corner of my back yard, taking a picture of a flower with my iPhone, and printing it. Again, by the time I reached the printer, I had a gorgeous print! The Wi-Fi technology is one of my favorite aspects of this printer!

In the time we've had it, we've printed all kinds of things from 8x10 color photos to simple black and white copies to printable CDs. The printer is fast, and the quality is excellent. Photos are amazing, and you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between an Epson print and a print from a photo developer. Dot pattern is practically non existent. Everyone I showed my photo prints to was amazed.

As far as ink usage goes, after about a month of slightly above normal usage, I got a message on my computer that some of my inks were running low. So, it does seem like this printer uses ink quickly. It could become expensive if I have to replace inks every month. But like I said, we've been using it more than normal this month so, hopefully, with normal usage, the ink won't run out so fast.

Bottom line is: as I said previously, the Epson Artisan 730 is the best ink jet printer I've owned to date, and I would have no problem recommending it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! It's a home run (so far)!, November 19, 2011
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
After screwing around with HP inkjet printers (bad feed and inability to print Quark or InDesign layouts) AND HP LASERJET PRINTERS (bad manual feed) and
Canon inkjet printers (6 MINUTES per print), I'm back to EPSON with the Artisan 730.

This printer is FAST and accurate. Works with INDESIGN LAYOUTS. (I DROPPED QUARKXPRESS due to their inability to provide working software).
Images and even very fine type on EPSON Inkjet "presentation matte" and Ultra Premium Glossy papers look just like the screen display without any calibration/adjustment!

Setup is extremely fast and easy. (I used wi-fi, although the whole place is wired for ethernet.)
And this printer does everything (EXCEPT faxing)!!

I Hope EPSON doesn't drop support for this printer in future Mac OS's like they did with my first two EPSON inkjet printers, which I had to trash because of Mac OS X upgrades and which caused me to abandon EPSON for many years.
I didn't purchase it from Amazon (which I normally would have), but Epson gave me an extra special discount because of my having to trash two previous "older" printers. I'm posting my review here because EPSON REJECTED this review on their website due to my above comment about their policy of dropping support on older printers. Sad but true.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent printer; good value, September 23, 2011
By 
Elliot Knapp (Seattle, Washington United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Maybe it's because the last time I purchased a printer was 2003, but the print quality, features and price of this product seem to me to be a winning combination. I've recently gotten deeper into digital photography, so having a printer that can actually print my high resolution photos at the quality level of a professional developer is a great convenience. The print speed for photographs is reasonable taking into account the quality, and the first few 4x6's I've printed leave me with no complaints whatsoever. Additionally, standard printing is extremely swift and of high quality.

I'm also using this printer for its scanning capabilities, which are also formidable--though a complete scan takes upwards of a minute, the resulting image quality is superb and using Epson's software allows you to custom tailor the image to your needs. And did I mention one of the best things about this printer? The wireless feature makes connecting so much easier--in a home like mine where multiple users access the same printer, there's no more crawling under the desk to switch the USB cable; the wireless interface is easy to set up (providing you know your network name and password) and, at least on my Apple, setup and connection to the computer occurred instantaneously. When using the scanner, you can either access it remotely from the computer or complete the scan easily using the printer's interface, which also allows you to choose the destination computer for the file (or you can even plug in a memory card and upload to that).

In response to a few questions I've seen here, the printer does come with ink cartridges (there are 6 separate ones) as well as a couple 4x6 sheets of Epson photo paper, and a coupon for a deal on more. After seeing the photo quality, I already ordered more! Setup for the unit took less than an hour (including the printer's initialization, priming and software installation) and I'm printing away. I'll comment more later on how long the ink lasts and the unit's durability, but for now I'm really impressed with the product quality, especially considering its price.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Lamborghini: Fast! High Performance! Exciting! Tempermental! Fuel Hog!, October 16, 2011
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our household has 3 printers. A little weird, but bear with me.

The first is a budget priced black and white laser printer. That's for most everyday uses, such as printouts for work, and printing articles, recipes, all the prosaic stuff. It. Prints. Cheap. Good clear text and adequate photo reproduction.

Second to arrive, replacing a retired Canon inkjet, was a Kodak ESP 2170 All-in-One Printer (with Fax), which was a real bump up in print quality AND ink economy from the Canon. Not hugely exciting, but it joined our motley computer and peripherals network without a hitch.

But lately, the Kodak has been languishing unused, as I'm out and about with this virtual Lamborghini: a shiny Epson Artisan 730 All-In-One. Like the Kodak, it's touted for it's wireless features. Street price is also similar to the Kodak, but it's apples-to-oranges: the upgrade from this model to to the Epson Artisan 837 Color Inkjet Wireless All-In-One with Fax (C11CB20201) (which has fax capability) will also double your price.

Although the 730 is full-featured, the main draw for me is that "Rated #1 in photo quality" (in class and price range) claim. And yes, the pictures amaze me. An outdoor portrait on standard glossy photo paper came out with a little more detail and "pop" than on the same paper from the Kodak, although this is better observed close up.

I've uploaded with this review scans and closeups of two prints from the Epson and our Kodak of a panoramic digital shot with children and wall art. The only real difference I can note without getting my nose literally up to the paper is that the Kodak print is a bit lighter/brighter and the tiniest bit more "Technicolor", but the cropped and enlarged closeup of the left shoe of the child on the right, clearly shows how much more detail the Epson preserves.

As sexy as it is, though, print quality isn't the only consideration for most households in this economy. I've been reading reviews and ink consumption data for other printers in the Epson Artisan line, as the 730 is too new for searches to yield much beyond the press releases. Until reviews trickle in, best estimate based on earlier Epson Artisan models is that users can expect to pay 20-30 cents for a 4X6 print. That's a lot, if you're used to printing at Costco or with a drugstore/department store coupon. Comparable if you take your pics to a high quality lab...ah, but then there's also the cost of inkjet photo paper, easily doubling the cost of that picture. Drat.

This is where Kodak has the edge, and the consumer has a decision to make. Do you accept whatever deficiencies of your local photo lab and seek the best per-print price, look for the best value in ink among your printer choices, or demand the best quality prints without regard to the price of ink?

For the photo lab, I'd say that both the Kodak and Epson have spoiled me, as I can indeed get better color correction at home, with my printers, than I'm seeing with the same lab-developed prints. As with most printers I've known, I'm not overly impressed by Epson's built-in photo-editing features - they are good, but my ancient version of Photoshop Elements can do more.

But in the end, I know I'll be using my Kodak more, at least for higher resolution images not requiring a great deal of enlargement or cropping.

The other reason I give a practical edge to the Kodak: the Lamborghini - I mean Epson - is temperamental. It doesn't seem to want to work and play well with other peripherals in our house, such as an older HP ScatJet 8250. It also won't do a "push" from the scanner using the printer control panel itself to my computer wirelessly - if I want to scan to a file on my desktop, I either have to do it with the scanner hooked up to the USB, or initiate *from* the desktop. From the Gadgeteer review website: "this is a feature that Epson is working on changing in future Artisan models for added convenience." And that's from 2 years ago with an earlier model in this line, so I won't be holding my breath.

Finally, the Epson seems a big fragile compared to other leading desktops. Paper loading is cumbersome and involves removing and unloading a tray - AFTER folding up an extendable paper output tray that itself seems somewhat fragile.

These issues are a concern, which - along with "fuel" consumption/price - is my reason for withholding 1 star. But the other four stars are well deserved for Epson's continuing to raise the quality bar. With Kodak taking point on high-performance ink price competitiveness, it seems like the era of affordable lab-quality home photofinishing is finally arrived. (Now just wait for the next generation of home and small office printers to make me eat these words...!)

Bottom line: I'll use the Epson 730 on a regular basis for those real "keeper" photos and restoration of old pics - but not as my primary machine for more everyday printing.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Short printer life!, May 11, 2012
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
I cannot imagine Epson getting any repeat customers after this atrocity of a printer! The problems: (1) If one ink cartridge needs replacing, the whole printer shuts down - you cannot use the scanner; (2) I'd estimate a cartridge's life to be about 50 prints; and (3) The biggest "surprise" of all, after a littler over 500 total prints, the internal counters are set to give you an "Inkpad" error message, recommending you to purchase a new printer since the pads are expensive to replace. Your purchase dollars do not go far with this printer. Avoid!
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disposable Printer - Buyer Beware, March 29, 2012
By 
J. Oreste (Ridgecrest, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201) (Office Product)
I purchased an Epson Artisan printer almost 3 years ago and three week ago I received an error message that the ink pads were nearing their end of life.
Epson offers a Inkpad Reset Utility on their website that will reset the counter, but the error message returned within a week, after another reset three days later and then another reset the end of life message will not go away. Epson Support states that the inkpads are not a user replaceable item, I can send the printer in for service or they will offer me a discount through their loyalty program. This is a disposable printer.

The inkpads are easy to get to and should be replaceable. A very poor engineering/design decision by Epson.
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