This machine is not quick! It's the kind of thing you leave for a few hours while it gets on with its work and you are free to get on with your own. Aware of this, Epson have built reliability into it, using a variety of strategies to ensure that it can keep going when left overnight, and, if the worst comes to the worst, won't destroy itself by continually trying to fill a space that has not been vacated by the previous disk.
|Diskproducer at work|
The actual speed of operation is a bit variable. Like all inkjet printers, the printer element goes quite quick if you're printing a couple of words in black ink, and a great deal slower if you are covering the whole printable surface of the disk with CMYK colour. Likewise, the burn time for a CD depends a lot on the amount of data you are putting on it.
The dust resistance on this unit is very, very good — far better than the non-Epson unit I used to use. This is important because, like any unit which relies on lifting things and pushing them around, dust is the most likely cause of long-term unreliability. Epson has also designed this with fewer moving parts than I've seen before in a robot, which also bodes well for its life.
Pros and Cons
High reliability, designed for unattended operation which entirely overcomes the slowness of the process Good quality print, as good as you'll see from the inkjet process, supporting colour profiles Good build, designed for a long life, so a relatively low total cost of ownership
Not Mac compatible Installs proprietary software, which a network manager may be unwilling to support Doesn't work from standard gear such as QuarkXpress, Photoshop Only burns CD-R and DVD-R types — in other words, this does not produce commercial 'pressed' CDs and DVDs, which work to another process, and you will probably find that not all DVD players, CD players and computers will play the discs reliably.
This is a very well designed unit aimed at small concerns which regularly issue material on CD or DVD. It's not a good choice if you want to press a lot of discs in one go because it is slow, and it is generally cheaper to go to a commercial pressing agency once the number of discs goes over 1,000. However, churches, schools, universities, and anyone who produces a fairly steady stream of new material which needs to be distributed cheaply and quickly for playing on consumer DVD and CD equipment will benefit from it. The lack of Mac compatibility indicates that this really isn't aimed at the graphics, photography and video community. My advice to Epson would be to get the Mac drivers sorted out and then aggressively target this at videographers using FinalCut Pro and sound recordists using Logic.
More articles that might interest you