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We were recently sent an Epson Artisan 810 All-in-One Printer for review and I’m happy to report it did not disappoint. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing (with its sleek black casing and 7.8″ touch panel and 3.5″ LCD), the Artisan comes equipped with a host of handy features and options, including:

Printing, Copying, Scanning and Ultra HD Photo Printing
Built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking
Color Fax capabilities and 30-page Auto Document Feeder
Built-in Duplexer for Automatic 2-sided printing
2 paper trays for printing various-sized photos and documents
Print wirelessly from your Apple iPhone or iPod Touch
Charge a cell phone, MP3 and other devices using the front USB port
Print photos without a computer (compatible w/ all popular media incl. SD/SDHC, xD-Picture Card, MemoryStick, MultiMediaCard and CompactFlash)
Create custom CDs, DVDs, note paper, photo & coloring books, invitations, cards, calendars and more

First up – Set Up. This is one printer that really guides you through the process of set up, which took less than 20 minutes, from initial box opening to printing of the first test page. Note that the Artisan’s built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity options allow you to scan/print/access memory slots from any room in your house. You can also connect to a computer via USB cable or use an optional Bluetooth adapter for photo printing, but the purposes of this review, I went the wired route and had no issues.

As an fyi, the Artisan 810 comes with the following:

A complete set of 6 Claria Hi-Def Ink Cartridges (1 black, 5 color)
Duplexer for automatic 2-sided printing
Phone & Power cords
CD-ROM with drivers and creative software
Setup and instruction manuals

Next up: Print Quality and Performance. To get an idea of the Artisan’s capabilities, we tested a variety of color and B&W printing, scanning and copying scenarios on plain paper. Some of which were using the touchscreen alone, some direct from PC.

Copying from the touchscreen is super easy, with a fully guided menu that lets you access a variety of paper and copy settings.
Creating a B&W copy of a 1-page fact sheet took 15 seconds, while the color copy of the same page popped out in 20. Copying a 3-page B&W document took 37 seconds, while double-sided color copying of the same 3-page document took just under 1.5 minutes.

Given they’re copies, I was very impressed with the print quality of both the color and B&W prints – crisp and clear.

Scanning a color doc to my PC took just under 35 seconds, very impressed at the speed.
Printing directly from the PC produces a document with crisp typeface and quality color and graphics. I also gave the docs a quick rub to test out the drying time and sure enough, no smudges.
I printed a set of B&W directions (3-pages incl. map) in less than 25 seconds, and the same set in color came out at 34 seconds.

I found the double-sided copying and printing in general a bit slow, and it paused for about 4 seconds, which made me think printing was done (which it wasn’t), but for everyday household printing/copying/scanning, it’s more than sufficient. For a home office inkjet, I certainly can’t complain about the quality or speed of the Artisan 810.

Next up: Printing Ultra Hi-Definition Photos. We tested a range of scenarios including;

Printing a 4×6″ photo on Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper direct from SD source
Printing a photo with and w/o a computer
Testing out the Color Restoration option (bringing a faded photo back to life)
Color-correcting a photo with red eye, directly from the touch panel

This where you can really start to experience the versatility and easy-to-navigate design of the tiltable control panel, which I can’t get enough of.

The Control Panel allows you to directly view, edit and print photos w/o having to use your PC. Of course you can also Copy, Fax, Scan, Troubleshoot, Backup Data, and create custom projects directly from the Control Panel, but let’s get back to photo printing.

I inserted my camera’s SD card directly into the printer and pulled up some recent photos of myself and some red-eyed girlfriends at a baby shower. Using the Control Panel, I was able to view, crop, correct poorly exposed photos in the album with the Auto Correct feature, fix the red eye, add a border, man the options never end…

Printed off one of the pics in less than 12 seconds and was very pleasantly surprised at the quality, richness and depth of the colors and accuracy of the skin tones. And my red eyes had returned to their natural brown state.

Printing photos from the PC was equally easy, and produced the same quality results.

I even restored color to a faded photo (I had to access the Online User Guide to find out how to do this), and the new photo’s colors weren’t as vibrant as I would have hoped, but you could still see a marked improvement. And printing took less than 30 seconds.

Other notables:

Charging: While I was doing all of the above, I noticed my iPod was low on juice so I hooked it up via the USB port on the front of the Artisan and charged it in a snap.

Custom-printed CDs and DVDs: The printer also comes with a built-in CD tray so you can print onto inkjet printable CDs & DVDs. Again, info on how to do this isn’t in the User Manual but you can access it online or just navigate your way via the Menu on the touch screen. I used the touch panel and was able to figure it all out in less than 5 minutes using the easy on-screen instructions. Took less than a minute to replicate the image onto the CD and it came out perfectly, both in terms of image placement, and color/quality. Very impressed.

There are so many benefits to the Artisan 810, it would take days to list them all, but here’s a quick snapshot of the positives:

Pros:

Multiple devices and functionality in one sleek unit
Easy to set up, multiple connectivity options incl. built-in Wi-Fi
Convenient and easy-to-use smart touch panel
Fast print speeds, quality print and photo output
Auto 2-sided printing saves up to 50% on paper, 30-page Auto Feeder saves time
Built-in photo enhancement options (Auto Photo & Backlight Correction, Red Eye Removal, Color Restoration, Face Detection)
Full range of photo layouts and paper sizes
Print photos w/o the need for a computer from popular memory card types
Sends/receives faxes high-speed (33.6 Kbps fax) color and B&W faxes, incl. photos
Individual ink cartridges means replacing only the ones needed
Charge popular devices w/o the need for an extra outlet
Est. power consumption for 1 yr is less than $2

Cons:
You need to refer to the online guide to figure out some of the system’s features and 2-sided printing is a bit slow, but none of these really bother me, and are far outweighed by the many benefits of this machine.

Recommendation:
If you’re in the market for a quality home-based printer with loads of versatility, options and excellent photo and printing capabilities, I do recommend the Espson Artisan 810. It’s a good buy that offers up great value for the money.

Additional specs:
4800 dpi resolution and 48-bit color scanning
Max Print Resolution 5760×1440 dpi
Wireless 802.11llb/g Compatible with 802.11n
Ethernet 10/100
Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Bluetooh photo print adapter (optional)

System Requirements:
Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, XP Professional x64 Edition, Vista or Windows 7
Macintosh OS X 10.3.9, 10.4.11, 10.5.x, or 10.6x

P.S. The Epson has a MSRP of $299.99 and comes with a 2-year limited warranty, but you can find it on sale now for just $199.99.

Epson Artisan 810 Color Inkjet All-In-One Printer


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