Home Wedding Planning DIY Toolbox Product Review: Epson Artisan 800

Review Update: November 07, 2009:

While I once loved this printer, it is now so problematic that I can no longer give it a recommendation. Here’s why:

  • After less than a year of use, it is now completely unusable due to an error message that keeps popping up on the display screen. (It says to turn off the unit and restart it. I do; the error pops up again. Lather, rinse, repeat.)
  • Constant paper jams. The paper tray feeder is exceedingly sensitive and paper jams are commonplace.
  • Printing on cardstock is hit or miss. I’ve found that when I’m printing multiple pages of cardstock that sometimes it’ll accept a few pages of CS and then reject the next page for no discernible reason. It’s the same cardstock – no tears, wrinkles, or other things that may cause problems.
  • Smudges, smudges, smudges. I spend a lot of time (and wasted ink) cleaning the print heads to get clear text prints on regular printer paper. I find that full-color photo prints get lines, streaks, and smudges in most print runs no matter what photo paper I use (fwiw, I use Epson’s own photo paper as suggested by the mfgr. and have tried other brands to no avail.)
  • See the comments on the original review for others’ experiences with this printer.

For what the retail price is on this unit I expect better quality, especially from Epson whose products I’ve been very pleased with in the past. This one simply disappoints after less than a year in use.

Epson Artisan 800 Printer

One of the perks of having this blog is that I get to have hands-on time with some really great tools and products. The Epson Artisan 800 printer is the latest product I’ve received and tested out.

If you’re interested in doing any kind of printed paper craft for your wedding, a good printer is an absolute must. The quality of your printed materials will define the success of your project. As a hardcore paper crafter, I know this all too well I’ve gone through 4 printers in 3 years!

Finding a reliable inkjet printer that can handle a variety of cardstock, papers, vellum and other materials has been a personal quest of mine. When Epson offered to send me the Artisan 800, I happily accepted the offer. At the time they sent the printer I was writing book #2 and thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to test out the printer. With all of the paper projects, manuscript drafts, shipping labels, scanned artwork, and other stuff that was involved with the book the timing was perfect to see how the printer would handle a wide variety of tasks.

Product Features:

 

  • 5 in 1 with Wi-Fi: Print / Copy / Scan / Fax / Ultra HD Photo
  • Up to 38 ppm, photos in as fast as 10 sec1
  • Built-in fax and Automatic Document Feeder
  • Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking
  • 7.8-inch touch panel, 3.5-inch LCD
  • Professional quality CD/DVD printing
  • Two-sided printing saves paper
  • Create coloring books and personal note paper
  • Two-year limited warranty with registration1
  • Ultra Hi-Definition photos last 4x longer than photo lab prints
  • Two paper trays always ready to print photos and documents

Price: $299.99 Retail

The Verdict

I love this printer but it’s not without faults.

The good:

  • Clean, crisp text prints on most cardstocks, vellum, Avery labels, regular printer paper.
  • Excellent photo prints. Seriously, one of the best photo printers I’ve ever used.
  • Prints on CDs! For those of you giving CDs or DVDs as wedding favors or gifts, this is a really neat feature.
  • Scanner is easy to use and give clear scans on most line drawings tested. 
  • Works great with Macs (I love no hassle printer set ups). 
  • Individual ink tanks cost about $16.00 each to replace.
  • Really neat image enhancement feature for scans/prints.
  • Touch screen. I’m a sucker for a good interface.
  • WiFi! I have this printer connected on my home network and it works beautifully. I can print from anywhere in the house.
  • You can turn photos or drawings into coloring books, create personalized notepaper, and print lined paper.
  • Double-sided printing capacity.

The bad:

  • I didn’t like the software that’s used for printing on CDs. It wasn’t  (for me) very intuitive or feature-rich. I used many bad words when trying to design a CD cover for the first time.
  • Smaller font sizes (6pt and under) didn’t always print clearly.
  • Not all cardstocks fed through the paper tray or auto feeder. I had some problems with CS from Stampin’ Up! (80 lb weight). Sometimes it’d feed with no problems, sometimes not. It wasn’t a consistent problem.
  • Doesn’t always like “odd” sized papers but seemed to handle most pretty well.

Overall, this is an excellent printer that’s capable of handling most standard paper size projects without problem. If you’re looking for a great all-in-one (printer, scanner, fax) this is definitely worth buying. The replacement cartridges aren’t super cheap but they’re pretty competitively priced compared to other printers’ inks in its category.

13 replies to this post
  1. is there a printer that is consistent with thicker papers? We’re looking to print our own invitations but my current printer will only really feed regular 8×11 computer paper. I don’t need fancy printing – we’re just using black ink on various papers…

  2. Thanks for the review! I’ve been looking at this exact printer to buy to create our menus, seating cards, and possibly CD’s, as well as items for our welcome bag. It’s great to hear what doesn’t work as well.

    Love the WIFI feature!

  3. Can you recommend your absolute #1 printer for printing various wedding goods? Invites, cardstock, envelopes, menus, programs, etc. This one sounds like it’s a good printer, but I would love to know which is your favorite. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for reviewing this printer! I own this printer and am so amazed by the print quality, it is definitely an upgrade from my HP Officejet! I’m also glad to see you ran into paper feed problems, I print invitations all day and this is the biggest draw back for me. However, the print quality is so great I don’t mind spending the extra minutes getting the paper to feed. I haven’t had much luck printing on vellum though, and have to resort back to my HP for that.

    To answer Amy’s question about printing on envelope flaps- it works! But there are definitely paper feed issues that arise and I’ve have to babysit the printer a LOT to make sure they feed properly. I think most printers will have problems printing envelopes though, regardless of the printer I’ve own there’s always been issues printing on the envelopes.

  5. I have an Epson Workforce 600 and LOVE it. I’ve been successful with printing invitations, photos, and various projects and so far, its such a great investment! Thanks for giving a shoutout to Epson :)

  6. I bought this product today because the review here said it WOULD print on vellum. well…….I can’t get it to and after just filling out the email support ticket, I received a response from Epson saying this printer does NOT support vellum paper. I’m wondering if anyone has had success printing on vellum paper and if so, what settings did you have tweak to do so. if not, can anyone recommend a decent printer to print on vellum? thanks!

  7. I have a pack of vellum I’ve been using with an older Dell printer and it worked fine. Not sure of the brand anymore, I threw out the packaging. What kind works with this printer?!?!? Please help, I’m desperate! I also called Epson support and they told me that the artisan would not print on vellum.

  8. This is the worst printer.. I have written to the company about it.. its great to start with, but then you realize that the ink / cartridges which cost $80 last only for about 12 or 13 color photos and that too if you are lucky.. if you dont use the printer for a couple of days and then want to print , it says it has to clean the printer head which takes up a lot of ink and i have had instances where i have put in new cartridges that lasted me only 8 color photos.. one on occasion the blacks on the photos were so blurred that it had to clean the head thrice which meant, i lost an entire set of cartridges doing nothing by cleaning the head.. the fax modem always says communication error ..

    the customer support people were not at all supportive.. and i told them i tried this both on a mac and on a pc with the same results…and their solution was to unplug the printer and turn it back on.. i told them, that i run a design company and am very tech savvy and obviously i am calling them after i have tried all the known tricks.. they still say, its normal behavior for the printer to clean heads and utilize 1 full set of cartridges.. they agent then added, that probably it would be a good idea to print out stuff daily !!! huh .. why cant i decide when and how often to use my printer !!

  9. In response to Cathy i feel the same way! We got to print very little and it always has all sorts of problems. When first hooked up i printed one thing that had a lot of one color and from that one time it had to be replaced & customer service could definitely be better!!

  10. I can’t get normal cardstock-like (avery matte white note cards) to feed at all. Got two pages after about 10 tries. It attempts to feed from the tray, but after 2 tries, it aborts. green packing square has been removed. Any suggestions?

  11. Some of the issues you are having is that, while his is a decent office printer you are asking it to do the work and have the media flexibility of a single function printer. I have had several different Epson printers and I am a graphic designer and photographer of almost 20 years. This Epson Artisan 800 is fine for printing a few photos and great for documents but if you want to run card stock through it your are going to be disappointed. The best printer I had for running all kinds of stock through was my Epson Stylus 1200. There was a thickness adjustment for thick papers like CS and Ultra Premium 13×19 Paper. It would also run vellum with out problem and had a roll feeder for banners. They have discontinued that model but they have its replacement in the Workforce 1100 for $199.00. Not a bad price for the capabilities. Those of you saying the printer sucks are trying to make it do stuff it was not designed for (except for the person with the error problem. Since Epson wont help her its time to buy another and return that one). Yes it is an Ink hog! But the print quality is outstanding. If you plan on printing lots of pictures from your printer you will find that Snapfish and Kodak gallery and Mpix.com are going to be far more economical than ripping through your liquid gold called ink and give you professional level service. Printing at home should be reserved for the special photos that you want to edit and share on the spot.

    Just my 2 cents. (people usually pay me for it though)

Leave a Reply