Epson Artisan 1430 Printer

Entry-Level, Wide-Format Inkjet Printer

The Artisan1430 is Epson's impressive, entry-level, tabloid-size (13×19″), desktop printer. The low-cost 1430, which comes with a free copy of Adobe Elements, is aimed at photographers who are on a budget but still demand consistent, professional-quality, large prints. Remarkably, the 1430 delivers color prints close to matching those from Epson's high-end printers.

The casing is black with a silver control panel on the top front for easy access, and there's a single, top paper feed with a sturdy telescoping backrest. The 1430 can handle paper sizes from 4×6″ to 13×19″. It has six (five colors and one black), low-capacity Claria dye ink cartridges. A set of cartridges costs $127, which doesn't make the 1430 a good choice for high-volume printing. It uses USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, ideal for networking in a small home office setting.

For testing, I printed my own images and a standard commercial reference target that includes skin tones, landscapes, and color and grayscale patches. I used Epson's Premium Luster paper because of its rich blacks. The 1430 operates quietly, and both matte and glossy prints accurately matched my calibrated display. Prints displayed smooth gradations, accurate skin tones, wide color gamut, and lots of detail. This is due to a combination of excellent canned ICC paper profiles, ink-droplet size as small as 1.5 picoliters, and a top resolution of 5,760×1,440 dpi. On average, a full-bleed A4 print took 1 minute 45 seconds. Epson claims a print longevity of up to 98 years under glass and 200 years in storage.

The single problem was a persistent slight-green cast on neutral and toned black-and-white prints. This is because there's only one black-ink cartridge, which necessitates using colored inks to fill the vacuum.

The Artisan 1430 is an excellent value for low-volume, professional-quality prints.

Company: Epson
Price: $299.99
Rating: 4
Hot: Low-cost printer; high-quality results
Not: Expensive for high-volume production