Removing the packing material, inserting the print cartridges, loading the paper, and installing the software took about 15 minutes. Following the clear instructions in the “Start Here” Guide made the set up quite easy.
The back of the printer, shown in Figure 4, has a non-removable power cable, air grids, and place for plugging in the USB cable.
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Figure 4: The back of the printer.
One thing to note is that you should follow the installation instructions carefully. On one of our test computers, we inadvertently installed the print driver before we put in the software disk. The software hung when trying to remove the print driver that we had installed and we had to remove it manually. Other than that one glitch, which was our fault, the printer installed properly on our Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X computer without a problem.
When installing the software, you are presented with installation three choices: 1: Driver, 2: Epson Information Center, and 3: Bonus Software. You will, of course, want to install the print driver. Choosing the Epson Information Center installs the User’s Guide, which is nice to have handy on your computer. Choosing the Bonus Software installs Epson Easy Photo Print, Epson Creative Zone, and Epson LTCM Offers & News.
Easy Photo Print is a very nice piece of software that lets you control the size of prints. It also provides simple editing tools like removing red eye and adding and/or removing the date. We were surprised to find that this software provides some good enhancements in its Photo Enhancement area where you can improve the skin radiance and the face definition. You can even apply a slimming corrector to slim down your pudgy friends. Unfortunately, the changes that you make are not shown in the print preview, but are applied to the photo when it prints. This is a little confusing. Also, although you can print the photo with the changes, you cannot save the changes. We encourage Epson to add this functionality in the future, as it would be extremely beneficial.
The Epson Creative Zone rather than software, is simply a link to the Epson Creative Zone website. If you have never visited this site, it is worth a look. It provides all types of printing templates and useful printing projects.
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Figure 5: The controls.
The top front of the printer features only four buttons. As seen in Figure 5, these are the on/off button, the paper button, the ink button, and the delete button. Each is clearly marked with an icon that visually represents its function. The first three buttons have lighted indicators. A combination of flashing lights indicates certain problems. You can find these listed in the User’s Manual. The delete button does not have a light, but it provides a very useful way to stop a print job. Every printer made should have a button like this.
Epson keeps the physical controls simple. All the printer functionality, such as paper size and quality is chosen through the software. If you use these software controls you will get the best quality output from the printer.