Epson Artisan 50:
Replaces a slew of printers:
Great 6-color printer from Epson. Just a printer, this is not a multi-function device.
First things first, let’s look at the cartridges. The Artisan 50 uses the same cartridge set as the Stylus Photo R260, R280, R380, RX580, RX595, RX680 – two choices of cartridge – one cartridge has 11ml of ink (T077), and the other cartridge has 7ml of ink (T078). This is a photo printer and it uses six (6) individual ink cartridges – you can mix and match the T077/T078 cartridges.
T077 “High Capacity” series:
- T077120 – Black ($19.99)
- T077220 – Cyan ($19.99)
- T077320 – Magenta ($19.99)
- T077420 – Yellow ($19.99)
- T077520 – Photo Cyan ($19.99)
- T077620 – Photo Magenta ($19.99)
Yep, that is $120.00 for a set of replacement ink cartridges. What makes it even more insulting is if you are “upgrading” from an older printer, like the Stylus Photo R200, R220, R300, R340, RX500, RX600, or RX620 is that these so-called “high capacity” ink cartridges contain about 40% less ink than what you are used to (T048 series carts). We cover this here.
T078 “Standard Capacity” series:
Note, both the T077 and T078 cartridges are the exact same physical size, the only difference is that Epson puts 7ml of ink (150-200 pages) in the T078 series, and 11mlk of ink (300-350 pages) in the T077 series.
- T078120 – Black ($16.14)*
- T078220 – Cyan ($12.99)*
- T078320 – Magenta ($12.99)*
- T078420 – Yellow ($12.99)*
- T078520 – Photo Cyan ($12.99)*
- T078620 – Photo Magenta ($12.99)*
*Included with printer.
It’s really a shame that the cartridges for this printer contain such a small amount of ink. The Artisan 50 series is an excellent inkjet printer, but not so much when you consider a set of cartridges will run you a minimum of $81.09.
CI System is the answer:
Using a CI system, or continuous inking system (also known as bulk ink, CIS, or CISS) with this printer is a no brainer. We did a good cost analysis over on the Artisan 800 page comparing a CI system to both Epson brand cartridges, and color laser printers. A CIS will get you about 3k pages out of the box, and refills (about 5k pages) can be had for as little as $40.00. CI systems work great with this printer, and we recommend you purchase one now. Installation is as easy as installing standard cartridges.
Epson Artisan 50 Highlights:
When used with a CI system, this printer will print for pennies on the dollar when compared with Epson inks. Makes a great photo printer, or document printer with cost per prints in the pennies per page range (with a CI system, do not even consider putting one of these in a high use environment if you intend on using Epson brand cartridges)
- Speedy – but out here in the real world not what Epson claims. 5ppm laser quality, 38ppm standard
- Will print to CDs-DVDs – tray included with system
- Six (6) individual ink cartridges
Nothing fancy here, just a solid single function photo printer. Small footprint when compared to all-in-one units.
Epson is proud of these printers, however deals can be had at the Epson store (with coupons) or other places like Amazon, Buy.com, or you can even shop local. This printer started out at $179, and as of today (1-13-09) the Epson store lists this printer for a price of $129.99. We have not seen this printer in the refurbished section of the Epson web site – ever. Considering it replaced the R260, R280, R380 printers they are probably selling a bunch of them.