The Epson Artisan 835 All-in-One is a gorgeous printer/copier/scanner that combines a huge 7.8-inch color display with fast and high-quality printing. This $175 device also lets you print labels directly on CDs and DVDs and is compatible with two versatile iOS apps that allow printing over Wi-Fi. Add to that compatibility with all kinds of memory cards, and you have a superior all-in-one.
The 25.8 x 18.3 x 7.8-inch Epson Artisan 835 is one sharp-looking printer. The 24.9-pound machine is decked out in an office-appropriate mix of glossy and matte black surfaces accented with silver trim. The front face has a 7.8-inch touch display that tilts 45 degrees upward to face the user, along with a series of hardware buttons such as an unlock key to lower the display, an on/off button, and an eject button for the CD tray (hidden inside the printbed). You'll also find several memory card slots and a 30-sheet printbed.
At the very bottom of the Artisan 835 is a matte black plastic tab that can be pulled to reveal the 120-sheet cassette tray for regular paper and a 20-sheet tray for special photo paper or envelopes.
Last but not least, the top of the Artisan 835 slopes gracefully from the left side to the right, which flips open to reveal a 30-sheet auto document feeder tray for scans and faxes. A detachable duplexer is on the backside of the printer. Also on the back is Ethernet, a USB port, two phone line jacks, and a power plug.
Setting up the Epson Artisan 835 was simple. We plugged in the printer, browsed to the setup menu, and selected "Set Up Wizard" under Wireless LAN setup. After entering our office network's wireless password, we installed the software on our notebook and answered a few questions regarding a Ethernet, USB, or Wi-Fi printer connection (since no USB cord is included, we opted for the Wi-Fi option). We were up and running in less than five minutes.
PrintJinni and Epson iPrint
The Artisan 835 All-in-One works with two free iOS Epson apps: Epson iPrint and PrintJinni. (Sorry, no Android support for now.) iPrint works over Wi-Fi to print photos stored in an iPad or iPhone's gallery, and PrintJinni prints Word docs, PDFs, spreadsheets, and other files attached to e-mail messages. While they offer more functionality than other printers' iOS apps, most of which only let you print photos, we wish Epson would combine these apps into one.
PrintJinni searches for e-mail attachments that were sent between the present and a specified past date. Finding the right file can be tough; an end date can't be specified, so it takes a long time to look for attachments. Searching three months of messages uncovered a list of 3,071 pictures and documents, and it took PrintJinni 22 minutes to complete the search. However, once files are downloaded, they are conveniently stored within the app under Downloaded Files . PrintJinni can also print web pages, but the URL must be copied and pasted from the browser. Since there's no way to print a panel or a clip of the web page, the entire length of the site is printed as a long PDF, which isn't very pleasant to look at once printed.
However, PrintJinni offers a variety of print options, something many printer apps lack. Up to nine copies of a document or photo can be printed in Letter, A4 or A5 paper sizes. Photo orientation can't be changed within the application, but photos can be printed in the A4 paper size or in 3.5 x 5, 4 x 6, 5 x 7, or 8.5 x 11-inch sizes.
iPrint is much more limited than PrintJinni. It only prints pictures stored in the iOS gallery, and the print options are restricted to a bordered or borderless 4 x 6, 5 x 7, letter, or A4 paper size, which you can choose in the app.
To test the Artisan 835, we printed one three-page Word document, one three-page color PDF, and a 926 x 612-pixel photo (on glossy 8.5x11-inch paper) from a notebook over Wi-Fi, via USB, and with the PrintJinni app. Compared to other printers, the Artisan was average in speed but exceptional in quality. Over Wi-Fi, the above files printed in 35 seconds, 46 seconds, and 3 minutes and 15 seconds, respectively. The HP Photosmart C510a printed Word documents in a faster 24 seconds, but the Kodak ESP C310 printed a photo the fastest, taking just 2:03; however, it can only print at a max resolution of 600 x 600 dpi.
Print speeds over USB were faster with the exception of the Word document, which finished in a slower 38 seconds. The PDF was finished in 35, and the high-quality photo in a quick 1:11, the fastest photo speed of any printer over any connection.
Using the PrintJinni app on our iPod touch, the Epson finished a 4 x 6 print in 27 seconds, faster than the Kodak ESP C310 (39 seconds) and the Canon Pixma MG6120 (35 seconds) and far better than the HP Photosmart (1:05 using AirPrint). The Epson Artisan 835 finished printing a Word document via PrintJinni in 36 seconds and a PDF in 43 seconds. Epson's iPrint app was equally fast, printing a 4 x 6 photo in 27 seconds.
Photo and Document Quality
Built into the Artisan 835 is photo correction software that evaluates color and lighting details and corrects the images automatically. Thanks to that feature, this printer offered the best photo quality among the all-in-ones we've recently tested. Our photo looked just as bright as our source image, with great foreground detail, natural skin tones, and excellent saturation and color.
Unfortunately, our PDF didn't look stellar. Pictures of a line of notebooks and computer monitors in our PDF looked noisy and digital; lettering wasn't sharp, either. Text appeared more gray than black and had a somewhat hazy quality. The same went for Word documents; fonts appeared fuzzy upon close inspection.
The Artisan 835 requires six ink cartridges: Black, Cyan, Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Magenta, and Yellow. With the exception of the black cartridge, each comes in regular ($10.44) and high-capacity ($15.99) packages. There's only one black cartridge and it costs $17.09, which is expensive compared to the competition. The Artisan 835 includes an ink cartridge starter pack with each color. Of the machines in our roundup, only the HP PhotoSmart eStation C510a offered cheaper color ink prices: $9.99. Epson's prices for high-capacity ink was the lowest among the printers we've recently reviewed.
Software and Other Features
The Artisan 835 has a flatbed scanner capable of 9600 x 9600 dpi resolution; a color copier capable of 99 copies at a time and 25-400 percent reduction and enlargement; and a phone-based, color fax machine with memory up to 180 pages and a maximum of 60 speed dials. In addition, this Epson can print on CDs and includes a duplexer for dual-side printing.
The Epson Artisan 835 offers two neat print features that are accessible through the device only and not bundled software. It can print coloring book pages by creating outlines of scanned photos or pictures, and it can also print thin, wide, or graph-ruled lines on letter or A4 paper.
Only fax control software and a program for designing CD prints are bundled on the Epson's installation software.
The Epson Artisan 835 All-in-One is our new Editors' Choice printer. It offers great photo print quality, fast photo printing times, useful mobile apps, and a simple interface on its large LCD. Add in smart auto-correct software, and this connected all-in-one is well worth the investment.