Inkjet Photo Printer Reviews: Epson V HP

From work to vacation is a matter of documents and pictures, which printer does both easily, without fuss and the best results. Here we match HP's D1430 against the venerable Epson Stylus c120.

Epson Stylus Ink Jet Printer
The Editor Pick Editor's Pick

Epson Stylus Ink Jet Printer

Epson Stylus Ink Jet Printer Model C120 Features:

- Prints up to 37 ppm, up to 20 ppm in color
- Up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi resolution
- Prints popular sizes of borderless photos from 3.5" x 5" to 8.5" x 11"
- 4-color (CMYK) drop-on-demand MicroPiezo ink jet technology for photo printing
- Fast-drying DURABrite ink resists water, smudging and fading for long-lasting results
- Prints on envelopes, transparencies, photo paper and more
- Convenient, compact design sets up in seconds for easy installation
- 5 individual ink cartridges for easy replacement; dual black cartridges increase print speeds
- 120-sheet input paper tray can also hold up to 10 envelopes
- Included ArcSoft PhotoImpression software lets you edit, print & manage images
- USB 2.0 connectivity

Avg. Price: $89.99

Learn More: Price is for Online Sale. Save Shipping Costs by Picking Up at Store.

HP Deskjet Printer D1430

HP Deskjet Printer D1430

HP Deskjet Printer Model D1430 Features:

- Prints up to 11 ppm in black, up to 11 ppm in color
- Prints up to 1200 dpi rendered in black, 4800 x 1200 dpi in color
- Hewlett-Packard Web Smart prevents Web pages from being cut off
- Prints on paper (plain, inkjet, photo), envelopes, transparencies, labels, cards, HP premium media and iron-on transfers
- Tri-color inkjet print cartridge is easy to change
- 80-sheet input paper tray; 50-sheet output paper tray
- HP Photosmart Essential and Premiere software lets you edit, print & manage images
- Greeting Card Fact Express Workshop 5.0, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 17 PC Tutor, Learn Windows Vista and Cook'n Recipe Organizer software
- USB connectivity

Avg. Price: $69.99

Learn More: On sale at Best Buy if You Still Want It

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What research says

The research for this comparison was done with some semi-hardcore testing, as both were purchased and used in a home office and the field office.

These machines both come in at less than $100.00, and may even be offered in bundles by different retailers, but if you need a printer for document AND photograpic work there is a clear winner here. These units do not scan or fax, they are not multi-function, they are plain and simple inkjets. The first thing that you will notice upon unpacking the units is the weight, and shortly there after the build quality.

HP has come up with a compact shell of a printer that doesn't take up much space, until you load it. There are some highly noticable quality issues with the "flaps" on the HP, and its relatively loud printing, which might be reasonable, if it were faster, but as it stands it's nearly half the speed of the Epson Stylus c120, and if you're doing high quality 8x10's on heavy-weight photo paper forget the half-speed. The Epson cleans up. What becomes clear when you do your software install is that HP is not pushing this unit as a photo printer with included titles such as Mrs. Beacon's Typing Teacher. Epson on the other hand gives us ArcSoft's PhotoImpression which is no Photoshop CS3, but is infinitely more powerful than anything HP thought to include.

Into the details; the Epson Stylus c120, has a stronger print engine, more readable text, and sharper more vivid photo-printing. This is all technology and ink. Epson wins both with MicroPiezo printheads and its usage of 5 separate ink-cartridges as opposed to HP's single "tri-color" cartridge. There is also the issue of the paper capacity, being that the Epson Stylus c120 holds 1/3 more paper than the HP D1430.

The considerations here should be clear, with the overwhelming difference between these units. There is a cost difference of $20.00, the HP is cheaper. You may think that you will spend more money in replacing the Epson's ink cartridges, however the amount of unused ink that will be wasted in a single tri-color cartridge is nearly impossible to measure.

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