Epson has incorporated many improvements into the new printer generation. For example, fully loaded print heads now work in the new printers, which can finally handle photo black, matt black and the two grey tones LightGray and LightLightGray as well as the colours orange, green and violet simultaneously in one print head. For cyan and magenta there are also the light variants light-cyan and light-magenta, so that besides yellow, cyan and magenta, 12 full colours are available in the print head. The printer uses the new UltraChrome Pro12 ink set, which could possibly bring some detail improvements to the classic K3 inks, although nothing more is known about this yet.
The newly developed print head now contains 800 jets per colour, which is likely to have a major impact on the speed of the printer. However, due to the more than four times as many jets, this should increase considerably; in practice, the P9500 should be around 2.4 times faster than the P9000V. At first glance, this seems a lot, but since the Spectroproofer and ILS-30 will be adopted unchanged, the speed advantage should have little effect on a DIN A4 proof with media wedge and test report: The gross printing time of about 8 minutes consists here only in the least of the printing time, drying, measuring, rewinding back and forth of the print template and the printing of the media wedge take up the most time, and they remain unchanged. But those who print 8 square metres of proof prints in one piece from the device or measure and verify the media wedges externally will be very happy about the increase in speed.
According to Epson, the “Black Enhancement Overcoating Technology” is supposed to provide higher black densities. Which of this affects the EFI print media remains to be seen and measured.
One thing is clear: Many technical details remain the same, but some things also sound really interesting and improved and to be honest: Already the “old” previous versions of the 9900/7900 and 900V/7000V generation from Epson were excellent printers … as long as they were not affected by the classic Epson evils like clogged jets, streaky printouts and hardware crashes.
What else is there: A new touch display, a useless roll control window, a new print output, which probably doesn’t make anything better, a lighting of the printing unit, which we always wished for and have already solved differently for us … we’ll see: We will certainly be among the first to receive the printer in Europe again and then report on our practical experiences with the new Epson proof printer flagship …