I have tried printing a variety of jobs on a variety of different papers. Text on plain paper is excellent. For text and graphics or text and photo combinations I have always used Epson's 'photo quality inkjet paper'. The results of doing so with this printer are - 100% perfect.
When it comes to printing photo's this printer has blown my mind! You can use a variety of papers for this, and I have so far printed full size A4 photos on both the aforementioned photo quality paper (which is a lightweight coated paper) and also with the premium photo glossy paper. Now, let's not mince our words here. With a high quality uncompressed photo printed onto the premium paper you will not be able to tell the difference between the Epson's printout and an actual photo developed onto photo paper at a photo lab! In fact, given the way some photo labs seem to rush their output these days, the R200 may actually give you considerably better results!
The R200 uses 6 ink cartridges. I have so far printed out quite a few full page photo's and the ink levels have barely moved. Being the first set of cartridges into the printer the initial charging of the print head will also have used some ink, so ink use is looking quite satisfactory. I will be trying third party cartridges next as they are available at 1/3 the cost of Epson's. I have always used Print-rite cartridges with no loss of quality on the Stylus 660 and photo's printed 2 years ago are still as good as the day they were printed. However I have not yet tried them on the R200.
The printer is also whisper quiet, a very refreshing improvement!
The R200 is the same as the R300 but without the memory card slots and LCD display. The print engine is identical.
My only reason for changing from the 810 is for the ability to print direct on CD/DVD. I have printed labels on my 810 but they didn't always play on different DVD systems so I decided I needed to print direct and the results are much more professional.
The inks are easy to change and work out economical as you only need to change the one you run out of. I will be using compatible ink most of the time as I have done so successfully with my 810. I think the paper is the major factor if you want photo quality photos as this really is where the Epson printer scores over HP and the like.
PLEASE REMEMBER to order a USB cable when you buy this item; it loses a star for that omission and the fact there isn't a printed operating manual...only on screen guides.
However, this is an excellent printer. I found it very easy to install(and I'm not that computer-brainy), and although it's heavier than my old printer it isn't that much bigger, so should fit into most people's desk set-ups.
The results are fantastic for photos. Superb quality. I used the advice of a reviewer here and used the "ICM" function for colour matching so that the printout is as near to the original colours as possible....perfect!
The printer is very quiet and smooth and very fast. An A4 photo would take 30-45 minutes on my old printer, this one completes it in 5 minutes...sometimes less! It has a nice looking design and it fits together in such a way that dust can't get inside it. I am a little concerned about the cost of replacing 6 cartridges, but so far it seems to be VERY economical and the quality of the results equals out the expense.
Being a photography lecturer I also need to produce "good" quality digital prints and this I achieve using another, more expensive, Epson Stylus photo printer. Unfortunately I ran out of ink for my main printer and had to use the R200, the results were absolutely first class and certainly equal to my main printer.
If you are looking for a first class photo printer that will also print directly onto printable discs, look no further than the R200
Super printer .... Superb price.