Getting excellent prints with the Epson Stylus Photo 1500W/Artisan 1430 is a fairly stress-free process. Glossy media is a particular strength, with images produced on Epson Premium Glossy paper appearing bright and vivid throughout our test when the printer was handling the colour management.
The colour palette runs towards the warm side, which is noticeable in the greyscale wedge on our printer test chart. There is, at least, some separation between the dark tones.
Solid blocks of colour are rendered well. Particular highlights are the bold black, vibrant red and creamy, rich yellow. Magenta and cyan proved a little airy, but blue and green were fairly clean.
Some banding was noticeable in the rainbow strips. The Epson 1500W doesn't have red and green ink cartridges, which means the colour gamut lacks a little in scale as a result.
The Epson Stylus Photo 1500W isn't quite as forgiving with mismatched profiles and media types as a printer like the Canon Pixma Pro-1, but then, it costs around half as much.
This is particularly evident when making black and white prints. Because the Epson Stylus Photo 1500W doesn't feature dedicated monochrome inks, it has to blend its colour inks to great shades of grey. In our experience, glossy media exhibited a green or cyan cast when outputting mono images. Our tests with matte paper faired much better.
Levels of detail are strong, even with the printer set to standard 'Photo' output. Some stepping is discernible in the concentric rings, but you do have to go hunting for it with a loupe.
We're not convinced that the additional drain on ink reserves and extended time that the high-quality Photo RPM setting brings are worth it though - standard setting delivers results that have equally as much bite.