Pros: Great looking output, good color, archival ink near indestructible, temendous media flexibility, reliability.
Cons: color SO-CLOSE it's irritating. faster than some still not speedy. RIP required for best output.
I've worked with this printer for well over a year, and the over-shadowing, incredible and near impossible truth is that it has NEVER had a clogged jet ruin a print. Ever.
This seems impossible, and indeed anyone who has worked with other Epson products, or (eek) Encad/Ilford printers will scoff and tell you I'm insane. "Never runined a print due to a clogged jet? He must be smoking crack!"
No really. I'm not kidding. Over 12,000 square meters of printed surface, not a single dropped line! Why? The 10000 is Epson's only printer to use active nozzle monitoring, it actualy CHECKS the ink nozzle function with a laser, and if it detects reduced performance, it pauses and does a quick clean. As far as I know the 10000 is the only printer *period* with this technology, as Epson decided it wasn't worth the cost and removed it from the 10600. Well let me tell you, unless the 10000 print head is really just that reliable, I'd be writing a letter to keep the nozzle monitoring around. Aside from the incredible reliability of this printer my other experences with it have been similar to those I've had with HP, Encad and Roland large format ink jets.
1) If you are working a production environment, or want to print over 105 inches you MUST have a RIP. No joking folks, the Epson drivers for Win and Mac have excelent features and very good color management, but spool times and color accuracy are not up to true "pro" snuff. If you buy one of these printers used (they are still available new in some locations), if it doesn't come with a RIP, do yourself a favor and pick one up. The Fuji/Color-byte Print-suite is what we used, and although it is heavily photo-oriented it improves the color accuracy and speed of the 10000 by an easy factor of five. A RIP makes this a great printer, not just a REALY REALY big one. The epson drivers are probably adequite for an amature, and might even be completely adequite for a 7600, or other 24" printer in the $3000 price range, but a 44" wide monster like the 10000 deserves better. Spooling a 600meg 44"x66" Photoshop file on windows: need I say more?
2) Print on anything. Go ahead, try it. Print on something. If it's even a little bit absorbent chances are the Epson Archival ink will stick to it, and look pretty good, as the archival ink is far more opaque than regular ink. You can even feed ridged media up to 44" wide by 66" by long by 3mm thick through the 10000!
3) Color accuracy so close it'll drive you nuts. Like almost all good ink-jets with more than four ink colors, the 10000 with archival ink comes SO CLOSE to perfect colors that it'll have you pulling your hair out. Face it, it's not going to get beyond realy realy realy close. Leave it at that and be satisfied.
4) Epson makes more media than is strictly sane, have fun with it! Epson and Magic Inkjet both make a slew of interesting papers and media that most thermal and other piezo printers won't print on. The 10000 accepts all of them. Print on vinyl and tyvec, and cotton, and plastic, and poster-board, and synthetic water-proof paper..etc etc... Only UV cured printers offer more media flexibility than the 10000.
5) Epson archival inks on absorptive media (ie: NOT photo paper) are nearly indestructible. smudge resistent, water proof, detergent resistent, uv resistent for over 6 months (my independent experiments). Only UV cured inks and laminated products offer better durability.
6) Ink is expensive. But you already knew that, right?
If you find a 10000 for less than $8000, or used for less than $2000, it's proably a hell of a lot better bet than anything from just about any other manufacturer. The damn thing just works. Newer Epsons have better color accuracy (thanks to more ink colors) newer HP's are faster, but the 10000 is a true work-horse in affordable large format.