This printer was announced in Feb 2006 at PMA and there has been a lot of HP promo but little in the way of in depth reviews. Neil's review is welcome but gives little new information. We need a rigorous evaluation of colour and monochrome performance with a spectro and Colorthink before rushing out with a cheque book.
Photokina may produce sightings of larger machines, but the 9180 experience suggests it will be well into 2007 before they are on the market.
Before then I hope this little fellow gets a thorough going over.
Exactly why I was dissapointed that there were no reviews outside of Inkjet mall's.
The prototype that I have cannot be considered a serious contender for an in depth review even if I did do such reports. Yet the information contained in the notes I put up are points of view stemming from substantial testing. Others who have Epson printers will be better at reporting the in depth side of Epson details such as those from Joseph Holmes. Personally the reviews such as those by liver Vincent at photo-i are unbiased enough for my liking. Yet he is not on the development side, so you'll not see the level of comparison that you refer to above.
I made a little movie and started to post it on my .mac site when I realised that 280MB will overdo the bandwidth. Here is a zip with both the HP 9180 and Epson K3 FA/USFA that you can plug into Colorthink as I did.
Why FA? Because each time Epson fans start to criticize others they want to compare the largest gamut possible. Then they go on to say they never use Glossy media. So take a look at a real world comparison but PLEASE remember that Colorthink doesn't show lightfast years.
There are so many more factors in image quality and character that show that gamut comparisons are only one of the many tools that indicate yet do not demonstrate print quality.
I can't say anymore about Photokina yet luckily it's very soon.