The 3800 is certainly an interesting compromise. It looks like it could be an ideal entry-level system for someone wanting to move to a 17” printer with low-volume printing requirements.
If I were still waiting for a 17” printer, I would be greatly disappointed in this offering. The lack of a roll paper feed would be the first deal-killer for me. If I never printed anything longer than 22” this would be fine, but a lot of my prints come out at close to 30”.
The other drawbacks I see are the higher ink cost over the 4800 and 5000 and the “ink-sharing” for black. There is still some waste when switching and a time delay also.
A nice printer, but I’m really glad I bought the Canon ipf5000.
I'm wondering what the 4800 replacement will look like.
Having bought your Canon and likely gotten used to its interface, you're done. No need to even think about it.
For the rest of us, pending further news it looks like this: The Canon for those who want ALL the features and don't mind the price differential (printer plus roll feeder). For the remainder, a choice between an Epson 3800 and an HP B9180.
The B9180 takes it for price, but not for people who print larger than 13 inches on either dimension. That leaves the Epson 3800 for them.
More than ever before I'm convinced that flexibility to switch papers is important, so I won't consider a change from my 4800 to one of these two printers a step down. It isn't "entry-level".
Same K-3 inks on the Epson, new dithering technology - should be fine. But I'm suspicious of the need to still clean-out some ink to switch media. My goodness, one would think they'd have learned their lesson by now.
Before I buy either printer (HP or Epson), I'll wait for some comparison results to be published. If the 3800 print quality is that much better than HP's I'll suffer the ink change inconvenience if it is really as little as advertised; if the print quality is about equal, I'll buy an HP. I guess each of us looking for a way out of the 4800 straightjacket will be developing our own logic about what to buy. These are good times - choice is upon us.