Epson Stylus Color 850 Ink Jet Printer

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Q:
What are the differences between the Stylus Color 850, Stylus Color 850N, and Stylus Color 850Ne?
A:
The Stylus COLOR 850, 850N and 850Ne printers are basically the same base printer with the same general printing specifications but they offer different interface configurations.

The Stylus COLOR 850 doesn't come with any network interface however it offers "optional" support of Ethernet and LocalTalk networks, USB interface and Adobe PostScript Level 2 for Windows 95/98 and Mac OS.

The essential difference between the Stylus COLOR 850N and the Stylus COLOR 850Ne is that the Stylus COLOR 850N has a built-in Ethernet print server and is strictly a 10-baseT printer, whereas the Stylus COLOR 850Ne, with its built in enhanced Multiprotocol Ethernet Print Server will also function in a 10/100-base T environment. The Stylus Color 850Ne also supports auto-sensing hubs which sense 10BT or 100BT connections.

The internal Epson Stylus Color 850Ne Ethernet Card can work with the iMAC 10/100 base T Ethernet port. However, the Epson Stylus Color 850N Ethernet Card will not work with the iMac's 10/100 base T Ethernet port. Since the G3 and the iMac both use 10/100-baseT auto-negotiating ports, the Stylus COLOR 850Ne is recommended.

To connect the printer and the computers together, you'll need a 10/100-baseT Ethernet hub, and Ethernet cables to go from the various devices to the hub. The Stylus Color 850N does not recognize a 10/100-base T auto-negotiating port. It is strictly for use with 10-base T. To get the printer working on a 10/100-base T connection, you'll need a 10/100-base T hub locked in 10-base T mode, along with two standard cables, one to go to the hub from the computer, and one to go from the hub to the printer.Your local Mac dealer would likely have these items, and should be able to provide additional information.

The Stylus Color 850, 850N or 850NE will not function with Localtalk cabling out of the box. For Localtalk networking, a Localtalk card can be purchased and swapped with the supplied Ethernet card. The EPSON part number for the Localtalk card is C823121 and is available from the Epson Store or can be ordered from Epson dealers.

Otherwise, the printer can be used off the network, as is, through the modem port or printer port, appletalk must be inactive for off-network use. The cable we recommend to connect serially is the Belkin F2v024 cable, 6' if long enough, otherwise up to 10' should work. Belkin cables are widely available, other brands can be purchased if they are the correct length and heavily shielded (premium quality). Connection directly to the serial port on the printer back.

If you're connecting two computers to this printer, then you will need a networking setup of some sort. With the Stylus Color 850, a LocalTalk card can be added to hook everything up on a LocalTalk network, or you can purchase the Stylus Color 850N or 850Ne, which has an Ethernet card built into it. Although LocalTalk is less expensive, Ethernet is recommended over LocalTalk because the LocalTalk protocol is very slow and can dramatically influence the printer performance (the Ethernet card has a transfer rate of 1.5 megabits per second whereas the LocalTalk card transfers at a rate slower than 256 kilobits per second).

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