Ten... A3 inkjet printers
Product round-up The most probable reasons for printing A3 documents are 1) posters or folded A4 newsletters, and 2) large photos. The types of printer needed for these two requirements are different. For posters and newsletters you want a machine intended primarily for plain paper print and it will save time if it can print duplex. For photos, you’re more interested in high quality output, often with more than four ink colours in the mix.
Both of these requirements are covered here and we look at single-function and all-in-one devices, too. Prices vary widely, so you need to match the machine as tightly as you can to your printing needs.
Canon PIXMA iX6550
This is a five-ink, medium-format printer which can handle paper up to full-bleed A3+. Paper trays are telescopic, so you can save space if you only print A3 occasionally. Physical controls are minimal and there are no card slots or a USB/PictBridge socket. The rear USB is the only data connection. Plain paper print at up to 9.3ppm is good and photo print, at 52s for 15 x 10cm and 2:33 for A3 is very good. Page costs are around 3p for ISO black and 8.2p for ISO colour. Print quality is up to Canon’s usual high standard and the typical price of £160 is low for this class of printer.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Canon
Canon PIXMA iX7000
Although primarily aimed at small office print, this A3+ printer can also put out very respectable photos. There are three paper paths, including a 250-sheet cassette, though again no card or PictBridge connections. You do get Ethernet as well as USB sockets, though. I saw A4 print speeds of up to 8.6ppm, a 15 x 10cm print took 53s and an A3 photo completed in 2:50. Print quality is good on both plain and photo stock and running costs are fair, at 2.4p for ISO black pages and 5.5p for colour. This machine is heavily discounted, so you should be able to pick one up for around £300, though this is still not cheap.
Reg Rating 70%
More info Canon
Next page: Epson Stylus Office B1100
The Brother J6910Dw is incredible
I got the brother J6910DW on sale for < $250 just before Christmas at newegg
- can use "3rd party" cartridges (<$2 each on amazon)
- prints AND scans at the same time (found out by accident -- expected one to wait until the other was done)
- will print in black and white if the one or more of the color cartridges is out (try that with any of the other printers)
- paper path makes it easy to clear a jam (remove paper tray/open door on back and access the entire paper path)
- the duplex scanner scans quickly and would probably scan a brick if you could get it to fit (I haven't been able to make it jam, even with odd-size and odd-weight originals that were in "less than perfect condition") Since it scans both sides "at once" it doesn't have to feed the paper back and forth to scan the back, it works so much better at scanning odd-size/weight paper
- does everything (duplex printing, duplex scanning, ledger-sized flatbed for scanning, etc...)
I have a canon PIXMA Pro 9000 mark II that I got just for printing large photos (and it was on sale for < $200 after rebate) and it prints gorgeous pictures (on the canon paper), but the capabilities and speed of the brother beat it to death for anything else
I used to use hp officejets, but i'm done with them -- the build quality, the pickiness with cartridges (sometimes they won't even take original HP cartridges) and the "trust us--it's empty" attitude to rip you off on ink
K8600 - just don't.
I've installed two of these in long term locations, and both have had massive problems with Windows 7 drivers and physical problems with the head assembly/train, and HP business support have been utterly useless.
Long story short, both printers were replaced - one with an A3 colour laserjet, and one with an A3 Brother B+W laser (the customer never bothered using colour in the end - the colour cartridges running out stopped him from printing black though...), neither of which have been any bother, really.
There's an Officejet 7500 on another site that comletely refuses to deal with envelopes, either - constantly multifeeds and jams regardless of the stock used, on it's second replacement printer within warranty now as a result.
I realise one persons experience is not representative of everyone, but personally it's going to take a metric fuckton of convincing to make me recommend that one of my customers get an Officejet - especially after fiddling with a Canon Pro 9000, which felt like it was solid as a rock in comparison to the flaky, cheap feeling Officejet K8600, even though (without discounts) they both rock up at around the £300 mark.
Posting Anon as my management may recognise these patterns of events and read here....
Or reject *any* cartridges after a dozen or so, claiming it "needs cleaning" because a cartridge counter ran out.
I wonder if it has HP's "legendary" build quality?
In *legend* HP's build quality was excellent.
Whereas today I've always found it a bit s**t with a real nasty tendency for cartridges to report empty when half full and not permit re-fill.
All very well, but:
(1) How are they supported on various OS? Linux in particular for me, but also MacOS versions, etc.
(2) Any offer postscript?
(3) Do they allow 3rd party ink as well, or like the Epson I got rid of, throw a wobbly and reject its *own brand* cartridge after a few pages were printed?