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HP Designjet Z3100 Photo Printer Review

Review Summary
Reader Score: 7.63 (out of 10)
Review: "The recent introduction of pigment printers from both HP and Canon have finally added much needed competition to the market, which has been owned by Epson for some years now. Not being content to merely catch up to Epson though, HP has taken a large step forward with the new Z3100 and Z2100 photo printers. Both printers, available in 24" and 44" sizes, use the new Vivera pigment inks first seen in the B size HP PhotoSmart Pro B9180 printer. In fact, the Z2100 uses the same 8 ink set as the smaller B9180 which I have reviewed elsewhere in depth. For this report, I'll focus on the HP Z3100 printer, which is a 12 ink -11 colors and a gloss enhancer - version.

If you're serious about printing, the HP Z series is impossible to beat. Canon and Epson have a strong competitor now, which is great news for all of us. The gloss enhancer included with the HP Z3100 makes it possible to print outstanding gloss and satin prints with no bronzing or gloss differential to detract from the print. And, with an archival life of 200 years, our work will be around long after we're gone. I do wish the inks came in larger sizes than 130ml, especially for a 44" printer, but the ink use is very light compared to other large format printers I've used, helping to mitigate the smaller size of the cartridges. The initial price tag may put some people off, but given the inclusion of a spectrophotometer, the price is actually very reasonable. My final impression? The HP Z3100 is THE printer for me. I'm one happy camper."

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Other Reviews For This Model

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Neil Snape 8.08  05-15-07 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "The day the huge unmarked box arrived by lift gate truck, the start of a new printing era was about to begin. We pushed the box into the entrée leaving it unopened and untouched per HP’s instructions. The suspense was only slightly alleviated by sneaking a peek inside the box handle holes.

The printer was the pinnacle of many years of work by HP, of which they made a number of graphic arts professionals part of the shaping of this project. We asked for a dream machine, with more bells and whistles than any current printer. We wanted it all. The features we asked for are changing the realm of inkjet printing forever more. The box was in front of me to make good on this promise! A few days later two very friendly young engineers came all the way from Barcelona to ensure the out of box experience was a great. Set up couldn’t have been more straightforward. The instructions were clear and concise, illustrations well done, and there is a DVD to go with it all if really needed. To take the printer out the box is historic moment that forever moves the level of inkjet printing into new realms. ...

The Z 3100 rises to the challenge of being one of the finest printers for graphics arts ever made. More than just another printer box, the thinking that went into this system goes far beyond, reaching out where no one has dared venture. Little things and big things alike are all about making a platform on which you can count on now and in the future. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
The Digital Journalist 7.50  01-17-07 Read Full Review
Review: "The recent introduction of pigment printers from both HP and Canon have finally added competition to the market that has been owned by Epson for years. Not being content to merely catch up to Epson though, HP has taken a large step forward with the new Z2100 and Z3100 photo printers. Both printers, available in 24" and 44" sizes, use the new Vivera pigment inks first seen in the B size PhotoSmart Pro B9180 printer. In fact, the Z2100 uses the same 8-ink set as the smaller B9180, which has been reviewed elsewhere in depth. For this report, I'll focus on the Z3100 printer, which is a 12-ink - 11 colors and a gloss enhancer - version.

If you're serious about printing, the Z series is impossible to beat. Canon and Epson have a strong competitor now, which is great for all of us. The gloss enhancer included with the Z3100 makes it possible to print outstanding gloss and satin prints with no bronzing or gloss differential to detract from the print. And, with an archival life of 200 years, our work will be around long after we're gone..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Luminous-Landscape 6.98  03-15-07 Read Full Review
Head-to-Head Review: "What is it about photographers? Give them a great new tool and the first thing they want to do is compare it to their last great tool. And so when HP came along with their new Z series printers it didn't take long before the comparison bug bit Craig Samual, the proprietor of Studio One in Toronto, and your faithful reporter. We therefore scheduled a shoot-out between the HP Z3100, and the Epson Stylus Pro 9800 using the Studioprint RIP - Studio One's in-house system.

As for color reproduction, there were clearly visible differences but none which stood out to the extent that one printer or the other had a clear advantage. For example, in the fall farm scene the greens appeared to my eye and Greg's to be more realistic, while Craig felt that the Epson's greens, though more saturated, were somewhat realer. The saturated oranges on the largest tree were clearly stronger on the Epson, but the yellows of the lower trees were more realistic on the HP..."

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