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OSX 11X17 Laser Printers

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I am considering purchasing an Mac OSX compatible laser printer that can print 11X17 sheets. The printer will be used for both text and line drawings.

Does anyone have any experience with the HP5000N or the Xante 3N? Any other suggerstions?

Thank you for your help.

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If you can get your hands on a second hand Apple LaserWriter 8500 I highly recommend that printer. It will print tabloid size (12 x 24) which is conveniently 1/2 the size of Arch D sheet. This makes it very convenient for printing check plots. It is also very happy with 11x17. You might try ebay.

I would also recommend that you look at GCC. They are at www.gcctech.com. Their Elite XL series is very competent. We helped another firm set up one and it seemed to work very well. They have OSX drivers available. I think I heard somewhere that GCC actually made the LaserWriter 8500. Anyway, HP has had problems with their postscript implementation in the past and I was not happy with an earlier large format HP laser printer that we had at another firm.

Xerox also has 11x17 postscript printers like the DocuPrint N2825. They have an OSX installer.

All of the above options seem price competitive with HP, if not cheaper.

Hope this helps.

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Thank you for the input. Postscript seems to be one of the major differences between he HP laser printers and other manufacturers- HP provides Postscript emulation rather than true Postscript.

I checked out the GCC web site, and their printers have Postscript version 2. The Xante printer has Postscipt version 3. As far as you know, does Postscript 3 offer any practical benefits for line drawings with some grayscale?

One other question- the GCC printers are available with different levels of resolution, from 600 dpi to 12000 dpi. Is their a visible difference between the resolutions in line drawings with some gray fills?

Thanks again for the helpful advice.

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The HP 4MV 11 x 17 hardware postscript machine has been wonderful for us at 600dpi. Prints complex 1/2 size architectural drawings exceptionally sharp in just a few seconds and beautiful grey scale and black and white photo for graphics proofs from photoshop and Quark. Used machines are often available at ?$500?. It was $3000 new quite a few years ago. We have printed tens of thousands of 11 x 17s with minimum service. You probably really want info on new machines?I see that the HP5000, 11 x 17 B&W, fast, $1400., is software postscript RIP so probably not good for MAC. It looks like the new machine after HP4MV but without hardware RIP. Oh well. I just checked the 8000 and 9000 series from HP - all emulation postscript. They must have stopped making hardware postscript laserwriters!

GCC looks very good. The company has been around quite a while. Their Elite XL20 series starts at $1600. 600+dpi, 20ppm, builtin postscript and 13" x 35" max paper size. Check out:http://www.gcctech.com/products/20ppm.html

Henry

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I just ready Henry Finch's recommendation of the HP 4MV. I bought mine used from a friend for $700 about 4 years ago, and it is still going strong. Great for check prints.

I am considering buying another just like it for a second office location. Look at the HP 5000N. Same machine and features except faster, with PostScript, 1200 dpi and networkable (without the need for JetDirect; plug and play really).

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I just ready Henry Finch's recommendation of the HP 4MV. I bought mine used from a friend for $700 about 4 years ago, and it is still going strong. Great for check prints.

I am considering buying another just like it for a second office location. Look at the HP 5000N. Same machine and features except faster, with PostScript, 1200 dpi and networkable (without the need for JetDirect; plug and play really).

Costs about $2,200.

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Irving,

As CEA said, the HP printers are all software postscript meaning the postscript is calculated by a software program in the host computer and then sent to the printer. This is slower and in the case of MACs has bugs in this software program - according to other posters.

The GCC laserwriters have hardware postscript meaning the postscript file is sent to the printer and the printer figures out the postscript. It's faster and I guess less likely to have problems.

Please correct me if I'm wrong with this assessment.

The GCC paper size of 13" wide is also very attractive.

Henry

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This is getting off the original topic of OSX compatible 11x17 printers, but I just wanted to get something clarified since we are also thinking about upgrading our printers...

I'm looking at the specs for the HP 5000n and it states that it supports "PostScript? Level 2 emulation". Now I believe this is different than software postscript RIP (which we are well aware of since we painfully have to deal with it with our HP Designjet 488CA.) The GCC XL 20/600 specs indicate "PostScript? Level 2 compatible".

Correct me if I'm wrong since I'm not an expert, but I believe that both the GCC XL20/600 and the HP 5000n both have hardware postscript RIP. I think both these companies have simply decided not to license Adobe's Postscript technology, and have licensed emulators that are compatible with that technology instead.

I would, however, like to know what Postscript 3 has to offer over Postscript 2. Anyone out there know?

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HP is funny in that some of their products have postscript emulation, and some have native postscript. In my experience with HP printers, their emulation can sometimes be problematic, especially when combined with VW (keep in mind that this was a while ago.)

And yes, emulation can be either software RIP based or hardware based.

I believe the Apple Laserwriter 8500 was the first printer out with Postscript level 3 and that was a while ago. According to the literature, level 3 provides better quality. I haven't been able to tell the difference. My guess is that getting the 1200 dpi would make a much bigger difference than level 2 vs level 3 as far as grayshades and perceived quality. I must say that for our money, the 600 dpi that our LW 8500 provides is more than adequate.

I would avoid postscript emulation in a production machine. HP's higher-end plotters all have real postscript-- and there is a reason-- the overall quality and reliability is better. In evaluating your printer make sure you look at the replacement cost for consumables as well. Good luck.

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Thanks for all of the input to my question.

I ended up buying a Xante 3N laser printer, and it is working well in both OS 10.1.3 and 9.1.

The Xante printers have Postscript 3 built in- most of the other 11X17 laser printers I saw had either Postscript 2 or Postscript emulation.

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