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Printer recommendation

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Look at the ink cartridges. 

HP are 30-38ml at $30-$35 each. $1.00/ml

Canon are 130ml at $65 each. $0.50/ml 


Aside from any other feature comparison, Canon has a cheaper operating cost with a lot fewer cartridge changes.


Several years ago I was comparing HP and Epson and chose Epson because of the ink system had larger cartridges and was far cheaper per ml. 

HP does make good printers with nice features, but every time I compare, it seems like they make printers to sell ink.


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On paper the Canon is the better printer based on specs, it supports more printer languages (incl. HPGL/2), can print thinner lines than the HP (i.e. should also equate to being able to print finer details), supports a wider range of roll-feed formats, has a higher maximum ethernet speed (1Gbit vs 100Mbit for the HP), has theoretically a bit wider colour range due to having regular and matte black inks and the imagePROGRAF printers have a very good reputation. A minus can be that it uses up to 3 times more power (140 vs 35 Watts) than the HP.


The HP is a bit cheaper, comes with the option of using A4/A3 paper tray (versus manual feed on the Canon). Downside is that it only supports PCL3 and jpeg as printer languages, no support for HPGL/2 and HP RTL so a bit less suitable for CAD use than the Canon. It seems to be more a graphics printer than a CAD printer. Unlike the Canon it can use WiFi printing.


The rest boils down to costs of ink , OEM media etc. which are in the long run where the costs are.


Ideally you should try to print a typical drawing on each printer and see how it comes out if you send paper prints to clients or use them for commercial purposes/presentations. If it is only for internal use then it probably matters a bit less. Overall I would have a slight preference for the Canon. I've had Canon and HP printers and so far have not have bad results with either. If you choose the HP then make sure you get the newer version with updated electronics.

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31 minutes ago, Clint Alderman said:

HP does make good printers with nice features, but every time I compare, it seems like they make printers to sell ink.

Yes, HP consumables tend to be pricier than those of their competitors, with Epson being the 2nd most expensive and Canon generally being the less expensive of the three though it can vary per printer series. Epson on the other hand has a larger range of media, and both HP and Epson ink colours seem to fade a bit less quickly than Canon ink colours though Canon's inks have improved quite a bit lately so this may no longer be much of an issue if you get the right paper (this applies to all three printer brands).


Something to keep in mind besides ink costs is ink usage, one brand's ink costs may be higher per milliliter but if the cheaper brand model uses more ink for the same print the costs may be not that different. Not sure how much this applies to large format printers but with printers up to A3 size the savings of a brand with cheaper ink can be offset by higher ink usage and then it may turn out to be as expensive or even more expensive as a printer brand model with more expensive ink cartridges but with lower ink usage. The same applies to cleaning cycles. Some printers clean a lot more than other, with increased ink usage as well. Especially Epson seems to be doing more cleaning cycles than the others.

Edited by Art V
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A quick search on Google gives very few problems for either one, but the Canon seems to have slightly less issues that are somewhat easier to solve (i.e. fixed by getting an updated driver or driver reinstall).

I had no problems with either Canon or HP when I still had a Mac in the past and don't see big differences with Canon and HP on Windows, though I do have an A3 wide format HP printer that doesn't work properly with some programs when it comes to selecting the page size where it works fine in other programs. But this is since I am on Windows 10, didn't have the issue on Windows 8. So there is always a possibility that some program may not work well with a printer at some point in the future (or present), but this can happen to any combination of software and printer (driver) and OS version at some point.

One thing I have noticed is that MacOS updates tend to break compatibility with devices sooner than Windows OS updates so you should make sure that your MacOS version is properly supported by the printer driver.

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