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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

HP Z-Series Printers

Hewlett-Packard has announced its new Z-series professional wide-carriage pigment-ink printers. There will be four: 24" and 44" models in both 8-ink (Z2100) and 12-ink (Z3100) configurations (the latter feature spot-gloss and quad-tone gray cartridges). The big news with these printers is that they have built-in spectrophotometers built on GretagMacBeth/X-Rite's Eye-One technologies. This will provide end-to-end color management that, with a free plug-in, is fully integrated with the "Calibrate Printer" button in Adobe Lightroom.

In a formal "strategic alliance," HP has also proactively integrated the entire range of Hahnemühle fine-art and creative printing media.

On select media, the HP Vivera inks were declared by Henry Wilhelm of Wilhelm Imaging Research as the longest-lasting commercially available color prints in the history of photography, surpassing dye transfer, Cibachrome, and all other inkjet prints.

Pricing and availability:




Expected availability


HP Designjet Z2100 24”


October 2006


HP Designjet Z2100, 44”


October 2006


HP Designjet Z3100, 24”


First half of 2007


HP Designjet Z3100, 44”


First half of 2007


Featured Comment by Plabby: Integrated self-profiling seems like pure genius and could certainly help HP differentiate itself from the competition. I imagine self-profiling to be a "magic bullet" that ends the time intensive process of maintaining proper color space throughout a workflow. I hope such technology becomes the buzz for next gen printers as it increases the potential for joe "bag-o-donuts" to get a great fine art print without having to invest thousands of dollars, years of his life, and wasted fine art media (read $) profiling things by hand.

UPDATE: Here's the link to Luminous Landscape's Brief Report, which in turn contains a link to its Videoblog about the printers.


Blogger Paul Butzi said...

My special plea to printer manufacturers:

Would you PLEASE, pretty please, introduce 36" wide printers?

Because I have fairly regular need to make prints which won't fit onto 24" wide roll paper. My need to make prints which won't fit onto 36" paper but will fit onto 44" paper is very small; you could call it non-existent and not be far wrong.

A 36" printer that fell midway in price between the 24" and the 44" would be the bee's knees. I would happily pay the extra $1k to go from 24" to 36", but it's darn hard to pop another $2k and therefore very tempting to buy the smaller printer.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Eric Hancock said...

Luminous Landscape has a nice 15 minute video posted about these printers. They look great.

I'd love to have that built-in profiling capability in my Epson.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Ken Tanaka said...

After watching Michael Reichmann's video about these printers I'm impressed. HP really does seem to want into this niche large-format printer market and is willing to devote engineering and innovation to grab a slice. The integrated self-profiler is really quite remarkable.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hopeful that a big brother to B9180, a 17" version of these Z series printers with built-in profiler is introduced at PMA 2007. If HP makes it with 12 inks and keeps the price to under $1500, it would be THE printer for vast majority of enthusiasts and semi-pros who don't care to print much larger than 17" x 24".

8:22 PM  

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