We have worked our hardest to bring you the best five A3 colour printer reviews divided into sections according to price.  You’ll notice that in this section, the “up to £300” section, none of the photo A3 printers are multifunctional devices.  You will find that with specialist needs such as A3 and A3+ printing, manufacturers rarely include scanners, fax machines or copying functions.  Most all in one devices do one thing fairly well and the rest at a push.  Top manufacturers do not want to be associated with such practices in the A3 colour printer market (photo A3).  But of course, they may well suit your purposes.  Well enjoy our A3 printer reviews but feel free to check out the Editor’s Hot Pick of The Week, which will change weekly-Ish.


The Canon Pixma ix400 was our top pick because, in our estimation, it provided best overall quality for it’s price and had the best reviews for it’s position in the market.  Well, the others, as you will see had to battle it out toe to toe.

In second place HP K7100: this clever device is a little on the big side but makes up for it on quality.  Admittedly, it is an occasional A3 colour printer performing faster on A4 but the testimonials speak for themselves. Colour balance in photographs is brilliant and the levels of detail give them great depth. Graphs, photos and charts show none of the banding you quite often see from lasers and the HP K7100 was far more proficient than the other A3 colour printers we tested at picking out detail in darker areas of our photos.  The problem with A3 colour lasers is they’re priced well over A4 models and many small businesses can't justify the extra expense. But selling for around £160, the Officejet K7100 looks to be a saviour to the lost and wanting.  This printer has been discontinued but a grand replacement is the HP Officejet 7000 which comes network ready as standard.

Our triumphant A3 printer reviews winner for this category (up to £300) is most definitely not to be messed with. The Canon Pixma ix4000 is an A3 colour printer bound to please.  It prints on almost any sort of paper you want it to up to and including A3. It’s not fussy or over sensitive to paper types.  It has a sheet feeder of 150 sheets (which isn't particularly big but is adequate). It will also print border less. It prints on paper weighing anything from 64g/m2 to 273g/m2 (Kodak Ultima photo paper is 270g/m2 - most is less than that).  


Canon claims print speeds of around 25ppm and 17ppm for mono and colour documents with a mixture of text, graphics and images respectively. But if you want to print top-quality photo A3 borderless prints, things slow down.  In terms of the output, an A3 print takes about 8-minutes using my iMac G5 set up. Switch to borderless A3 and it pretty much doubles.  The wait is worth it however. Given the four-ink set up compared with today’s common use of light inks such as light magenta and cyan and the use of colour-gamut broadening inks such as red or purple or even extra blacks, the iX4000 produces excellent quality photo prints.

Well, I’m sorry but in last place, the Epson Stylus Photo SP1400.   The truth is that in these A3 printer reviews, this actual beauty has had its print quality praised too many times to mention. But, and I say a big BUT, the way it drinks ink it needs to be checked into rehab.  Excellent colour photo A3 quality prints to A3+, and just as good at printing 4"*6"! The CD printing is also good. It could have been a dream come true...But who ever designed the ink tanks must have been in a rush because we’ve seen tests where after just two A3 colour prints, this baby’s crying for the bottle.  Ink out.  The only way around it is to purchase the continuous ink system “CIS” so it can feed directly from the bottle.  What a drunkard.  So, lovely machine and prints but it’s got personal issue I’m afraid.


Specifications: Dimensions (WxDxH): 61.5 cm x 31.4 cm x 22.3 cm Inkjet Technology: Epson Micro Piezo Ink Palette Supported (Colours): 6-ink - cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta Max Media Size (Standard): A3 Plus Max Media Size (Custom): 329 mm x 423 mm Max Resolution ( B&W ): 5760 dpi x 1440 dpi Max Resolution ( Colour ): 5760 dpi x 1440 dpi Print on CD/DVD: Built-in Interface: USB, direct print USB Media Type: Envelopes, plain paper, CD/DVD labels Printer Features: Borderless printing, CD/DVD printing Power: AC 230V System Requirements: Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition / Windows ME, Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP,

Canon Pixma ix5000: Now, the only reason this printer is in third place is because of it’s price.  It’s identical to it’s sibling in first in all but two ways: the price and the speed.  Literally, the Canon Pixma ix5000 is about fifty percent faster in our tests than the ix4000 and not much more in money.  That’s it.  I’d love to see them roll in the mud but it is just a matter of wanting to pay the little extra money for the extra speed.  It’s just one of those a3 colour printers that are hard to fault.  Sorry.

HP Officejet Pro K8600: We tested HP’s OfficeJet Pro print mechanism in its K5400n printer a few weeks back. That A4 machine is very competitively priced at well under £100. The HP Officejet Pro K8600 is its wide carriage, A3+ sibling and the price doesn't look quite so luring at almost £250.  This A3 colour printers design is black and silver, and wouldn't look out of place in a graphic design studio. The design of the two paper trays is a little odd and disparate, as the output tray no longer sits like a lid on top of the input one, but is angled up away from it and the telescopic sections of the two trays are different shapes and sizes. This makes the assemblies look rather messy.


At the rear, there's a single USB 2.0 socket and one for a low voltage input. It's fairly amazing that in a printer this size HP can't fit the power supply inside the case, but uses a ‘black block’ to knock into your knees when you’re in a rush. Although you can get Jet Direct Ethernet and Wi-Fi external adapters for the printer, there are no options to upgrade with a duplexer or extra paper trays, as there are with the K5400n. The initial, physical setup is a two-stage process, as you have to slot in the two-colour heads - one for cyan and magenta and the other for yellow and black - before plugging in the four, separate ink cartridges. The printer then takes around quarter of an hour to charge its ink system and to automatically align its heads.There is the OfficeJet Pro K8600dn, which includes duplex and Ethernet as standard, but you have to cough up £325 for that.

 Specifications: Max printing resolution 4800x1200dpi, Fastest quoted print speed 35ppm mono (draft)/ 35ppm colour (draft), Tray capacity 150 sheet output, Document feeder size 250 sheet input, OS support Windows 2000+, Dimensions (WDH mm) 610x420x223, Weight 12.3kg , Manufacturer HP, Supplier HP.  Monthly Duty Cycle 6250


Time to meet Jay


For those of you coming here regularly, you’ll notice that I’ve removed my picture.   I think everyone has suffered enough.  Well, a3 colour printers review site is still here.  As usual, feel free to make suggestions on how I could improve our site and for those spammers, please leave us alone!


We’ll meet again in the tech tips area so bye for now.  Jay  email anytime.


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Canon Printer Service Manuals - Links and Resources - Canon Copier Service

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Canon Printer Service Manuals - Links and Resources - Canon Copier Service

Editor’s Hot Pick of The Week!


What Jay has been up to recently:


Not anything out of the ordinary really.  Although, I recently had to cancel a trip to Kenya which hurt real bad.  I had already visualized exactly where I would park myself at my local beach bar.  Apart from that, I have just been working on a site where you can download service manuals for Canon printers and copiers.  The site is really basic looking right now but I’m working on it in the background to give it a better feel as well as uploading loads more manuals for a wider range of products.  Take a look at www.canonservicemanual.com.  You can also directly access and download them from my sub-domain at tradebit.  That’s where I upload and store them ready for download from my site but there’s more downloads that I have not created links from my site to yet.  I do a little writing for other types of site but I’ll tell you about them soon.  Unless you can find out first!  Well, I’ve said enough for today - see you soon.

CRUCIAL UPDATE:  It seems as though they have discontinued this product.  The price could not be sustained I guess.  The ix5000 does not seem available anywhere.  I’ll keep trying to get more info on this one.  The natural replacement for this model is the Canon ix7000 featured to the right.  It does just about push it across the boundary to the next price band if you use amazon or office direct but it’s worth it.  Check out it’s specs.

UK Office Direct £211.93

Misco £183.99

Currently unavailable

Misco £269.99

UK Office Direct £326.35

Misco £169.99

Uk Office Direct £191.88

Misco £224.99


HP Colour LaserJet CM6040f MFP Review