Canon Pixma Pro 9000: Well, what can I say, Canon pull it off again with their impressive mid range A3 colour printers.  In first place, the Canon Pixma Pro9000 is quiet with outstanding copy quality.  To quote some happy customers “...Out of this world.”  Pictures appear to just “...come alive,”   Print cartridges tend to last longer than the Epson and Hewlett Packard models perhaps due to the option included in this model for the cleaning of a subset of cartridges instead of cleaning all of the cartridges each time.  This also speeds up the machine overall.  With colour print speeds on test from just over a minute these a3 colour printers don’t hang about.  In the top feeder we fed a 250 gsm A3 with no problems and there is flat paper path from the front loader.  

Unfortunately there is no card reader on this photo A3 printer but you can connect to print from a PictBridge compatible camera or camera.  It uses dye-based inks which are reported to last around 50 years as compared to pigment-based ink prints which are reported to last around 100 years.  So if that’s not a problem to you then this printer is the one.

 

Specifications -  Ink Palette (Colours) 8-ink - Red, green, cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta, yellow, photo black, Nozzle Configuration 8 x 768 nozzles, Minimum Ink Droplet Size 2 pl, Ink Cartridge Configuration 8 individual ink tanks, Connectivity Technology Wired, Interface USB, Max Resolution ( B&W ) 4800 dpi x 2400 dpi, Max Resolution ( Colour ) 4800 dpi x 2400 dpi, Expansion / Connectivity, Connections 1 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type B , 1 x Direct print port - 4 pin USB Type A, Compatible Slots None. Power Device Power supply - Internal, Voltage Required AC 120 V, Frequency Required 60 Hz. Software / System Requirements: Software Included Canon PhotoRecord , Canon Easy-WebPrint , Drivers & Utilities , Canon Easy-PhotoPrint , Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Pro, OS Required Apple MacOS X 10.2.8 - 10.4 , Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP Environmental Standards: EPA Energy Star Compliant Yes. Manufacturer Warranty, Service & Support 1 year warranty, Service & Support Details Limited warranty - 1 year, Environmental Parameters, Sound Emission (Operating) 37 dBA.

WINNER

Third place - HP Photosmart 8750 - This machine is in third place because it is a good machine for those who are easily satisfied.  So far as A3 colour printers go, it prints ok print but nowhere near the standard of the above competitors and considering it’s average price - it should do.  It uses a tri colour system instead of individual colours which could explain why.  It has a small display where you can view your photographs on from a memory card but for some cruel reason, it’s only a monochrome screen - great.  Although it does have an ethernet port where your whole network can be unmoved by its average performance.  I’ll leave it there shall I?  

Specifications: Photo A3 printing, Duty Cycle -Monthly Duty Cycle 1000 pages. Networking, Networking Print server, Data Link Protocol Ethernet, Expansion / Connectivity. Expansion Bays Total (Free) None. Expansion Slots Total (Free) 1 ( 1 ) x Compact Flash Card Type I/II, 1 ( 1 ) x SD Memory Card , 1 ( 1 ) x Memory Stick , 1 ( 1 ) x XD-Picture Card, Connections 1 x Direct print port , 1 x Network - Ethernet - RJ-45 , 1 x Hi-Speed USB, Compatible Slots - None. Power, Power Device Power adapter - External, Voltage Required AC 120/230 V, Power Consumption Operational 83 Watt . Software / System Requirements, OS Required Apple MacOS X 10.2 , Apple MacOS X 10.3 , Apple MacOS X 10.1.5, Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP . Manufacturer Warranty: Service & Support 1 year warranty, Service & Support Details Limited warranty - 1 year.

Epson Stylus Photo R1900: Second place - At first glance, this very nice Epson machine would appear to claim the winning position in the latest A3 printer reviews but closer inspection revealed otherwise.  The Epson Stylus Photo R1900, although it was close, Epson’s A3 colour printers always seem to fall short in the face of the new Canon range.  The print quality, accuracy and detail is fantastic.  It has a special tray for CD or DVD label printing, whoooooooo.  It even has an extra cartridge for gloss optimisation, whoooooooo.  But, because the gloss optimizer prints across the whole page, not just the image area, this cartridge runs out very quickly.  They do give you an extra cartridge but you’ll need to stock up.  In fact, ALL of the cartridges run out quickly.  To make matters worse, every time you replace any cartridge, all of the cartridges clean spitting out gallons of valuable lovely, unused ink.  Okay, “gallons” was an exaggeration but you get my point.  Upon discussing this machine with regular users, I’m told that to add insult to injury, the cartridges are very hard to find.  Unlike our winner, there is no straight paper path upsetting the die-hard photographic nuts.  The A3 print driver does not seem to have A3 sheet feeder option either.  It quite often prints badly with banding on the prints after printing a couple of pages. Also the alignment goes off centre by almost an inch when doing lots of photographic prints. Having said this, if you don’t push this printer too hard it can be ok.  Nice printer but in our tests, too problematic to claim first place.

 

Specifications: Printing method 8-colour inkjet photo printer, Epson Micro Piezo™ print head, Nozzle configuration 1440 nozzles/180 nozzles per colour (Photo black, matte black, cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, red, gloss optimizer). Droplet size 1.5pl (minimum) with Variable-sized Droplet Technology with Ultra Micro Dot™ Ink system Epson UltraChrome™ Hi-Gloss2 ink. Print resolution Up to 5760 x 1440 optimised dpi on suitable media using RPM (Resolution Performance Management).  Print Speed 8x10" Photo bike image on A4 size 64 seconds. Note that print speeds may vary depending on print conditions. Standalone connectivity Interface USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) Dual port for PC and Mac connection.  PictBridge - Yes, Paper Handling : Automatic sheet feeder, Roll paper holder (Supported width A4, A3+).

Finally, in fourth and last place, Hewlett Packard with their Business Inkjet 2800. Unfortunately, compared to all the other printers (this does not mean it’s useless) we cannot say much positive about this one.  Copy quality is good but it eats through ink as though there is a hole in the wrong place.  We had constant paper issues ranging from jams through to the machine sensors not recognizing the paper size correctly.  The noise this machine makes when it attempts to feed is uncomfortable.  So, if you can live with the noise, jams and thirsty appetite, then perhaps you can show off about how much less it cost you.  A3 printer reviews - Print speed (black, best quality, A4) Up to 4 ppm, (colour, best quality, A4) Up to 4 ppm. Print quality (black, best quality)

Up to 1200 x 600 dpi (colour, best quality) Up to 4800 x 1200 optimised dpi on premium photo paper. Standard memory   96 MB (upgradeable with two 100-pin SDRAM DIMM), Duty cycle (monthly, A4) Up to 12000 pages, Duplex print options - Automatic (optional), Standard output capacity (sheets) Up to 100, Maximum input capacity (sheets) Up to 400, Network capabilities Via HP Jetdirect external print servers and EIO HP Jetdirect internal print servers (optional), Printing system Print technology - HP Thermal Inkjet, Resolution Enhancement technology, Colour printing technology - HP Photoret III

Printer management - HP Business Inkjet 2800 Toolbox, HP Web Jetadmin, HP Embedded Web Server

 

Ok, below are the results for the a3 colour printers review for photo A3 printers priced between £301 and £400.  In these A3 printer reviews we looked at many printers but wanted to narrow it down taking such things as price and ease of use into consideration.  This list does not mean that we don’t feel that other printers are any good.  We just wanted to make the decision process easier instead of throwing every printer on the market at you.  Enjoy.

A3 colours Printers Review for Home and Office

£301-£400

 

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