Price: $1500 (street price)
A heavyweight contender
THE LOW-DOWN: This A3+ pigment printer is a considerable step-up from the company’s 9500. It uses 12 large ink cartridges, including three densities of grey for smooth black and white transitions. With glossy paper there are five ink shades used for black and white. There is a clear “Chroma optimiser” layer that minimises the nasty bronzing effect that pigment prints are prone to. The ink cartridges are static and not part of the moving head mechanism. There are excellent paper profiles provided along with software to create custom profiles. It is easy to match Photoshop monitor images with print output. It prints on blank CD/DVD discs. Printing is fast and quiet. The machine is heavy and beautifully made. There is ethernet as well as USB connectivity.
LIKE: Prints, both colour and black and white, are simply stunning. This is the best output we have seen from a domestic, affordable printer.
DISLIKE: Output on the expensive art papers is dull. And being forced to use extra wide margins with heavy art paper is confusing and wasteful.
VERDICT: This is simply the best pigment ink printer that we have tested. We have produced consistent output with no annoying and costly mismatch of monitor and print. The prints should have a very long, fade-free life. The extra large cartridges mean that it should be more economical to use than the Pro9500 MkII. It is a big, heavy beast that takes two people to lift and get into place and it needs a large desk area, so it won’t fit in everyone’s space. The heft and feel of the unit bespeak durability. Highly recommended.