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Hardware Thread, Best A3 colour network printer in Technical; I have a requirement for an A3 colour network printer - can any one suggest any specific model or have ...
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    Paid_Peanuts's Avatar
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    Best A3 colour network printer

    I have a requirement for an A3 colour network printer - can any one suggest any specific model or have any experience with any to suggest?

    The printer can be inkjet or laser (dependant upon cost), it is going to get a fair bit of use so TCO is important.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Every A3 inkjet we've tried has been naff. Especially for volume usage. Therefore we recently bought a HP Colour LaserJet 5550dn for Technology. I highly recommend it. It cost around 2,500.

    If however the pricetag of said printer is a little too high, consider renting a color photocopier. We have on in our library that's capable of A3. Its lease costs about 350/quarter.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Take this with a pinch of salt but the HP K8600 is coming out and as the next generation up from the K850 it's something that should be quite good given the minor improvements I've seen on the K550 -> K5400/L7680.

    Given that I'm continuous ink supply orientated to keep the costs low I've been having a lot of "fun" with the kits available for this printer (HP88 cartridges) but I've finally figured out a good setup that really does reduce the costs quite considerably. Course I have a vested interest so you might as well consider this semi-advertising :P. PM me if you'd like more info on that score.

    Anyways, if you do opt for ANY of the HP officejets be sure and check out this guide:
    http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/HP-Officej...00000005564255

    ... it's especially useful if you intend to use any of the CIS kits or refillable cartridges that are available on ebay because, quite frankly they're cr*p and bypass a major part of the ink injection system in the printer itself.

    If/when I get a K8600 I'll let you know how I get on though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paid_Peanuts View Post
    I have a requirement for an A3 colour network printer
    Some of the possible options:

    - Lease a photocopier/printer. We lease several Canon iR machines from Top4Office, who have been great - stuff fixed promptly when it conks out. Saying that, we've had to have the repair chap out a couple of times already since September, so this might not be the most reliable of machines (I don't have much to compare against, mind - I'm not sure how much maintainence a large printer is expected to need). One thing I'd add is to make sure you opt for the "fully loaded" device when you lease it - get maximum RAM, network capability, network scanning capability, the works. These'll cost loads more to add later, better getting them straight off.

    - Get something like what was discussed here. The poster in question is commenting that the device is somewhat over-the-top for what they are using it for, but it might fit your needs better. As I pointed out in that thread, we're looking at producing a full-colour 50-page A4 school magazine. That'll cost us 2000+ to print (if anyone knows where I can get cheaper, do please say!). Leasing one of those big inkjet machines over three or five years would probably let you print your own magazines and wind up being more affordable than sending out to a print shop every year.

    - There was a recent post on BoingBoing discussing printers. The device they're discussing there is way over the top for a school (unless you have a long empty section of corridor not doing anything much...), but there's a couple of comments after the post which say interesting things. Namely the stuff about ex-lease equipment - after equipment has been leased for three years, it's returned and sold off for a fraction of it's original cost. You can (seemingly) get some good deals on ex-lease equipment if you know where to look (see the comments posted on BoingBoing for more details).

    --
    David Hicks

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    I too can vouch for the HP Color LaserJet 5550 series. In my last place of employment I purchased 4 of these in their various guises, from the bog standard 5550 to the 5550dtn (which has the duplexer, extra tray and network).

    You can add up to five trays to this device (cost about 220 per tray), which was useful for the busy media centre I looked after as they printed to various media types and sizes, saves having to unload and load different paper all the time.

    As mentioned above, one was purchased for the Media Department which had very picky Graphic Artists who scrutinised the print quality and were always very impressed with it, especially the Post Script driver.

    HTH

    Pete

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    Oh if you do get the 5550, make sure you flash the firmware. Ours came with old March 07 firmware. On upgrading it to the Nov 07 release (the latest currently) the startup time is much improved.

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