This is an update on the earlier thread on this subject:http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=15543
The short summary is this -- the primary reason for standard (RGB) printing to buy the $700 APS is to use the large 988 patch target, as it contains twice as many patches at the target included in the Easy software that comes with the Z3100. (Those who buy it for CMYK prepress are in a different category.)
The APS 988 target will only print on paper that is 24" wide. The Easy software, by contrast, reconfigures the patches into a block for sheets, or a long horizontal strip for roll paper, so that paper is not wasted. The Easy software prints on smaller pieces of cut paper. The very expensive APS, by contrast, does not reconfigure the patches, so it will only print on 24" wide paper, and it wastes paper because it prints in a longer vertical strip down the side of the roll. It is profoundly ironic that the "easy" software was intelligently designed to reconfigure the patches (as is true of most profiling packages from Xrite and Gretag), and the extravagantly expensive APS has a moronic and crippled design that is limited to only 24" wide paper.
When a new paper is released, we all buy smaller cut sheet sizes to try it out. With the Easy software you can profile those smaller cut sizes. With the APS you are screwed and would not be able to profile the smaller cut sizes. If new paper is not instantly released in a 24" size you are really screwed, as you couldn't profile with the APS at all. (And that is normally the case. Many new papers don't include the 24" size for many months and sometimes for up to a year.)
There is not one other expensive profiling package on the market that is limited to 24" wide paper. (At least not that I'm aware of. Feel free to correct me if you know of $700 profiling packages that say on the box "NOTE: ONLY PROFILES 24" PAPER!!")
Gretag ripped off HP when they designed this, because Gretag would have never put their own name on software that is so crippled and limited. Whatever HP paid Gretag for this, it was too much. There is a sucker born every minute, and HP was the sucker when they took delivery of this software from Gretag. If HP wasn't informed of this limitation by Gretag at the time that the software was delivered to HP (and Robert reported that HP was surprised to learn of this problem), then I go back to my first point -- HP was treated like a sucker by Gretag, because the software designers clearly knew about this limitation. How could they not?
HP should be demanding that Gretag fix this as a top and urgent priority. If Gretag refuses to do so, then HP needs to find a new business partner. As I said above, all other profiling packages in this price range can profile smaller paper, including those from Gretag and Xrite. If Gretag can't properly design software for HP, then HP should find a company that can do so.
None of the product information from HP lists this serious limitation in the APS, and any consumer would assume that the APS can profile smaller than 24" as it true for any other $700 profiling package.
I was told by HP tech support that there are no confirmed plans to fix this problem or release an upgrade. Frankly, that was an astonishing statement, because it either reflected that HP won't admit what a brain-dead design this is, and/or they have already effectively abandoned the product. (Either one is a good reason not to buy it.)
Robert (Panascape) said that this report is just plain wrong, and a software upgrade is in preparation and will be released -- specifically to fix this issue and allow profiling on smaller sized cut sheets and smaller sizes of rolls.
I have an RMA to return the software. So I called back to HP and asked them, a second time, to double check. They again said there are no confirmed plans, and if the ability to profile smaller than 24" is important to me, I should return the software.
Robert, can you double check with your sources in Spain, and ask them to get to the bottom of this?
Will there be a revision and fix to this or not? Specifically, so that the APS can profile 13" or 17" rolls, and smaller cut sheets, for example, 13x19? If so, can they provide at least a rough estimate as to when? One month? Two months? Six months?
HP needs to clarify this once and for all, since we are getting diametrically opposite reports from different tech units of HP.
What we need to know is what the design team of HP and Gretag are actually working on.
Robert, thanks very much.
In the meantime, I continue to recommend that no one should buy this software for the extravagant price of $700 until this problem is fixed.