I need some clarity on what the HP Advanced Profiling Solution actually results in when you hold a print in hand, versus the standard built-in profiling of the Z3100. I'm happy so far with my prints from the Z3100, but can't help but lose a little sleep wondering if maybe they aren't as good as they could be. I spent this much on the printer, a little more for the best possible quality could be worth it.
I've read all about it, and I understand what the APS does, and what's included (and why so many are pissed it isn't standard). What I can't seem to figure out is if the extra $800 really makes a difference in fine art and photography prints, visually speaking. The thousand patches and the extra features of the software are all technically well and good, and it's great to know that the profile accuracy with the APS would be top notch, but am I actually missing out on any of the printer's capabilities without it?
I've only made a handful of prints on the Z, and so far I'm impressed with the color accuracy between it and my Eizo monitor (the Eizo presents another question for the APS' monitor calibration features, since the Eizo comes with proprietary software to update its hardware LUT). Does the APS just improve the "accuracy" of the print, or does it actually improve the gamut and produce noticeably "better" prints; aesthetically and subjectively speaking, not technically and pixel-peeper speaking.
I've also read other threads here discussing the fact that HP has mysteriously deep-sixed the APS from its website. I can find it from a third-party supplier, but is it wise to purchase a now unsupported or advertised piece of pricey software?
Would waiting for the Colorbyte IP update be the best possible solution? I realize it is twice the cost of the APS, but I'm after quality, not quantity.
If anyone can share their personal experiences with the Z and/or the APS I would greatly appreciate it. Perhaps someone has an ICC for HP's Pro Satin paper made with the APS that I could compare to my "standard" profile, for a visual experience?
Thanks for your help.