Yes, until HP. The only American Printer Company wakes up and smells the coffee and moves into Fine Art instead of the graphics industry. Nothing is as good as an inkjet print properly printed on the right medium.
Agreed, Tim. And nothing is as good for the on and off fine art printer as a built-in spectrometer....
I'm starting on year five with my z3100-24. Anyway, I'm fairly mechanically-oriented, but I wanted to watch the tech guy service the machine the first time. The guy was an absolute genius with the printer (he's been working on them for years). It took him *5* solid hours (without a single break) to change the belt, and do a complete service and cleaning on the machine. Best $800.00 I ever spent.
He told me that the machine should easily last another 5 years. No wear at all. Other than the belt, there was/is no reason to upgrade.
Planned obsolesence is great for companies producing consumer/trendy junk, but these printers were designed for business, and the company bottom line. If the output is great from your z3100 (and it's every bit as good as any off-the-shelf printer today), $800.00 for 5 years is pretty cheap pro-rated annually in comparison to how much enjoyment I get out of the printer.
I'm just happy to avoid swapping inks, cleaning clogs, and being blissfully unaware of the need to create, calibrate and load paper profiles due the built-in spectrometer.
Yes, well said, Leigh. In principle, I agree, mostly, but I'm still seriously miffed at the company putting in a piece of XXXX belt, which is the Achilles heel of the printer... I'm mean 5 hours to change a frigging belt? Take the motor out to change the oil territory, that...
Right. Exchanged the two belts on the two Zs I have not so long ago and a head carriage board. Cleaned the machines thoroughly. Replaced 10 of the 12 heads too in the total 10 years of use. Together less than $800. Low volume printing here, that is correct but so many users are in that category. The Z3200 Color Center profiling software and the Z3200 ink set has been a good improvement for color printing compared to the Z3100, The Z3100 still is one of the best B&W printers. You can not get another wide format printer with an integrated spectrometer + profiling package that is that affordable and in my case that reliable. True I can sum up at least 10 improvements possible but nothing so fundamental that I would blame HP for delivering an inferior product 6 and 4 years ago. It is still in many ways a smart machine, an excellent design. When the Z3100 was introduced the HP people at the Photokina booth considered Canon as their competition, not Epson. I think they were right, it may not be so far yet but I see Epson diverting its attention to other markets where piëzo heads have an advantage and Canon taking over this market with their fast thermal heads. HP's attention wanders everywhere and often not succesfully but the Zs themselves are not to blame. Maybe we can expect something again from HP's Barcelona R&D as the new HP Officejet Pro X development must be finished now, page wide thermal head array to spit out 70 A4 pages a minute with CMYK pigment ink, 6 picoliter droplet. Available next month. The Lomond Evojet (Memjet technology) does about the same but can only work with dye inks and there seem to be issues in practice.
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst
Damir, I hear you. Ernst, always good to hear from you. I respect your opinions and your viewpoints. I agree that there is no better "hassle-free" printer, but then there is this belt issue which is inexcusable. They made such a huge deal about the hi-tech aspects of this printer with initial sales hype, but have utterly dropped the ball on these kinds of issues. $800 to change a belt, requiring 5 hours and a complete tear down. Seriously? They should be ashamed, or at least provide a "re-call" or "fix" for it at their cost, the way high-end camera companies such as Nikon and Canon have done to resolve design flaw issues. Those companies want to KEEP their customers.
Met vriendelijke groet, Mark
All in all, I think everyone agrees that the built-in spectrometer was and still is the stroke of genius for this printer and that it was revolutionary at the time. Why won't HP own up to this serious, serious design flaw and at least give a break in terms of repair? This belt thing is "the elephant in the room" regarding this printer. A crappy, quickly degrading belt that degrades, in some cases within just three years, and requires fully "open-heart surgery" to repair? The principle of this just grates on me. Forced entropy. Talk about being hard on the nerves. Any ease of use, any operational innovation is completely negated because of this hideous, insidious glaring design flaw. Normally I would apologize for such a rant, but I don't often rant. When I do, it's for good reason. I've said I liked the printer, and I do, but it also sucks, big time because of crap like the belt issue.