(1) The other thread is discussing lots of problems with the z3100. Is the consensus that these are isolated to a few individuals, or a common issue among all users? Would you recommend that someone buy now or wait? And if it is to wait, how long, since the rebate expires in May
I have the Z3100 44 inch model in my studio for evaluation. The main issue of this board revolves around the zebra print/head strike. I have not experienced that at all and have loaded Hahnemuhle, Innova and of course HP media. Others have had poor results after upgrading firmware. I just updated mine this morning to troubleshoot a separate issue, so we'll see if I'm affected negatively also.
People post to forums more often for help with problems, so take that into account. By no means am I dismmissing the issue users are having here. Their problems are real and need to be addressed. Until an official solution is provided that's what makes web forums so useful. But it's hard to draw conclusions about whether something is widespread based on such a small sample of users. Check out the Apple discussion boards and you'd think they make the most unreliable and disaster-prone computer in the world.
(2) Anyone know if Canon will provide a software update that will allow us to see the print que on the hard drive, so print jobs can be easily repeated? That is a significant failure and dumb mistake on the part of HP. Why spool jobs to the hard drive and then not allow us to access them?
Just a guess, but pretty sure the print jobs have to be wiped periodically to save disk space. There's also profile generating software in there. So a RIP might be a better option where spooled jobs could be stored on a larger user volume.
(3) Apparently the HP GL/2 upgrade does allow the viewing of the print que. But would it work with jpeg or tiff photo files? What is the cost of the HP GL/2 -- I can't find it on the web site
(4) Any opinions on the long term reliability of HP as compared with Epson? One issue is that HP depends on the hard drive. Hard drives fail. But that is clearly not a user replaceable part, and you can't access it to back up the contents. I assume the drive might run constantly, since HP recommends leaving the printer on all the time. I wonder what an on-site repair might cost if you don't have a service contract. (3 years of next day service is $1500)
No one can talk about long term reliability of a printer that has been out for only 2 months. The service contracts offered by HP, I'm happy to say are cheaper than what I'm paying to Epson and you can get up to 4 additional years (plus the included 1 year) warranty AND buy a warranty even after your original 1 year deal expires.
(5) Has anyone purchased the Advanced Profiling Solution? Cost? I can't find it on the web site. Usefulness?
A few posters on this forum have it if I remember correctly. From their accounts it seems to be a work in progress. You can only make CMYK profiles with the APS if you're driving the printer with a CMYK RIP. And the better ones come with a profiling option anyway, so I'm not sure about the value of APS unless you want to initiate monitor calibration and profiling through the HP print utility. Don't have the cost handy at the moment.
(6) There has been some discussion of USB versus slow ethernet connection. One way to speed up ethernet is the Jetdirect 625n or 635n gigabit ethernet server to plug in to the printer. The web site says that the 625n may not be compatible, but both are listed in the manual for the printer. The 625 has EE or EP (?) which I think is necessary for bidirectional communications, the 635 does not. Any opinions on either of those?
I'm running via Ethernet and spooling speeds out of PSCS2 are sometimes very slow. But the firmware update, at 300+MB moved very quickly to the printer, so maybe the 100 Ethernet speed is not the bottleneck.
(7) There has also been some discussion about problems loading sheets. But the Epson 4000 is not trouble free in that regard, using 17x22 mat sheets. Is the HP better or worse in that regard?
Sheet loading is working fine here. Coming from Epson LFs it did take some getting used to but after a couple of days I'm not getting paper skew messages. It is picky though, you definitely have better luck with well cut sheets. I haven't tried any deckled edges yet but I'm guessing those would present a problem. The paper sensor initially, at least, checks for even spacing along the long side of the paper versus slant along the front-fed edge.
There are two models -- the Z3100, and a model with a letter following that. What is the difference? I wonder who sells both. B&H only lists the standard model.
(9) I think someone said that if an ink cartridge runs out in the middle of a print job, you lose the print? Is that correct? If so, that is a signficant failure as compared with the Epson 4000. If you try to change cartridges based on software warnings or even a front panel indicator, you will do so prematurely, at least based on the 4000. With the 4000 you can run them to the bitter end, the printer will stop half way through a print, and then resume right where it left off when you install a new ink cartridge. How does the Z3100 compare in that regard?
Still on my first set of carts (as most users would be) but the manual indicates you replace an empty cart to continue printing. The printing will pause until the cart is replaced.
(10) Any views on HP versus Canon, and whether it makes sense to wait for the rumored new Canon 24" printer?
New technology is always sexy and tempting. but if you want to go into a purchase with no doubts hanging over your head, it's always a good idea to wait for us guinea pigs to find all the problems and get them resolved. Of course by then, a new printer may be out and you'll just have to start waiting all over again The whole bleeding edge thing...