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Author Topic: Before I buy a Z3100...  (Read 12682 times)
billbunton
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« on: March 22, 2008, 10:38:21 AM »
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I've pretty much decided on a Z3100 (24").  I have an Epson 4000 that I'll (hopefully!) be able to sell , but that will leave me with some 16" and 17" rolls of paper.  The HP docs that I've seen seem to say that the minimum roll width is 18".  Will these work with the Z3100, or should I plan on throwing them in with the 4000?

Also, I'm debating the base model or the ps/GP/APS version.  Near as I can tell, there's no in-between.  I know the APS gets me additional profiling (including editing) capabilities.  What else does the extra stuff involve/include?

And finally, my understanding is that the printer will come with next-day on-site service for a year, and I have 180 days to buy an extension.  Is this correct?

Anything else I need to think about?

Thanks for any info you can give me!

Bill
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Charles Gast
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2008, 11:45:00 AM »
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I've pretty much decided on a Z3100 (24").  I have an Epson 4000 that I'll (hopefully!) be able to sell , but that will leave me with some 16" and 17" rolls of paper.  The HP docs that I've seen seem to say that the minimum roll width is 18".  Will these work with the Z3100, or should I plan on throwing them in with the 4000?

Also, I'm debating the base model or the ps/GP/APS version.  Near as I can tell, there's no in-between.  I know the APS gets me additional profiling (including editing) capabilities.  What else does the extra stuff involve/include?

And finally, my understanding is that the printer will come with next-day on-site service for a year, and I have 180 days to buy an extension.  Is this correct?

Anything else I need to think about?

Thanks for any info you can give me!

Bill
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=183499\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Umm
Unless you have already decided the z3100 is what you have to have look in the forums for the number of technical difficulties experienced by users of HP vs Epson and weigh.  HP less ink - MUCH  more technical problems.  Epson - more ink very few technical problems. Also the extra money spent on the profiling abilities of this printer will buy alot of custom profiles made by a long list of suppliers.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2008, 02:11:21 PM »
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Excellent choice...definitely go with the z3100. Phenomenal quality; extremely easy to use - in my opinion the best inkjet printer for photographs ever made. I don't think you need APS - I didn't get it and my prints, even critical prints of paintings, are right on. I've been printing with the z for almost a year and have had no problems.

You should be able to print on those 16" and 17" rolls, as I've printed on sheets that were 13" wide with no problems.

1 yr. warranty is included. Not sure if the included warranty is next day on-site or not. I know the extended warranty is kinda pricey. I haven't had to contact HP about anything - Printer has worked as advertised. Some people seem to have some type of roller marks on some papers, but if you read here it looks like HP has addressed or is addressing that issue for those individuals. They also have continued to improve the z3100 with firmware updates. I've made no secret of my thoughts: I've used plenty of Epson's before the z3100...I don't think I'll ever go back.
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pulley
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2008, 03:54:54 PM »
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Go with the HP. I have a z2100 and love it. No clogs and no problems. Yes, you can run 17" rolls.
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DLS
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2008, 05:36:39 PM »
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I've pretty much decided on a Z3100 (24").  I have an Epson 4000 that I'll (hopefully!) be able to sell , but that will leave me with some 16" and 17" rolls of paper.  The HP docs that I've seen seem to say that the minimum roll width is 18".  Will these work with the Z3100, or should I plan on throwing them in with the 4000?

Also, I'm debating the base model or the ps/GP/APS version.  Near as I can tell, there's no in-between.  I know the APS gets me additional profiling (including editing) capabilities.  What else does the extra stuff involve/include?

And finally, my understanding is that the printer will come with next-day on-site service for a year, and I have 180 days to buy an extension.  Is this correct?

Anything else I need to think about?

Thanks for any info you can give me!

Bill
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=183499\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The z is the way to go. You can't overestimate how incredibly nice it is to profile a new paper by loading it and letting the z it do it's thing to create a profile. Who wants to send out targets and wait ? What if you don't really like the paper after all that ? Even if you do have a spectro, you can't compare the ease of use. It's a no brainer. Although I admit I'm a little skewed in the anti-Epson department: Too many problems with too many printers over the years. Plus the ink swapping thing...

The only important issue will be to get the stock rollers and pinch wheels replaced if you want to print on the newer fiber papers. The old rollers make subtle marks on that type of paper. It'll be done under warranty with no cost to you. It's a bit of a hassle, but after you get it done you'll never look back.
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scottam
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2008, 06:35:56 PM »
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I had an Epson 4000. Because I did not use it daily it was almost always clogged. It never broke but I had lots of trouble getting it to print different sizes and orientations. It would work but was cumbersome and hard to remember the settings. It went through a lot of ink and sometimes rufused to completely use some cartridges. I have a 24inch z3100ps gp now and have no problems at all. I bought extra ink thinking I'd need it right away because the 4000 used between $50.00 and $75.00 a month worth regardless of whether I did any printing or not. The z3100 is easy to understand and far less frustrating to use. If you use your printer continuously the Epsons are great. They won't clog as much and you won't be as likely to forget the settings.  My operating system is OSX.
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billbunton
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2008, 08:09:06 PM »
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Thanks for the input!  Charles, I have about 99% decided on the z3100, really I'm just trying to decide on the APS or basic.  I've seen you're having a lot of problems, and that's given me some pause, but there are also a lot of reports of no problems at all.

My 4000 clogs frequently (luckily we're getting on towards the humid summer here in Austin, which reduces the number of clogs).  That's definitely a factor in the Epson/HP decision.  But a large part is the profiling.  Reading all those strips gets kind of tiring after a while!  And in fact I have a couple papers that I've just been too lazy to profile because of the effort to read the test charts.  And of course with an Epson 7880 I'd be back to swapping inks...

So scottam, I see you have the ps/gp.  Aside from profile editing what do you get with the extra letters? :-)
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BobDavid
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2008, 10:51:24 PM »
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The current generation of Epsons, X880 rarely clog. The print heads are coated with teflon which has reduced clogging significantly. I had a 4000, which was a clogging nightmare. The Epsons print faster than the HP too.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 10:52:09 PM by BobDavid » Logged
Colorwave
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2008, 11:43:37 PM »
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Another vote for the Z3100.  I think there are obviously issues related to it being a new platform, but overall the issues are so minor compared with the overall great performance that the decision is one I would repeat again in a heartbeat.  Sure, I've had some complaints, but I'd rather fight than switch.
-Ron H.
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peteh
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2008, 12:22:46 AM »
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Another vote for the Z3100.  I think there are obviously issues related to it being a new platform, but overall the issues are so minor compared with the overall great performance that the decision is one I would repeat again in a heartbeat.  Sure, I've had some complaints, but I'd rather fight than switch.
-Ron H.
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Buy the HP Z3100 ps GP that's what I bought! You get Post Script Fonts with EXTRA Letters ,BIG deal! But I bought the APS and a 3 year warra  nty with it too.I am on the first set of 69 ml inkset STILL ! And lost an OPPS sensor last week but HP tech support has been great to me so far, I'm in Northrn Calif. My Epson R2400 was EATING INK for lunch!
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neil snape
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2008, 12:00:57 PM »
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I've pretty much decided on a Z3100 (24").  I have an Epson 4000 that I'll (hopefully!) be able to sell , but that will leave me with some 16" and 17" rolls of paper.  The HP docs that I've seen seem to say that the minimum roll width is 18".  Will these work with the Z3100, or should I plan on throwing them in with the 4000?

Also, I'm debating the base model or the ps/GP/APS version.  Near as I can tell, there's no in-between.  I know the APS gets me additional profiling (including editing) capabilities.  What else does the extra stuff involve/include?

And finally, my understanding is that the printer will come with next-day on-site service for a year, and I have 180 days to buy an extension.  Is this correct?

Anything else I need to think about?

Thanks for any info you can give me!

Bill
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=183499\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Bill the docs are outdated. You can print just below 13" on roll. The first releases were (more than a year ago) already printing at 13". No problems with any sizes down to 13". With some testing you can print slightly smaller but since every page is measured any skew will reject the load if too close to the edge.
I would get the APS , and if included with a PS model then why not. I don't see the point of a Z without APS if it is for a photographer.
I don't think it has onsite warranty without that specific option. The warranty options are there for whatever level of assurance you need.
I didn't have one problem with the hardware on the 44" Z3100. Any of the small problems users had were remedied quickly in most cases posted here.
Software updates have been coming in at a very good rate, and now things are quite stable, and efficient.
Some new hardware solutions are supposed to be up soon but that is really for HP to announce , how, where etc.
No printer is perfect, not the hardware, nor the software. The annoyances or glitches with the Z are no larger than other printers with their respective annoyances and or glitches.
The advantages with a Z are definitely worth having. In the long run it looks like the Z is made for making prints with a added value in many of the major photographic and art repro categories.
If the Z meets or exceeds the majority of YOUR needs then you'll have no regrets.
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neil snape
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2008, 12:08:48 PM »
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The current generation of Epsons, X880 rarely clog. The print heads are coated with teflon which has reduced clogging significantly. I had a 4000, which was a clogging nightmare. The Epsons print faster than the HP too.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=183641\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Clogging on the older machines is exactly what drove users mad, mad enough to look to others. Luckily for Canon and HP this happened before they Teflon coated the head nozzles , which show very few clogs.
Yet HP and Canon show few clogs so the field is now equal. Yet head wear control (not an important notion for Epson until the end of the life of the head) is a feature that is really incredible in it's application. Glad to see these advances. If they would have had this years ago....

Faster in what way?
Equal parameters and subjective visual equal quality didn't show this with the last generation of Epson like the 7800 vs the Z series.
Are the 7880 + 9880 faster than their predecessors?
 PS Yes the 11880 is very fast but that is not the same thing.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2008, 12:14:26 PM »
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The Z's problems are being fixed by new parts coming out.  Right now it's a little bit of a hassle to get them installed but will be much easier for new people.  It' just very recently been ironed out.

Yes all versions come with next day on site service.

Yes the newer firmware updates allow the smaller rolls, I use small Kodak rolls for my 8x10's.

Get the Z, it's worth every penny for the output!!
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billbunton
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2008, 04:38:40 PM »
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Thanks again for the input, everyone!  I plan to order the ps/APS version either tomorrow or Wednesday.  Then I'll have to try and arrange for a friend to take a long lunch with me whenever it's delivered :-)

Bill
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kaelaria
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2008, 04:42:29 PM »
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You don't need anyone.  I did it very easily by myself.  There is no heavy lifitng required anymore, it's packaged to be setup by leverage.
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stevenh
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2008, 12:52:16 PM »
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I have nothing but praise for my 24" z3100. I purchased the APS separately without the PS. Not sure if i can have them install the extra board now or not.

You might want to check out Neil's review on his site http://www.neilsnape.com/Z_Review/index.htm

I wish it had been finished when I was deciding. It's one of the most complete and non biased reviews technically I have found. Nicely done.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 02:02:19 PM by stevenh » Logged
karrphoto
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2008, 08:29:27 PM »
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As soon as I can manage, my B9180 will be upgraded... AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Several reasons.   I compared (I know, not the same printer, but like 12 ink system) my B9180 print to that of a ipf5000.   Because of the extra RGB, the oranges in the bridesmaid dresses for the album I was printing were MUCH more vivid.  The blacks, richer.

In comparison with the Z3100, it's all about cost per sq. ft. printing.   Based on ACTUAL prints vs. Ink used, my cost per sq. ft on the B9180 has been $1.50/sq ft.  With the Z3100 running at approximately $.78/sq ft based on everything I've seen, that's 50% less.   So it's really costing me a large amount of money to stay with the B9180 than it would be to upgrade.  Over the course of 100 albums (assuming 10"x30" albums, 20 spreads, 40 pages) that is the cost of the printer.

Then there is the profiling and speed difference...

ugh, don't have to sell me on the 3100.. I'm sold. just no wallet to spend it with.
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drjdmm
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2008, 02:46:04 PM »
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My HP Z3100 printer stopped working 2 months ago. Before you spend money on an HP Z3100 you should know that you will spend 20-30 minutes just getting to a tech who can answer your questions everytime you call HP. There is no direct line to the designjet group.

If your printer is not working as mine is - they will only give you suggestions on things to try. Everytime you call you will get a new tech who will give you random things to try without any logical step by step process.

I have been calling every 3-4 days for the last 2 months trying to get my printer repaired. They have very limited hours for support.  It is a good thing I don't depend on the printer for my living.

My hospital has a top notch computer IT department and they have been more useful - but only to the point that it is clear that there is hardware failure in the printer.

HP will not send a tech out to do printer repairs - especially if it under warranty- instead after 1-2 months of calling, you may get lucky and they will send you a token circuit board just for giggles and expect you to repair it yourself.

Then when you call back they will tell you that you have to change out circuits on the circuit board they sent you - which is great if you are used to working on circuit boards - but really sucks if your skills are in photography and not computer repair.

Basically when  your HP3100 fails you have a really really big paper weight.

I would seriously consider the type of support you will get when buying a expensive printer. My experience with HP has been unimaginably poor. It is clear from the problems we have had with their buggy software upgrades and support that HP is not really interested in standing behind their products.

It is a real shame because I liked this printer when it worked. It does produce beautiful prints and the in-printer paper calibration is a great leap forward. I feel sorry for the engineers that put their heart,  sweat and tears into the engineering of this printer only to watch the HP warranty and support team sink all their hard work.

So be warned before you make the purchase

Dr. Joel Murphy
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William Morse
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« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2008, 05:12:05 PM »
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Joel- I feel your pain. I have my own horror stories which I have recounted here. However, there is hope.

The first thing to do is not accept what you are being given and told. Ask to speak to the supervisor, and continue doing so until you get satisfaction.

Also, Ben Wolf from HP has been very helpful- search here for his post re: z3100 service, and contact him. You'll be glad you did!

Bill

Quote
My HP Z3100 printer stopped working 2 months ago. Before you spend money on an HP Z3100 you should know that you will spend 20-30 minutes just getting to a tech who can answer your questions everytime you call HP. There is no direct line to the designjet group.

If your printer is not working as mine is - they will only give you suggestions on things to try. Everytime you call you will get a new tech who will give you random things to try without any logical step by step process.

I have been calling every 3-4 days for the last 2 months trying to get my printer repaired. They have very limited hours for support.  It is a good thing I don't depend on the printer for my living.

My hospital has a top notch computer IT department and they have been more useful - but only to the point that it is clear that there is hardware failure in the printer.

HP will not send a tech out to do printer repairs - especially if it under warranty- instead after 1-2 months of calling, you may get lucky and they will send you a token circuit board just for giggles and expect you to repair it yourself.

Then when you call back they will tell you that you have to change out circuits on the circuit board they sent you - which is great if you are used to working on circuit boards - but really sucks if your skills are in photography and not computer repair.

Basically when  your HP3100 fails you have a really really big paper weight.

I would seriously consider the type of support you will get when buying a expensive printer. My experience with HP has been unimaginably poor. It is clear from the problems we have had with their buggy software upgrades and support that HP is not really interested in standing behind their products.

It is a real shame because I liked this printer when it worked. It does produce beautiful prints and the in-printer paper calibration is a great leap forward. I feel sorry for the engineers that put their heart,  sweat and tears into the engineering of this printer only to watch the HP warranty and support team sink all their hard work.

So be warned before you make the purchase

Dr. Joel Murphy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184740\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Roscolo
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« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2008, 09:06:10 PM »
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My HP Z3100 printer stopped working 2 months ago. Before you spend money on an HP Z3100 you should know that you will spend 20-30 minutes just getting to a tech who can answer your questions everytime you call HP. There is no direct line to the designjet group.

If your printer is not working as mine is - they will only give you suggestions on things to try. Everytime you call you will get a new tech who will give you random things to try without any logical step by step process.

I have been calling every 3-4 days for the last 2 months trying to get my printer repaired. They have very limited hours for support.  It is a good thing I don't depend on the printer for my living.

My hospital has a top notch computer IT department and they have been more useful - but only to the point that it is clear that there is hardware failure in the printer.

HP will not send a tech out to do printer repairs - especially if it under warranty- instead after 1-2 months of calling, you may get lucky and they will send you a token circuit board just for giggles and expect you to repair it yourself.

Then when you call back they will tell you that you have to change out circuits on the circuit board they sent you - which is great if you are used to working on circuit boards - but really sucks if your skills are in photography and not computer repair.


Dr. Joel Murphy
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Joel,

You wrote a lot, but you didn't really include the details. What exactly is the problem with your printer? Does it turn on?, etc.

You should be able to swap out a circuit board. I was afraid to swap out a motherboard on a computer I purchased from ABS, but the tech assured me I could do it and walked me through it. Worked out great, because I gained so much confidence I built my next computer myself. I don't know how exactly how HP's tech support works, but you need to establish a relationship with ONE tech, get his phone number, and try to only deal with that one individual. Then you are working with someone who knows your situation, what has been tried, etc. ABS has such a system and it works great. I always spoke with the same tech support.

Can you still purchase the warranty that comes with on site support? I know it's pricey, but that is why they sell that for people who are intimidated by getting into their machine and swapping out parts.

Bottom line: If you take your time and follow instructions, swapping out computer parts is not a big deal for most. That may not be your problem, but the sooner you tackle that the sooner you will know for sure. At some point you will get to the point where they will send a tech out.

I completely disagree with your comment about "buggy" software upgrades. In the past, other manufacturers didn't even offer upgrades to current users of a model...they just made a new model with the "upgrades" and then they expected you to scrap your printer and buy the new model! I'm pretty impressed with HP's efforts to work out some of the minor annoyances in the z3100 with firmware / driver updates.

None of that matters to you if your printer ain't printin'. Good luck. Stay on 'em. Make careful, detailed notes every time you call tech support and exactly what you do each time you attempt a fix. Keep us posted on how it goes.
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