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Author Topic: z3100 to z3200 ps - upgrade opinions  (Read 3190 times)
Roscolo
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« on: January 31, 2011, 01:45:14 PM »
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Will be 4 years in April printing on my z3100. Zero problems. Worried about belt replacement, I'm not under any warranty. Belt seems to be in pretty good condition, but I don't run my printer every day.

I can snag a z3200 after rebate for $2100 or z3200 ps for $2200. Seems like a great deal, but I can just change out the belt on the z3100 for $150 or so. Or I could change the belt and sell my z3100. Wouldn't want to sell it without changing the belt. Not cool.

Questions: Anyone who has owned both the z3100 and z3200 see a dramatic improvement in the z3200 red? And I've done fine with no PS version. Already have an i-one for my multisync p221w monitor, so no big deal there. But, IF I snag one of the z3200's only $100 more for the PS version.

What do you think? Too good to turn down the deal or just do the belt replacement myself when the time comes and run the workhorse and save the dough?

Is the black-and-white performance on the z3200 as good as the b&w on the z3100?

Thanks

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deanwork
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2011, 06:36:52 PM »
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You can get an additional warranty for one year on the 3100 for $834.00. Good thing about HP is that you can purchase the warranty at any time as long as you tell them your printer is working fine. That's really cool.

I just came off of an extended 3 year warranty on a 3100 that only cost $1,500 at that time. During this period they replaced my belt, and a hard drive. I asked them to replace the cap station and the waste tank unit while they were doing the belt. He said sure no problem. Hell the Canon warranty is like $1500.00 for one year I believe and I don't think that includes heads that will certainly need replacing and aren't cheap. The Hp printers are modular and the heads are really inexpensive so you can just keep replacing modules and keep them going for as long as parts are available if you are in warranty.

But you are going to have to tear the whole printer apart to replace the belt and it will definitely need it.  That's a pretty big job. The hard drive could go out at anytime and a service call for that is over a $1,000.00 or for anything really. The 3200 has a bigger hard drive, a little brighter red (not an issue with me for most media) and slightly faster.

But man for the price of that 3200 is is almost too tempting to go for it or the new Canon that is also priced so well right now.
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robertDthomas
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 06:37:10 PM »
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I did the same thing a couple months ago.  I got a 44" to replace my 24" Z3100.  I had the same concern about belt replacement as I read the posts here of machines 3 or 3 1/2 years.  I had no problems with my Z3100 either but I had some prints heads in fair shape and also a number of way expired cartridges.  I like the larger size and the reds seem better and a bit faster.  Now I hope to get at least another 3 1/2 years out of this one.
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a.lorge
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 07:53:52 PM »
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We ran into this dilemma at work recently.  Our aging z3100 was down for about a week (even though it is under warranty, the part we needed back ordered) so we jumped at the z3200 deal to avoid downtime in the future.  The red on the z3200 is better, but in my opinion, it's not enough of an improvement to justify buying a new machine.  You know what they say, "A bargain is something you don't really need at a price you can't resist"  Smiley.  That got me twice lately, I also bought a canon 6300 at these crazy prices.  If I had it to do over again I would have done one of two things:

1:  Use the money we spent on the z3200 to keep the z3100 under warranty.  The one week of downtime really didn't hurt us that much.  Our customers were pretty understanding when we explained the situation to them.  Also, keeping both printers stocked with ink is a little expensive. 

2:  Bought a canon 8300 instead of a second z-series machine (and a canon 6300).  The one weakness of the canon (as far as I can tell) is the inability to make profiles.  You've got that covered with the z3100 and the eye one.  In all other respects I think the canon is a much better machine. 
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deanwork
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 08:06:23 PM »
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The ink carts on the Canon are a lot bigger, the gamut is larger, the printer is sturdier but takes a whole army to move. The black and white matte output on the Z series is superior to all the rest, and on the Canson papers, spectacular. The permanence is twice Canon and Epson. The internal linearization and a "free" I-One specro and software is worth a grand in itself and I'm spoiled doing that in 10 minutes on any media I ever need to use, including canvas, kozo, and fabrics. The Canon ink carts are a LOT bigger and the sheet feeding a bit better than the HP. I love the way the ink carts are facing down on the HP letting gravity take every last drop of ink, but damn 130 ml is a little small and I wish they were twice that size ( but then you'd have a bigger/heavier printer...). One of my 12 inks are always showing "ink low". That's just life I guess.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 08:47:27 PM »
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Here's something else I didn't consider. Will I have problems printing to the z3100 and the z3200ps from the same computer? Doesn't seem like a big deal. Was in the process of building a new system, but Intel's announcement today of the recall of the chipset on the P67 motherboards put a stop to that!
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a.lorge
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 09:02:24 PM »
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Roscolo - I had issues running a z3100 and z3200 from the same Mac 10.4.  It all got resolved by upgrading to 10.6 and uninstalling an extraneous desktop HP printer/scanner.  Works great now.

Deanwork - Not arguing with any of that, just saying, if you had a choice between owning a {z3100 and a z3200} or {z3100 and a canon 8300}, can't you cover more bases with the HP + Canon combo?
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deanwork
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 09:41:24 PM »
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Well that is exactly right. And why I renewed my Z3100 warranty and will buy the Canon 8300 within a month. I want both. But I'm go greedy.

There are three things that will lead me to adding the Canon. Speed is like 3 times the Z series, and for print for pay that translates into time and money. The Canon ink carts are so big you don't have to hassle with replacing ink carts. The Canon (and Epson 9900)  has the edge on fiber gloss differential and bronzing. Even with the gloss enhancer channel on the Z with fiber gloss, I still end up spraying them with uv spray to equal my rc Z prints for smoothness (but the Hahnemuhle Photorag Baryta and Cone Type 5 is beautiful for both bw and color on the Z). The Canon had the edge on gamut and the Z has the edge on matte black and white and longevity.

Interesting afterthought. I now spray my HP Pro Satin RC prints with the uv spray and since that paper is not plastic sealed on the back you don't have to wait for "outgassing" issues like for instance Epson Premium Luster that you need to cure before coating.

They're all good. They are all unique and they are all extremely affordable if you have money at all these days. Final thought STAY IN WARRANTY REGARDLESS. If you don't you are asking for trouble. Personally I like thermal printers. I don't like doing nozzle checks and head cleanings, ever.

j

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Roscolo
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2011, 09:57:43 PM »
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Now I wonder if I should just buy a Care Pack for the z3100. That's pretty amazing if you can just buy the Care Pack even if you let the printer go out of warranty. Never a big fan of warranties for the most part. When I look at what is most likely to go wrong: the belt, the HD / logic board, one could just do the labor and buy the parts for less than the cost of the care pack. Or just replace the printer with a new one for slightly more than the 3 year care pack.

That said, I wonder if I should just buy a 3 year Care Pack for $1500 and keep printing on the z3100. Tough call when for just $600 more, I can just add a new z3200. Once I submit the serial number and trade up the old printer and get the rebate, the old one will be ineligible for warranty / care pack.

Decisions, decisions!

My z3100 has been the model of perfection. 100% satisfied customers. Perfect B&W. No spectro on the Canon is a negative. Superior longevity on the z prints is a major selling point to my customers. Right now I'm sticking with these great z modular printers. Would still like to see an improvement either in the durability of the belt, or make it easier to change out. Can't have it all. Fix that belt issue and the z3100 / z3200 is pretty darn near perfect.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 12:21:58 PM by Roscolo » Logged
deanwork
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2011, 10:07:57 PM »
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Another cool thing about the HPZ is that in order to access the logic board (main board) that has the Hitachi hard drive attached to it, all you need to do is go to the back of the printer, remove two hand screws ( yea you don't even need a screw driver) and pull it out , and pop another one in. So, if you need a logic board you can put it in yourself in 3 minutes. They did a lot of good design thinking with this machine and for that I think they do deserve some credit. But again, stay in warranty.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2011, 10:23:08 PM »
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So how does the Care Pack / warranty work. For example, take the belt replacement. Does the belt have to break before they come out and replace it, or is there a certain standard that has to be met regarding the amount of debris flaking off?

IF I really can still buy the Care Pack 4 years in, and I never had anything but the normal 1 year warranty, I would probably opt for the 3 year care pack at $1,500. My belt, formatter and main board could all die and replacing those would cost me $1,200 in parts. Still cheaper than the Care Pack.

Clearly you are a believer in keeping the printers in warranty. I've always built my own work stations and I'm pretty handy, so I'm comfortable with the labor end of things.

Bottom line - I can spend $2,100 on a brand new z3200, or I can spend $1,500 on a 3 year Care Pack on my still-going-strong-but-for-the-impending-belt-replacement 4 year old z3100 (if HP allows me to), but I can't do both.

@ deanwork - Which would you do?

Obviously I'm having a tough time making the call Smiley
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a.lorge
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2011, 11:24:47 PM »
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Hi Roscolo, I know you asked for deanwork's opinion, but since I've had some epic encounters with HP customer support (and have been drinking heavily have nothing else to do, thanks snow  Tongue), I'll throw in my two cents anyway.  If you have the HP care pack, and something goes wrong with your printer, you call up a special phone number in the HP DesignJet support tree and are connected to a low level tech in Costa Rica.  So let's say your drive belt is disintegrating and leaving flakes on prints.  You would describe your problem to the tech and he/she would consult his/her manual and try to make you perform some pretty standard solutions to the problem.  For example, walking you through cleaning the encoder strip, cleaning the maintaince area etc.  You might even score some free print heads at this stage in the process.  It takes a little cajoling, but generally you can apprise him/her of your problem and get them to send out a technician within an hour or so.  Personally, I like to use the phase "this ain't my first rodeo" a lot.  That gives them the impression I know what I'm doing (which I kind of do I guess).  At this point they they will dispatch a technician to your place of business and one day ship any necessary parts to you (assuming they aren't back ordered).  The technician shows up next business day, replaces the parts and you are back in business.  The last time I tried to repair a drive belt on a large format inkjet printer was on an HP 3500cp that I bought on ebay in 2003ish.  That went extremely poorly.  I imagine the repairability design of these printers has evolved significantly since then (not to mention I am not especially mechanically inclined), but that's when I vowed to leave printer fixing to the professionals.
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deanwork
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 11:56:26 PM »
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Well what I did was buy the one year extended warranty on my Z3100 for $840.00 :-) and mine is pretty much restored at this point.

But my gut instinct with your question is go for the new printer, it's so cheap and you have one year of a warranty with that purchase and can renew it after that anytime or work on it yourself in the future. Then you can keep the one you have as a backup or sell it and pay half the price of your new one. How's that?

What happens with the belt is it will begin to flake off over time an you'll find small black residue on your prints that progressively increases. Of course how quickly that will happen depends on how much it is used. Mine was used a lot.

j
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2011, 03:22:26 AM »
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Here's something else I didn't consider. Will I have problems printing to the z3100 and the z3200ps from the same computer? Doesn't seem like a big deal. Was in the process of building a new system, but Intel's announcement today of the recall of the chipset on the P67 motherboards put a stop to that!

Running a Z3100 and a Z3200 PS simultaneously from one Qimage version (or two) on the same Vista system.

If you do not have APS for the Z3100 then the Z3200 improves the profiles, the included Color Center profile creation software did get better. The Z3200 PS version also solved the print length issues I had with my Z3100, the HPGL-2 driver is included and as I understand it does the trick just by being trhere, I use the PCL3 driver and hardly ever the PS3 driver. Red is better on the Z3200, gamut in total somewhat heavier. B&W degraded a bit in my opinion compared to the Z3100, the more reason to keep the last.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

New: Spectral plots of +230 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm

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deanwork
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2011, 11:24:52 AM »
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What in the world did they do on the 3200 to degrade the black and white output. Is the driver that different?
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John.Murray
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2011, 11:57:23 AM »
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What in the world did they do on the 3200 to degrade the black and white output. Is the driver that different?

Really?  Can you describe?  I was strongly considering jumping into a Z3200 44", currently very happy with my Z3100 24"
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Roscolo
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2011, 12:18:29 PM »
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Well, I got an email about the trade-in rebate on Saturday. Turns out it ran from Oct. until Jan. 31st, so it's over so this thread has been a bit of a waste of time - too little too late. I would have bought a z3200, but now that the rebate is over, and if the B&W quality on the z3200 is not as good as the z3100, I think I will get some samples sent out printed on the Canon 8300 and give it a long look. I also haven't heard of any problems with Canon owners having to take apart their printers to replace faulty belts.

It's almost 4 years, and the belt on my z3100 looks good to my eye. A few black flecks off the finish of the inside of the belt, but I've not had any problems with flecks on prints or anything. Knock on wood!

If they want to promote the rebate and actually make a sale, they may want to send out the email promoting the rebate before the last day!
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2011, 02:16:37 PM »
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After calibration of a paper on a Z3100 you will get a perfect linear output with a Dmax close to the 100% black patch on the calibration target. With the Z3200 the linearity isn't as nice and the Dmax is a bit sacrificed. I have written about that in my logbook on the Z3200. Keith reported a similar finding in his review. You can of course make a QTR B&W profile to translate the image tone range nicely to the not so linear Z3200 tone range but you can not reclaim some of the Dmax loss. In color mode it is less of an issue but the Z3200 has less Dmax there too.

I have a strong suspicion that together with the heavier Chromatic Red ink they also changed the original linearity of the printer a bit to get a heavier (more Epson style) gamut after people complained that the Z3100 output was nice in the highlights but didn't have the same gamut in the heavier parts. With that change the B&W linearity went as well. I like the color output of the Z3200 compared to the Z3100 but not the B&W output. The Z3100 B&W output is the best in its class.

http://www.pigment-print.com/review/Z3200FirstPage_2.htm

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/printer/hp_z3200ps.html

both bottom page.


Almost 2 years ago that I have written that.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

New: Spectral plots of +230 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm

« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 01:42:14 AM by Ernst Dinkla » Logged
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