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    HP Pagewide XL wide format printer: Did it live up to 2016 expectations?

    By: Jeff Vetter
    December 1, 2016

    A little less than a year ago we compared the new Pagewide XL from Hewlett Packard to Iron Man. These machines brought amazing technology that changed the way we thought about wide format printers. They did so many things so well that it was like the high powered superhero had shown up:

    • Faster printing
    • Great quality
    • Reduced costs
    • Increased energy efficiency
    • Quiet

    So now we want to see if they measured up to our, and clients, expectations. 

    Color at Monochrome prices

    PageWide_XL_5000_mfp_scan_tcm245_2080725_tcm245_2080728_tcm245-2080725.jpgLet’s look at how these printers have changed three related industries: architecture, engineering and construction. The ability to print design and construction color drawings at the cost of monochrome helps these industries see the details of plans. For example, it gives them the ability to distinguish between an electrical line and a waterline much easier. It also provides the capability to print Revit 3D files in-house and in color without a lot of expense. This saves the average architectural or engineering firm time and money because they no longer need to outsource color printing. 

    Customers are also reporting cost-savings because they can produce both mono and color prints at the same time.

    More than just paper prints

    The Pagewide XL’s also use pigmented inks so prints are fade and water resistant. That lets firms print on other media, such as Tyvek and Tornado Bond. Both of these are water and weather resistant, which is quite important in all three industries.

    All of these capabilities have been proven over this past year. As an HP Pagewide XL Dealer, we are also seeing less service calls than we would ordinarily have with standard LED wide format printers. That means less down time and more confidence, so customers get the prints when they need them. In addition, printheads are meeting and exceeding the projected life expectancy, resulting in less cost per print. The quality of the print is un-matched and the fine details it produces are clean, crisp and readable.

    If you are looking to do “photo-quality” prints, HP’s printhead aren't quite there yet, but it was not designed for that. If, however, you are looking to provide quality presentation boards, aerial prints and mixed-image prints, the Pagewide XL meets those needs and expectations of quality.

    Exceeding Expectations

    From a dealer perspective, the HP Pagewide XL has performed as well, if not better, than we had expected. We also wanted to talk to a customer who was an early adopter. Eric Eby is the director of information technology for ISG, an architectural, engineering, environmental and planning firm headquartered in Mankato, MN. His organization bought six of these printers, and calls them “phenomenal machines.”

    First, he said, they are “much quicker than anything on the market”. Second, cost is no longer an issue when printing in color. Third, the quality of the prints is fantastic. Fourth, they are reliable.

    Eby expected the setup, initially, would be a bit rocky because ISG was literally the first company in the Midwest to purchase these new printers. There were some firmware issues in the first two months, but not a single issue in the six months following. HP has been very responsive, even flying in one of the designers from Barcelona to visit his company. Eby’s company uses mostly 20 pound bond in these printers, but he has also used an HP poly film that makes fantastic looking prints for presentations. His coworkers who use CAD a lot are printing to a clear film for their projects.


    When you purchase an HP Pagewide XL, you not only get the confidence of a superior machine, but you will also have an experienced team of Marco technicians who will provide the expertise in training, installation and any continuing support to ensure your prints are the highest quality.

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    Topics: wide format printers