What printer would you recommend for proofing purposes, today? $500 or under would be nice since I'm an independent designer.
Ideally, the minimum requirements would be:
- true 1200 dpi,
- Adobe PostScript 3
- laser printer technology
Are there other minimum requirements I should be considering?
In the U.S., the low-end cost for 1200 dpi plus Adobe PostScript 3 seems to be above $1,000. To get something around the $500 mark and below usually means going with the vendor's PostScript 3 emulation. In the past, I wanted to stay away from most emulations. If I lived in Australia, I'd probably try out
the Fuji Xerox DocuPrint P355d (which hits the under $500 mark with Adobe PostScript 3 and 1200 dpi).http://www.fujixerox.com.au/products/printers/monochrome-printers/docuprint-p355d/dpp355
Are there printers with PostScript 3 emulation and 1200 dpi that work well enough? 2400 dpi, though nice to have, seems to make the price increase a lot.
[Posting in Software since there wasn't a Hardware category.]
One of the surprising things I learned from the test prints was just how crappy a certain famous brand is (or maybe was); it saved me a lot of money because I would have thought theirs was the best.
On their home page, click on Test Drive and read more about it.
The last time I was well versed in such matters (about six years ago), I recall that within Adobe, Lexmark's PostScript was considered a famously bad emulation, one of the worst on the market from a major printer vendor. Not sure if this is true today, but I have put an inquiry in to somebody who knows this stuff.
I'd also be happy to hear what people use for printing proofs (even if outside my requirements list above). Though I'd prefer new, I may consider getting an older used printer (with appropriate recommendations).
I also have an HP Laserjet Whatever.
The problem with PS emulation is that it tends to be particularly inaccurate at text sizes. The HP emulator prints heavy; my now-discarded Lexmark's emulator printed light. Whereas my proofs from the Xerox have always been very accurate (compared to professionally printed versions of the same documents).
That being said, for just printing text samples, I would expect most of them are just fine... though I'd never get one myself.
Price $1199 high, but great output and economical toner cartridges.
Two days of printer talk and no spam!
Good job, James and Vanilla!
Unfortunately, I am not up to speed on current models, particularly in high-res b&w. For color and Adobe PS3, I would look at some of the current Xerox Phaser models.
Fwiw, HP and Lexmark started with the same PostScript emulation, although their code bases have forked since then.
But I will freely admit, at the end of the day I am not a printer hardware guy, even though I did do a lot towards getting the font subsystem working for PostScript 3.
At the studio we have settled on a Xerox 7525 + fiery controller. Color DIN-A3, True PS, 1200dpi.
The beast cost around €12000 so we went for a leasing contract, including toner, parts & maintenance, that's around €300 per month.
We studied Ricoh but they have poor addressing of the graphic arts specifics. Did not study offer from any other manufacturer.