HP Previews New State-of-the-Art Large-Format Photo Printers

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HP Inc. today unveiled its new DesignJet Z Printer series at the FESPA Global Print Expo. The new large-format color inkjet printers are designed for print service providers (PSPs), retailers, and other users for printing photos, graphics, and technical documents.

HP notes that the market for large photo merchandising grew seven percent in 2017, according to InfoTrends, with nearly 1.3 trillion photos taken in the same year, according to The New York Times. According to HP, the demand for simplicity and photo quality is growing, fueling the need for faster, more efficient printing solutions.

The new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ Printer series is designed to maximize printing performance for superior photo output. By tightly integrating the materials, hardware, and software together, HP says the new printers provide “amazing photo quality and print permanence” with fewer required inks, the latter of which provides more simplified management and lower costs. Select models feature a new vertical trimmer to optimize output in addition to other technologies for rapid high-quality production, from professional photo quality printing, to printing retailer signage.

HP says the result is printing 2.5 times faster, according to internal HP testing, and post-production 20-percent faster, compared to the HP DesignJet Z9⁺dr series printers without built-in vertical trimmer.

The HP DesignJet Z Printer series are both available in 24- and 44-inch print formats. In an industry first, the HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ provide a premium option with onboard vertical trimmer for faster and more efficient production. New color technology, HP Pixel Control, now for the first time manages colors “in a truly digital way to help customers embrace new opportunities for color-rich and dynamic printing.”

The HP DesignJet Z9+ printer is designed for a broad range of graphics and technical printing applications. The DesignJet Z6 Printer series is designed for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) creators and users, PSPs, and retailers that require a simple-to-use solution for high-quality technical and graphics printing with water- and fade-resistance. The new printers are said to be able to handle even the most complex files with powerful processing architectures and the Adobe PDF Print Engine.

Technologies and features include:

  • HP Pixel Control: HP says users can achieve true-to-color prints and an expanded color gamut with RGB (red, green, blue) HP Vivid Photo Inks, featuring chromatic red, chromatic green, and chromatic blue, and with the i1 embedded spectrophotometer and HP Pixel Control. HP Pixel Control is said to be a “truly digital color pipeline designed for outstanding, consistent image quality delivered by controlling every print-ready pixel.” Combining HP HDNA with HP Pixel Control, users can obtain superior image quality with just nine inks versus 12 inks compared to the previous-generation HP DesignJet. The new printers also feature HP Professional Pantone Emulation to match brand-identity colors.
  • Dual-drop ink technology: Users can produce prints with clear details and high-contrast color with dual-drop ink technology powered by HP Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) and high-definition inkjet print heads. The HP DesignJet Z9+ features an upgradable configuration for producing output with higher gloss.
  • Workflow tools: HP says users can simplify large-format printing with a redesigned poster application in the HP Applications Center, which also includes Adobe Stock, Unsplash, Vecteezy, and Pattern Design, offering customers access to tools for creating signs and posters. The HP Applications Center also embeds augmented reality (AR) technology for more meaningful engaging print.
  • Indoor and outdoor durability: Users can create prints with highly stable pigment HP Vivid Photo Inks that provide water-resistant, fade-resistant prints for long-term indoor display and, when printed on suitable water-resistant media, outdoor display.
  • Security: The printers features HP’s security-solutions suite, including HP Secure Boot, whitelisting, user-authentication solutions, and HP JetAdvantage Security manager to safeguard printers and data.
  • HP PrintOS: Administrators can remotely manage the print-production environment from anywhere at any time with HP PrintOS.

HP is also announcing enhanced HP DesignJet Z6x10 Printers that feature a new design. The new printers have new labeling indicating the printer colors to simplify ease-of-use. They also feature new inkjet print heads and Chromatic Red Ink formulation for sharper detail and more precise line quality. Optimized fast and normal print modes for printing on heavyweight coated, polypropylene, and canvas media are designed to speed-up production and enhance image quality. The new printers also have a 500 GB hard disk drive (HDD) with more virtual memory to process complex and graphic-intensive prints.

The printers are compatible with various HP media:

  • HP Recycled Satin Canvas is a 17.4 mil (443 micron), 370 gsm crack-resistant canvas for printing with HP aqueous inks, and is made from 100-percent recycled water bottles. making it the first of its kind in the HP Wide Format Media Portfolio.
  • HP Everyday Blockout Display Film features a unique construction of three layers of polypropylene, polyester, and polypropylene film for an added suppleness and superior lay-flat properties. HP Everyday Blockout Display film is a thicker film compared to 100-percent polyester, costs less, and has a coating for dual-ink technology.

The HP DesignJet Z6, Z6x10, and Z9+ Printers are expected to be available on June 1, 2018. The 44-inch HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ with dual roll and vertical trimmer are expected to be available on July 1, 2018.

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