Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

HP Designjet T120

2 Dec, 2013 By: R.K. McSwain

First Look Review: Compact 24” printer is just the right size for small offices that are short on space.


 

Highly RecommendedHP's web-connected Designjet T120 is geared toward the entry-level market, from the single user to the small office, and is capable of producing D-size sheets. It is compact enough to sit on a desktop, but is available with a stand for a more conventional installation. The Designjet T120 produces very high-quality prints — but takes its time in doing so. Also, sound-sensitive users will want to look elsewhere, as the T120 can be quite noisy while printing.

Features

Without the stand, the T120 measures roughly 39" wide x 12" tall x 21" deep; the optional stand and catch bin bring the height of the unit to about 36". The unit weighs less than 60 lbs, so a single person can move it easily.

The printer supports 2"-core roll media as wide as 24" and sheets as wide as 13". The roll media is easy to load, and the built-in sheet tray operates in a fashion similar to the bypass tray on your office printer or copier. Even though the roll media sits at the rear of the printer, the minimal depth of this unit means you do not have to move it away from the wall to change media.

The HP Designjet T120 supports roll media as well as sheets.
The HP Designjet T120 supports roll media as well as sheets.

Making changes to the printer settings and checking ink levels and connectivity status could not be much easier. The software behind the 4.3-inch" color touchscreen is intuitive, and the screen itself can be pivoted up from its flat position on top of the printer for easier viewing. As with all Designjet printers of recent years, the T120 has an embedded web server that lets user check the status of the printer and supplies as well as view and change printer settings.

The Designjet T120 also features 256 MB of onboard memory, but no hard drive for storing jobs meaning that to reprint an item, you will have to send it again from the application.

 

Connectivity

Wired connectivity can be achieved via adirect USB connection or Ethernet port network. Setup takes just a few minutes, and Windows 7 even includes a driver for this printer, so you can begin printing soon after assembly. For best results, users will probably want to update the default driver with the latest version available from HP.

HP Designjet T120But the Designjet T120 need not be tethered to your PC or network. It is one of the first wide-format printers with built-in Wi-Fi capability, delivering full printing functionality without all the cords. Not only that, but you can take this wireless connectivity with you on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone when you use HP Designjet ePrint & Share, a free, web-based service available for HP Designjet T-series ePrinters. You can even e-mail a document to the T120 for automatic printing.

Print Quality and Speed

The T120's print quality is excellent, as you might expect from HP, based on the company's long experience in this field. An optimized resolution as high as 1200 x 1200 dpi and a minimum line width of 0.04 mm yield crisp line drawings.

That quality, however, comes at the cost of print speed. According to HP specifications, the Designjet T120 can produce 40 D-size pages per hour. In our tests, an 11" x 17" black-and-white line drawing printed from AutoCAD 2013 took slightly more than two minutes to complete. For comparison, the same print job took only 49 seconds on an HP Designjet T1100.

The T120 includes a single CMYK print head with four individual ink cartridges. (Introductory sizes of all four are included with purchase.). Full-size cartridges retail for about $40 (38-ml black ink) and $32 (29-ml individual colors).

Purchase Considerations

Because of its small footprint, you may plan to place the T120 near your workspace, but be aware that, for its size, the unit is fairly noisy while printing. HP includes a one-year limited hardware warranty, with the option to purchase longer-term service and support.

The HP Designjet T120 appears to be a good solution for the small office or one-person operation. However, if print speed is the most important feature for you, then you should consider another options. Otherwise, the excellent print quality, small footprint, and embedded Wi-Fi make the T120 a leader in its price range. Highly Recommended.


About the Author: R.K. McSwain

R.K. McSwain

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