Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

Hewlett-Packard DesignJet ColorPro CAD

30 Sep, 2000 By: Evan Yares

Inkjet, thermal, and LED plotters reviewed

Hewlett-Packard Co.
Star rating: 5 stars out of 5

All the other plotters in this review are wide format— 36" or more. The ColorPro CAD is different. It is a tabloid-size (up to 13" X 19") 600dpi color inkjet printer that’s designed to work just like the big DesignJets, which, when you think about it, is a very good idea.

The DesignJet ColorPro CAD prints tabloid-size checkplots.

The ColorPro CAD uses Hewlett-Packard’s modular ink delivery system (similar to that used in the top-of-the-line DesignJet 1000 series), with replaceable ink cartridges that hold 69mL for black and 26.5mL for each color. Media is fed from one of two 400-sheet trays or through a single-sheet bypass. The print quality generated by the ColorPro CAD is excellent, not too far from true photo quality. The ColorPro CAD’s throughput is also very good: 15 seconds for a B-size print in econo-fast mode.

The ColorPro CAD uses the same driver software as other DesignJets and produces essentially identical output, including colors, lineweights, and shading. This is helpful if you use it as a check plotter and want to match the output from your big DesignJet.

One interesting bonus with the ColorPro CAD is that it comes with ZEHRaster Plus, a driver that supports the most popular raster file formats, including JPEG, TIF, and CALS. This may not be a critical element for CAD users, but if you deal with scanned images, it’s a nice bonus.

While other tabloid-size color inkjet printers are on the market, most of the really good ones are optimized for prepress and graphics, rather than for CAD. Beyond driver software and DesignJet compatibility, one of the significant advantages of the ColorPro CAD is that it’s faster than any of its competitors. In fact, it’s faster than anything short of a color laser printer. When you consider a laser’s warm-up time, it even beats those. Highly Recommended.

About the Author: Evan Yares

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