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Looking for a 'yes this will work effectively' answer rather than opinions on brands or particular printers pros and cons. I am working in a small web dev' office currently providing the creative to a team of 6. Good hardware, server and LAN infrastructure internally which, although Win based, talks to the Mac's OK. Presentation is mostly digital although there is a requirement (at times) to paper visualise at A3, for example, to maintain a printed folio, provide client support and internal marketing. The creative output will driven from either of two i7 Quadcore Macs running OS 10.8, Adobe suite. The quality needs to be good to high although I am NOT expecting production print proofing - if I want that I will get it from my external contractors and generally on final stock.

Requirement details as follows:

General

  • Mac and Windows drivers
  • Network compatible via ethernet (WiFi fine as an extra although must be wired LAN primarily)
  • Postscript on board (still a feature? - please see below *)
  • Print server (?) included in software / drivers. We don't need to admin / manage usage, more for handling the queue if 2/3 people try to print at once - we are all in different rooms.
  • Ideally with reasonable processor / RAM to cope with small queues (generally not more than two of us printing at once)

Usage / Speed

  • Web and creative team. Relatively small outputs, we mostly use electronic delivery and are a 'green' office so paper use will be 'light'
  • Colour and Black / White
  • Inkjet is OK as long as reasonable robust (we are tired of Canon error b200 print head faults which turn out to be dried ink and cost £80 to replace!)
  • Speed isn't an issue for us and at the PC / Mac end, we are all high powered hardware for initial file processing.

Quality

  • Draft = for text documents reasonably quickly (light use again, no manuals or heavy print required)
  • High Quality = we need a quality output at A3 for creative visuals - good enough to show a client / takeaway / produce minor marketing in the office (posters, info graphics).

(*) Note: the creative work will be coming directly from Acrobat or Indesign CS6 / Cloud on a Macintosh over ethernet. In the past I installed network printers with built in postscript like the Oki B4350n which helped with text rendering. Not sure if this is still required in 2016 or whether the Mac OS / printer driver manages it on the fly, please advise.

Level / Potential Candidates

  • Canon PIXMA iX6850
  • HP Officejet 7110 Wide Format
  • Epson Stylus Photo 1500W

Again, not looking to start a debate on print or build quality, rather a confirm from someone that they have / have used a particular printer in these types of circumstances and it was effective. Any flags, issues or particular models to avoid would also be appreciated.

  • Epson Stylus Photo 1500W is no longer ethernet capable (previous 1500W was - I had one). So this printer is out of the running. – Applefanboy Nov 3 '16 at 16:03
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For the benefit of others in a similar situation - I have a solution. Epson Workforce WF 7610 (Europe) A3+ colour inkjet. You can Google the specs and processor

Highlights - Workgroup inkjet so decent processing power / ram to queue jobs for multiple PCs at once - Works excellently with Mac OS 10.8 with provided support utilities - Ditto Windows 10 boxes and runs over a Win wired network - Integrates with Mac Image Capture function for scanning direct to desktop - Scanner / Copier bed is full A3 and 10 seconds (fast) on standard resolution - A3+ colour print - high quality option with Epson papers and inks (good enough for client first visuals, office print) - Draft (standard) A4 B/W print is fast 2 seconds to spool, 3 seconds a page - Fax function to print / desktop included (phone line input) - Easy, logical set-up with touch screen colour panel - Fast start from cold and relatively quite running - Connectivity solid with on-board net card / ethernet, direct USB to PC, WiFi including 'air print' mobile phone bridge function, USB Flash, SD card, MS Duo


Caveats? - inks expensive but that goes also for HP, Canon, etc (offset by relatively cheap initial purchase - sub £200 Amazon) - requires Epson papers / inks for best results (but will take standard copier paper and 3rd party ink) - trays a little flimsy (unit itself is solid, will take some knocks) - footprint = 55cm x 55cm with front and rear paper feeds (for A3 nothing more than expected)


Would I recommend it?

Yes. Early days for reliability / cost of running although for functions, connectivity (ethernet, USB and WiFi print), ease of set up, Mac support, A3 scanning and workgroup capability I am smiling. Scanning and print quality are subjective to some degree and you can get better / faster obviously for more bucks - both good enough for my needs and if I go beyond this I go external and charge it on to the client (e.g. bound presentation visuals for a corporate).

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