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HP TECH TAKES /...

Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
Best Wide Format Printer-Plotters for Engineers

Best Wide Format Printer-Plotters for Engineers

If you are an engineer, architect, city planner, and other professional who uses computer-aided design (CAD) software, high-quality large format printing is vital to your work flow. As projects grow in size and complexity, so does your dependence on specs like print quality and available print sizes.

Traditional engineering plotters work differently than conventional printers. Typically, when someone asks about the best plotter-printer for engineering, they’re referring to a printer that’s bigger (wider) than a conventional home or office inkjet printer.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the 5 best HP DesignJet wide format plotter-printers designed for detailed planning, so you can tackle even the biggest projects.

1. HP DesignJet T830 large format multifunction wireless plotter printer

HP DesignJet T830 large format multifunction wireless plotter printer

Shop HP DesignJet T830 large format multifunction wireless plotter printer

At the top of our list for capacity and features is the HP DesignJet T830 large format multifunction wireless plotter printer. It’s also the only multifunction option, with efficient intake and smart scanning technology that protects your original documents from surface damage. Plus, you can print over WiFi using HP Mobile Print and the HP Smart app.

Print speeds come in at 25 seconds per page (82 prints per hour), with cartridges available in 130 ml or 300 ml sizes. It’s very compact, too, for better mobility around the office, and it features a reinforced stand to stay in place. The stand was actually redesigned for sustainability, reducing carbon dioxide waste by up to 197 tons per year per unit.

The HP DesignJet T830 is also packed with other efficiency features, including the ENERGY STAR certification and EPEAT registration. This is one the most powerful and efficient HP large format printers and scanners available.

Key features:

  • Large-format multifunction printer (print, copy, scan)
  • New stand design reduces C02e (carbon dioxide equivalent) waste per unit sold
  • Finish prints in as little as 25 seconds per page
  • ENERGY STAR certified and EPEAT registered
  • Available in 24 inches and 36 inches

2. HP DesignJet T730 large format wireless plotter printer

HP DesignJet T730 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer

Shop HP DesignJet T730 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer

The HP DesignJet T730 large format wireless plotter printer offers similar print speeds (25 seconds per page) and usability features to the prior entry on our list. It’s also designed to make printing easier with its wireless connectivity.

The automatic sheet feeder allows you to cut waste by adapting projects to different scales, and you can also slash some of your busy work with the automatic cutter. Handle remote jobs quickly over your wireless connection using the HP Mobile Printing app. Or use the HP Smart app to manage jobs on your smartphone or tablet.

You can choose between standard and XL cartridges, offering either 130 or 300 ml options to suit a variety of routines. It keeps a trim environmental footprint too, with both ENERGY STAR certification and EPEAT registration.

Key features:

  • Wireless printing with the HP Mobile Printing and Smart app
  • New stand design reduces carbon dioxide waste
  • New stand design reduces carbon dioxide waste
  • Finish prints in as little as 25 seconds per page
  • ENERGY STAR certified and EPEAT registered
  • Available in 36 inches

3. HP DesignJet Studio steel large format wireless plotter printer

HP DesignJet Studio wood large format wireless plotter printer

Shop HP DesignJet Studio wood large format wireless plotter printer

For a different look and bigger print sizes, the HP DesignJet Studio wood large format wireless plotter printer features a premium wood finish and support for even larger jobs. The more stylish appearance, bigger output format, and easy-to-use stand and media bin system make it one of the most versatile options on our list.

It’s also one of the fastest plotter-printers available today. It churns out high-quality, large format prints in as little as 25 seconds per page – or 82 prints per hour. You can print from virtually anywhere using the HP Smart app, and you can produce multi-size jobs at once thanks to the built-in automatic sheet feeder.

This HP DesignJet Studio is ENERGY STAR certified, with the additional distinction of being the first net carbon neutral HP DesignJet plotter.

Key features:

  • Wood finish
  • Finish prints in as little as 25 seconds per page
  • First net carbon neutral HP DesignJet plotter
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Available in 24 inches or 36 inches

4. HP DesignJet T650 large format wireless plotter printer

HP DesignJet T650 large format wireless plotter printer

Shop HP DesignJet T650 large format wireless plotter printer

For a feature boost in a similar size format, the HP DesignJet T650 large format wireless plotter printer is a great choice. It boasts convenient features like a sheet feed, roll feed, media bin, and automatic horizontal cutter, as well as an upgraded built-in automatic sheet feeder. In other words, you’ll churn out multi-size projects with ease.

The HP DesignJet T650 also adds a light-weight stand for improved mobility in office spaces, allowing easy relocation. Turnaround is even quicker than the HP DesignJet T250, offering finished prints in as little as 26 seconds per page for a total of 81 prints per hour.

The automatic sheet feeder adds to its efficiency, too, reducing the need for manual oversight.

Mobile job submission is also streamlined with this printer, so you can start projects quickly from your smartphone or tablet. Plus, it earned recognition from ENERGY STAR and EPEAT, so you can enjoy a small energy footprint.

Key features:

  • Wireless printing with the HP Smart app
  • Finish prints in as little as 26 seconds per page
  • Sustainably designed with 30% UL validated recycled plastic
  • ENERGY STAR certified and EPEAT registered
  • Available in 24 inches or 36 inches

5. HP DesignJet T250 large format compact wireless plotter printer

HP DesignJet T250 Large Format Compact Wireless Plotter Printer

Shop HP DesignJet T250 Large Format Compact Wireless Plotter Printer

The HP DesignJet T250 large format compact wireless plotter printer is the most compact entry on our list, and it’s also one of the most affordable. While size matters when it comes to most related applications, not all offices are the same. That’s why the HP DesignJet T250 has a lower weight and physical footprint than other plotter-printers on our list. It’s only 47.4 lbs and less than 4-feet wide.

It’s easier to both handle and to situate, even in the most crowded or cramped workspaces. Printing speed is also quick. It takes as little as 30 seconds per page on D or 76 D prints per hour. With those numbers, it’s easy to turn around small projects in mere minutes. And you’ll love the efficiency of mobile printing via the HP Smart app, 3-click printing, and support for HP One Click.

While we’re talking about efficiency, this printer also boasts superior sustainability features and minimal power consumption. It features both ENERGY STAR® certification and EPEAT® registration, with sustainable physical construction that incorporates up to 30% UL validated recycled plastic in each unit.

Key features:

  • Wireless printing with the HP Smart app
  • Wireless printing with the HP Smart app
  • Sustainably designed with 30% UL validated recycled plastic
  • ENERGY STAR certified and EPEAT registered
  • Available in 24 inches

Remember to check size options

Most of HP’s large format printers and scanners are available as either 24-inch or 36-inch models. Differences in features are generally minimal, but size and weight vary.

What about photo printing?

The 5 printers we highlight here aren’t designed as photo printers or for photo printing. Most wide format printers produce color and black-and-white prints, but not at photo quality. For photos, you should look into the dedicated photo options from HP, including the HP DesignJet Z9+ Large Format PostScript photo printer, which delivers borderless prints.

Summary

The HP Store offers a wide variety of wide-format printer-plotters, with different price points and designs to choose from. You can also expect consistent, high-quality prints thanks to HP Bright Office Inks. They provide plots with up to 31% more line accuracy, up to 65% more gamut, and better impact on plain paper.

HP wide format printer-plotters are also designed for sustainability. They incorporate recycled materials and more efficient builds. You can also take advantage of free and easy recycling for print heads and ink cartridges (dye and pigment inks) through HP Planet Partners.

About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.

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