REVIEWS / A3 Printer Reviews

Jean-Kléber Lauret
Printing photos at 10 x 15 cm or A4 size is all very well and good, but why not go for something a bit bigger? After all, A3 is nicer to look at, and it looks better on your wall...

When we test an A3 printer, the main things we look at are design and handling, speed and print quality.

For the speed tests we try each of the print modes the printer has with both plain-text documents and documents with photos, graphs, etc.

One of the biggest things we judge for print quality is the colour accuracy. In other words, we use a colour sensor to precisely detect whether or not the colours printed on-page are the same as the shades in the original document (you'd be surprised how much that varies).

For the power consumption and noise, we use a wattmeter and a sound level meter.

We calculate cost per page by dividing the price of the ink cartridges by the total number of pages they can produce in their lifetime. We do not include the cost per page in our final rating for the printer.

An A3 printer is indispensable in some professions. It'll give you the choice of A3+, A+, A4, banners, and 10 x 15 cm (4" x 6") prints, which is much more than you'll get on standard models.

Our tests have shown that print quality varies considerably from one model to the next. But unless you have precise requirements and need pro-level accuracy (printing, photography), we honestly think the simple fact of having large-format prints is enough to impress. There are differences, however, with droplets showing up on some printers or dominant colour in others ...

Quality and speeds vary considerably

Print speeds vary quite a bit, so think about whether you'll want your A3 print ready in two minutes or seven! The good news is that the fastest models don't necessarily give the worst quality. The bad news is that they're often more costly—speed is pricey, and so is quality, so combine them and you'll be looking at the highest-end, most expensive products, typically designed for pro use.

See also: A4 multifunction printer reviews and A4 laser printer reviews.



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