By Jeff Dorgay
Canon rolled out its 44-in. imagePROGRAF
W8400 pigment inkjet printer on a
global basis in the spring of this year. It
and a 24-in. counterpart (the W6400)
join two older, dye-based inkjet models"?
the 36-in. W7200 and the 44-in.
W8200"?to comprise Canon's current
wide-format lineup. (although the W8200
is available only while supplies last).
The W8400, which I'll review here, is
a 6-color inkjet printer (CMYK, plus
photo cyan and photo magenta), with an
optional matte black cartridge available
for a greater black density on matte and
fine-art papers. Its maximum resolution
is 2400 x 1200 dpi, and Canon reports a
maximum speed of 307 sq ft/hr at 1200
x 1200 dpi (52 sq ft/hr at 2400 x 1200
dpi). The printer sells for $5995.
The new printer is compatible with
Windows 2000, XP, and Macs through
system 10.3. If you are a 10.4xx/Tiger
user, as I am, you will have to install the
printer via TCP/IP as a workaround"?
although by the time you read this
review, the new Mac drivers from Canon
should be forthcoming. Most testing for
this review was done on my Compaq
TC1100 tablet PC with 2 GB of RAM and a
300-GB Maxtor SATA external drive for
additional scratch-disk space.
From crate to printhead
Even though the W8400 has quite a few
plastic parts, shipping weight is still
about 300 lbs, and the printer comes via
freight in a very large box/palette assembly.
Be sure to have at least one person at
the ready to assist you with assembly"?
and, if possible, another. Setup is straightforward.
Canon provides very concise
instructions, although a few close-up photos
would be helpful. Because of the
aforementioned plastic par ts, use
extreme care when assembling.