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Review: HP Designjet Z3100 Printer

Features and highlights of the 44-in. Z3100.

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By Andrew Darlow

I found that when adjustments were made in the driver, the toning was generally more subtle in my prints, compared with the small box that shows the color toning in the driver window. Also, if any color toning is done in the driver, color ink will be added to your print. If you want a print that contains just black ink, not a mix of black and color inks, it’s important to not make any adjustments in the area of the driver that contains the color wheels for toning monochrome images.

With the Gloss Enhancer enabled, color and black-and-white images on gloss or semi-gloss paper look super-smooth, and in my opinion, take on a "made in the darkroom" look. The Gloss Enhancer also reduces "bronzing" on many papers (bronzing is an effect that makes the tones in semi-gloss and gloss papers appear bronze in color when viewed at various angles). Also of great importance: I noticed only a slight visual shift in image color when I moved prints from the Z3100 between different light sources-for example, between natural daylight and indoor tungsten.

The Gloss Enhancer can be applied through the print driver either to just the areas that have tone in them (called Econo mode), or to the entire page (called Whole Page). Roll-fed paper can be printed full-bleed, but sheets cannot; so if you choose "Whole Page," a thin margin will appear around the edges of sheet-fed prints. Also, keep in mind that if you select your profiles under Photoshop’s Print with Preview menu and "Let Photoshop Determine Colors," virtually all the gloss and semi-gloss papers will have separate Gloss Enhance ON (GE ON) and Gloss Enhance OFF (GE OFF) profiles. These profile sets are also created automatically when you create your own profiles using the internal software and built-in spectrophotometer.