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A3 Color Printer - Buying an A3 Color Printer - What is an A3 Color Printer?, Who Uses an A3 Color Printer?

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A3 printers have been around for quite some time, but until recently, they have been relegated to large offices and specialty printing businesses because of their cost and their size. A new generation of A3 color printer is now on the market that has reduced both of these limiting factors. As the A3 color printer became more available, demand increased, and this allowed manufacturers to drop prices even lower while continuing to develop the printers for improved quality.

What is an A3 Color Printer?

The term A3 is not commonly used outside of circles unfamiliar with printing or paper. It is even less familiar in the U.S. A3 is actually a paper size that is part of the international paper standards sizing system used widely throughout Europe and Asia. The United States has yet to officially adopt the sizing system, instead going with the traditional 8.5” x 11” size, whereas much of the world uses A4, which is 8.27” x 11.69”. As the “A” number decreases, the size increases. A3-size paper is 11.69” x 16.54”.

A3 is too large for most standard printers, thus an A3 color printer uses a wide format that can accommodate the increased width.

Who Uses an A3 Color Printer?

A3 color printers are most widely used by those who have a need to create posters or paper signage. They are often found in the offices of graphic designers. Other large offices also use A3 printers to prepare presentations, charts, graphs, or text-based data. However, data printing is usually done by a monochrome A3 printer. With the new, lower prices of the A3 color printer, even mid-size and smaller offices have begun purchasing them even if they are not needed on an everyday basis.

Many new A3 printers combine the functions of other office equipment to save space. A3 printers are often made to work with standard-sized paper when not needed for wide-format, so only the single printer is required. They can also incorporate phones, faxes, and copiers, and scanners.

A3 Color Printer Models

Although the breakthrough model of A3 color printer responsible for making them mainstream (Canon BJC-5100) is no longer available, several other models have been manufactured that work as well or better for about the same price. Here are the top color A3 printers:

HP Officejet 7000

HP’s A4 color printer prints at up to 4,800 dpi and uses a 4-color ink bank. Maximum printing size is 13” x 19” and is adjustable all the way down to 3” x 5”. The Officejet 7000 is a high-quality inkjet printer in a space-saving design. It prints up to 33 pages per minute (ppm) for black & white and 32 ppm for color. It has a standard duty-cycle of 5,000 pages per month. List price is around $230.00.

Epson Workforce 1100

This Epson printer has a small form-factor, but high quality. It prints at up to 5,760 dpi and uses a 4-color ink system. Black prints with 360 nozzles, while the other colors print with 59 nozzles each. Print speed for A4 paper is 13 ppm for black & white and 5.5 ppm for color. The 120-sheet input tray is wide enough for A3 paper, and then some, at 13” and just long enough for A3 at 16.65”. Maximum printing length is 44”. The smallest size it is capable of feeding is 3.5” x 5.0”. List price is around $200.00.

Canon Pixma iX7000

This wide-format printer can deliver laser-quality printing at a maximum dpi of 4,800. It prints at a speed of 10.2 ppm for black & white and 8.1 ppm for color. It uses a 6-cartridge ink bank for superior colors and a total of 3,584 nozzles for detail. Maximum printing size is 13” x 19” and minimum print size is 4” x 6”. This printer retails for around $400.00

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