Affordability of Entry-Level Wide Format Printers

Want to bring wide format printing in-house, but don’t think you can afford it? One important consideration is (obviously) the cost of the printer, which depending on your needs can top tens of thousands of dollars. The good news, however, is that entry-level wide format printers are available at more affordable prices.

For example, Canon, Epson, and HP all sell color-capable wide format printers with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $10,000 (see table below). Konica Minolta’s monochrome KIP 770 is slightly more expensive at around $11,000.

The products can print on media that’s up to 24-44 inches wide (depending on the product), making them appropriate for applications like general office printing (e.g., oversized spreadsheets, flip charts for presentations), CAD and architectural renderings, and retail signage.

 Examples of wide format printer models

Vendor

Model

Maximum width

Target markets

# of inks

MSRP

Canon

imagePROGRAFiPF680

24 inches

Small office workgroups & education

5

$2,495

Canon

imagePROGRAFiPF840

44 inches

CAD & architectural

5

$6,495

Epson

SureColor T3270

24 inches

Technical drawings, graphic posters, retail signage

5

$2,995

Epson

SureColorP8000

44 inches

General graphics

8

$4,995

HP

DesignJet T520

36 inches

General office use

4

$2,495

HP

DesignJet Z5600

44 inches

CAD, GIS, posters

6

$4,496

Konica Minolta

KIP 770 (monochrome LED MFP)

36 inches

CAD, architectural, technical drawings

Toner

$11,280

The least expensive model shown above, the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF680, is able to print a 24” (width) x 36” (length) document in up to 25 seconds using the economy mode. It can also use 300 milliliter ink tanks, which compared with the 130 milliliter tanks deliver a lower cost per print. 

The Direct Print & Share cloud-based portal solution is available as a free download, which among other capabilities allows users to print various file formats without opening the original application. Other standard software includes the imagePROGRAF Print Utility for printing PDFs with an Apple iPad, Accounting Manager software for tracking job costs, and the Print Plug-in for Microsoft Office for printing Microsoft Office documents in large format.

Additional integrated features include a stacker/basket capable of stacking up to twenty 24” x 36” plain paper prints, an ink purchase notification function, and poster creation software.

While wide format printing costs also incorporate the cost of media, supplies, add-on features, and personnel, the relatively low cost of entry-level wide format printers certainly lowers the bar for in-house printing of oversized documents. For an estimate on potential wide format printing costs in your organization, speak with your office technology provider.

Summary

Entry-level wide format printers are available for less than $10,000 (and in some cases less than $3,000), enabling a wide range of businesses to benefit from in-house wide format printing. When researching these products, consider features like media support, supplies costs, print speed, and bundled software.