Wide format printers are necessary for designing and photography business that print large sized pieces.
What is Wide Format? Generally, anything larger than A4/Letter sized is considered a large format.
Therefore, a printer that prints tabloid/A3 sized prints all the way to D sized or 44″ sized sheets (and beyond) is considered “wide format”.
Therefore, as you can see, the term wide format is an umbrella term for various sizes.
As such, in this article, we will ONLY look at the best wide format printers that are LARGER in size than A3/Tabloid.
If you want to check out A3/Tabloid printers, read this article.
Wide-format printers are built for graphics and in commercial based printing, lack of wide-format printers can lead to turning down customers thus having a huge impact on business earnings..
Wide-format printers are designed to be convenient, fast and without compromising on quality and as thus, we have selected 5 of the best wide-format printers.
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If you are looking for the polar opposite, i.e small printers read this.
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Comparison of Top Wide Format Printers
USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct
USB, Ethernet, WiFi
USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct
USB, Ethernet, WiFi Direct
List of Best Wide Format Printers in 2021
We have selected the following as the best candidates for wide format printing.
If you are into the business of crafting arts, you may also be interested in the best printers for stickers.
You can also check out best printers of CD DVD Printing to complete your business studio.
1. HP Designjet T100 – 24″ D Sized Printer – Most Affordable Plotter
- Ideal for: Architects, engineering, and...
- Media Sizes: 8.3 to 24-in wide sheets; 11 to...
- Media Handling: Sheet feed; roll feed; input...
- Print in-house with the world's smallest...
The HP DesignJet T100 printer is one of the most affordable 24 inch wide format printers in the market. As such, this is one of the most ideal printers for architectural and engineering firms.
If you print schematics and drawings on a large D sized sheet then a wide format printer like this is quite essential.
For starters, the paper handling of this printer includes roll feed as well as manual sheet feed. The printer also includes an input tray/ADF but the tray is only limited to supporting 13×19″ sized sheets.
Therefore, for printing larger documents you will have to either use roll print or manually feed your sheets.
The printer take about 70 seconds to print one A1 sized sheet which means it can print about 32 prints per hour.
The roll printing feature allows the printer to cut the sheet at the required size as well.
Secondly, quality wise, this is a great printer for drawings, diagrams, plots and charts. It has a 4 ink system which makes it great for anything CAD related.
Unfortunately, for high fidelity photos and arts, this is not the most ideal printer.
One of the favorable features of this printer is its connectivity. This is printer is designed for WiFi interfacing and also includes WiFi Direct. As such, you can print directly from your mobile devices as well.
Note that this series also as two other printers. The only difference is the print speed. Thus, the print speeds of the printers in this series is as follows
All in all, if you need an affordable, compact and great looking option, then this is one of the best wide format printers on the market.
2. Canon PIXMA PRO-1 – 19″ A3+ – Photo Printer
- The PIXMA PRO-1 Professional Inkjet Printer...
- LUCIA 12 pigment ink system for professional...
- Professional quality grayscale printing with...
- New Chroma Optimizer creates uniform...
While the HP Designjet T100 above is a great plotter and suitable for engineering/architectural charts, it is not a photo printer.
Therefore, if you need a large format photo printer for printing high quality pieces, then you need a high fidelity printer like this Canon PIXMA PRO-1.
For starters, this printer doesn’t feature a mere 4 ink cartridge system. Instead, it features a whopping 12 ink system. Basically the idea here is simple, the more shades of ink you have, the better would be the details and colors on your prints.
This, of course, means that both the upront as well as the operating cost of this printer is relatively high.
As far as the color quality is concerned, almost nothing gets better than this printer. Most of the expert reviews around would also agree.
Unfortunately, it does have its share of drawbacks. Firstly, it is slow. It takes about two minutes to print a normal 4×6″ photo. Secondly, it lacks WiFi connectivity. It only features USB and Ethernet connectivity. Lastly, it cannot print from rolls. It can only print from a rear tray that can hold 150 sheets.
In the end, if you came here looking for the most suitable option for high fidelity printing, then this is best wide format printers currently.
3. Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 – 24″ – A1 Size Photo Printer
The Canon Pixma-01 above can only print upto A3 or Supertabloid in size. If you need larger PHOTO quality prints than that, then this 24 inch wide format printer may interest you.
Like the Canon Pixma-01, this too comes with 12 ink cartridges all pigment base instead of dye based. However, it can print A1 sized photos and designs instead of just A3.
Of course, the procurement as well as the operating cost of this printer is more expensive than a conventional 4 cartridge plotter.
The printer supports direct printing from a USB and also has 320 GB internal harddisk so that you may print very large photos and queue up jobs.
Other than that, connectivity wise it offers USB, WiFi and Ethernet.
This is primarily an A1 size roll printer with front loading cut sheet feeding as well. It can support two roles at a time with automatic switching. It takes about 1:37 minutes to print A1 sheet at standard quality.
Unfortunately, it does not include an ADF/paper tray for smaller sized sheets.
So basically, if you are looking to print very high quality photos to be used in commercial stores or outdoors, then this is one of the best wide format printers. It has received favorable reviews as well. Otherwise, you can stick with a basic plotter like the HP Designjet T100 above.
4. Epson SureColor T5170 – 36″ – Upto A0 Size Plotter
- Breakthrough Print Speeds — produce...
- Easy to Operate — large intuitive 4 3" LCD...
- Compact Clean Design — ultra small...
- Replace Ink Less Often — high-capacity...
If you need a larger than 24 inch wide format printer, then this 36 inch printer may tickle your fancy.
With a width of 36″, this printer can print beyond A0 paper size. Furthermore, not only does it come equipped with a stand, but also offers drop prevention mechanism for large printed sheets.
One important point to note here is that unlike the conventional plotters that have the dye based Cyan, Magenta and Yellow ink cartridges this printer offers them as pigment.
While pigment ink does not have as high color fidelity as dye based inks, they are excellent for outdoor prints, they are smudge free, water resistant as well as quite long lasting.
As far as paper handling goes, this printer can support up to 36″ rolls. It also has an input tray/ADF with a size of 11″x17″ (A3). Furthermore, it can print an average A1 sized document in 31 seconds.
Again you must note that this printer is more intended towards being used for architectural, construction and engineering drawings. If you are seeking high quality photo prints, then this is not the printer for you. Instead, check out the Canon Pixma Pro-1 above.
Like all modern printers, this printer offers comprehensive connectivity options including Ethernet, USB, WiFi as well as WiFi Direct for printing directly via your smart devices.
All in all, if you need a large 36″ option, then this is one of the best wide format printers out there.
5. HP DesignJet Z9+ – 44″ – Post Script Printer for Large Graphics
This printer is for serious designs studios as well as for engineering firms. With 9 ink system, this printer doubles as both a photo printer as well as a plotter.
44 inch wide prints is something that you would use in commercial spaces, large design charts as well as for outdoor posters.
Unfortunately, this also makes it among the most expensive wide format printers there is. Besides, you will also need a very large space to place this device.
One of the best features, other than its large 44 inch width, is the V-trimmer. Basically, most wide format printers beyond A1 size in width come with horizontal trimmers that cut the roll at desired length.
The V Trimmer (vertical trimmer) gives this printer the abolition to also trim width wise.
For the colorphiles and for those who require the most precise levels of color on their prints, this printer also features a spectrophotmeter which can help in eliminating the need to redo work.
The printer can support 2 rolls with automatic feeding. It comes with USB, and Ethernet printing options. It also offers WiFi Direct features with wireless connection with compatible Android, Chrombook or Apple devices.
Moreover it includes a 500 GB hard disk for storing your jobs containing very large sized photos and media. Lastly, it features plenty of color enhancing and printing perfection features like Pantone Emulation, and HP Pixel Control.
In the end, an expensive option like this is only suitable for a very specific set of artists and designers. If you are one such individual/firm, then this is by far the best wide format printers for printing photos and designs.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What is an Inkjet Plotter?
While there are many different types of plotters like drum plotter, cutting plotter etc, An inkjet plotter is basically a large format printer that specializes in printing graphs, schematics, architecture and construction drawings etc.
These are cheaper than wide format photo printers since they usually have fewer number of ink cartridges and they generally do not have the same quality of prints.
In the list above, the HP Designjet T100 and the Epson SureColor T5170 are plotters since they only have a 4 ink system and therefore have a lower operating cost but also less color fidelity as compared to the rest.
While they specialize for engineering, construction and architectural firms, it does not mean that you cannot use them for printing photos, posters etc.
You most certainly can, but the quality will be not be as great as the dedicated large format photo printers like the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000.
What Are the Differences Between Wide-Format Printers and Normal Printers?
Wide-format printers are very different from normal printers in many ways.
In this article we had a look at the best wide format printers in the market. We had a look at fairly large and expensive printers ranging from 19″ width all the way to 44″.
Generally, depending upon the type of wide format printer you get, they are used for engineer and architectural designs or by studios that deal with printing large photos, posters and banners for commercial use.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.