HP Photosmart Pro B9180 - interactive review
We are all on a quest for the definitive digital camera, scanner or printer. Over the last few years we have seen dramatic improvements in all areas of digital photography and particularly in the printing sector. I started photo-i in 2002 with an interactive review of the Epson SP2100 pigment ink printer, this was a major step forward for photographers, at last we could sell our prints without having to worry about print fade. In a relatively short space of four years things have again moved forward, manufacturers have listened to the needs of photographers and redesigned their products to meet the high expectations of the professional and keen hobbyist photographer.
Hewlett Packard (HP) can never be accused of sitting back on their laurels, in fact quite the opposite, they have been busy developing their own range of printers, inks, media and other digital equipment. The market is very lucrative for the right product, get it right and you have a runaway best seller.
In February 2006 HP announced a new printer the HP Photosmart Pro B9180 A3 printer. This printer is clearly aimed at the professional and creative photographer. The printer is built like a Sherman tank and is going to withstand heavy duty professional use. The B9180 uses HP's newly formulated Vivera Pigment inks for outstanding colour quality. I have been using the B9180 for nearly a year and the prints I have been producing surpass all other printers that I have tested. The printer did have one or two quirks, but these have been rectified (so I am told- we will see over the next few days). For a change the Mac drivers were ready before the Windows drivers.
Although HP announced this printer at PMA in February, the full production units didn't ship until September. HP jumped the gun far too early with their announcement, I don't blame them, especially when you see what advanced features this printer has. I have withheld publishing the interactive review until I received a full production printer, which I now have, together with the latest drivers.
Do we have a new King
OK, so the question that's on the tip of your tongues has to be "How does the B9180 compare to the Epson R2400" ?- I will give you the full answer at the end of the Interactive Review, but in short, I am confident that the B9180 is going to make manufacturers look twice at their own range. I have put together a short video on the HP B9180 and will set up a new forum dedicated to the B9180 printer, please feel free to join in with the discussion.
Click on the printer to watch the video
The video will open in a new window and should start playing after about 1 minute, Broadband connection is recommended. You will need Quick Time installed to view the movie, this can be downloaded from here
Quick Time player - Windows
Quick Time player - Mac
photo-i would like to thank Canon UK for their generosity in supplying a Canon XL2 camera for use in our video reviews