Printer Review: HP Designjet L65500 Printer

For more that 20 years Bay area-based Splash!Events has prided itself on being on the cutting edge of technology, so when they heard that HP was working on a grand-format printer that offered Latex printing technology, they were very intrigued.

"We had been in the market for a printer that offered more green printing options, that enabled environmentally responsible printing and delivered the quality and durability that our customers expect from us. We had looked the current crop of printers out there but nothing that really fit our needs," said David Payne, principal/CEO at Splash!Events, with offices in San Francisco and San Jose, CA. "Our company is a full service exhibit house that designs and fabricates signage for trade show exhibits, corporate events and high-end retail and corporate environments. We wanted a printer that could offer green solutions across to all those disciplines we service. When we heard about the HP Designjet L65500 Printer, with its Latex printing solution, we were very excited and jumped on board almost right away," he added.

Payne felt that the HP Latex Printing Technologies would offer them cleaner printing, high productivity even at high resolutions, and durable output for indoor and outdoor jobs.

The 104-inch wide HP Designjet L65500 printer is the first of a new category of printers with HP Latex Inks and HP Wide Scan Printing Technology. It can produce a variety of applications while delivering print speeds of approximately 846 sqft/hr and indoor-quality prints at up to 368 sqft/hr.

Splash!Events was the first shop worldwide to have the printer in house. "The printer was shown at drupa 2008. We only saw samples and purchased it just based on that. We had it installed in September; even before it was on display for the first time in the US at SGIA '08 in October. We were up and running test prints on it in two days."

He said right away they noticed a big difference. "On the production side we didn't have the odors or hazardous chemicals to deal with in the shop as well as getting the quality and durability on all our print jobs we wanted."

The printer features a six-ink printing system, including an HP Embedded Spectrophotometer. And, high-resolution indoor prints achieve consistent color thanks to HP DreamColor Technologies.

"With this printer, we can now even output to recycled paper using an ink that's recyclable. It's a total green equation," he said.

Splash had the chance to put it to the test by producing marketing collateral and signage for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. "Much of the signage was printed using HP Latex Inks and a variety of recyclable media substrates, including HP HDPE Reinforced Banner, HP DuPont Tyvek Banner, and HP Photo-realistic Poster Paper. We expect that 90 percent of marketing collateral and signage for the 2009 event will be produced with HP Latex Inks and other printing methods that have less impact on the environment. We also used also utilized the Designjet L65500 to output signage for the Special Olympics Winter Games held in Boise, ID in February."

Payne has been very happy with what he's seen so far. "The quality has met and exceeded our expectations and the color is very consistent. I also like the convenience of changing out boxes of ink on the fly. Here is a printer that can do it all. This is the probably one of the most significant product developments I've have seen in large-format printing in years," he concluded.

The HP Designjet L65500 Printer At A Glance

  • Print technology: HP Wide Scan Printing Technology
  • Resolution: Up to 1200x600 dpi
  • Ink types: HP Latex Inks
  • Print Speed: Outdoor-quality prints: up to 800 sqft/hr; Indoor-quality prints: up to 400 sqft/hr