The history of printers goes back a lot longer than most of us realize. Of course, it depends on what you call a printer. But, under a loose definition, the first efforts go back as far as 3500BC in Sumeria. How’s that for a little known fact.
However, more recently, Charles Babbage invented the ‘Difference Engine’, which was a rather crude first computer. With that, he developed the first mechanical printer in 1822. Plotter printers, although we’re still a long way off.
From the first typewriter, it became clear that printing could be made more efficient. Remington Rand developed what was considered a high-speed printer in 1953. This was followed by the dot matrix printer engineered by IBM in 1957.
The Race Begins…
Things were moving fast. Laser printers in ’71 and Thermal printers in ’72. In 1976, the world saw IBM’s 3800 series. And so it went on. A dozen companies all fighting to be the first at something and win the printing bragging rights.
What about plotter printers?
The first plotter printer was earlier than you might imagine. To be exact, the first was in 1953 by Remington Rand and worked with a Univac computer. The early machines were basic and crude.
Today they are sophisticated and all-encompassing. They tend to be a little more expensive than standard printers, and understandably so. So, let’s go through the Best Plotter Printers currently on the market and find the perfect one for you…
- 1 Top 5 Best Plotter Printers In 2021 Review
- 1.1 1 HP Designjet T130 24-in Large Format Printer – Best Entry Level Plotter Printer
- 1.2 2 Canon Pixma iX6520 Inkjet Printer – Best Budget Plotter Printer
- 1.3 3 HP Designjet T530 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer – Best Portable Plotter Printer
- 1.4 4 Canon Pixma iX6820 Wireless Business Printer – Best Compact Plotter Printer
- 1.5 5 HP Designjet T630 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer – Best Plotter for CAD Drawings
- 2 Best Plotter Printers Buying Guide
- 3 Looking For Something Else?
- 4 But Which Of These Best Plotter Printers Is Right For You?
Top 5 Best Plotter Printers In 2021 Review
1 HP Designjet T130 24-in Large Format Printer – Best Entry Level Plotter Printer
Hewlett Packard, or to use their current name HP, are well-known in computer circles. They were a big player in days past with mainframe computers and later on with their laptops. But it is their printers, and of course print cartridges, they are most known for today.
A good place to start…
If you are looking for your first plotter printer, then this might be a good place to start. It is designed to handle large drawings and plans. But whereas some plotters will print pictures, the T130 does not.
This plotter is an inkjet machine that is dye-based and is compliant with the required Class B requirements. Dye-based inks are popular because they are generally cheaper but still produce excellent results.
This printer takes HP DesignJet 711 ink. However, it should be noted that the machine will not work unless all four cartridges have ink. It is quite a size, as you might expect, measuring 38.86 by 20.87 by 11.22 inches, and weighs a hefty 55 pounds.
Easy to use…
One of the reasons the HP DesignJet T130 is a good starter plotter is its ease of use. A small lift up screen shows you status and settings, and the built-in WiFi saves time.
The print speeds are adequate at seventy A4 pages per hour. When using A1 size paper, the print speed is about thirty-five seconds per page. This is, of course, not the fastest you will find. Although, the quality of the print is quite good. And that is important, especially if you are presenting to a client or prospective client.
The printer includes a sheet and roll feed, a horizontal cutter, and an input tray. Unfortunately, it does not support printing on any canvas-like materials. A plotter printer like this one tends to be more expensive than standard printers. And for an entry-level printer, this one is higher than some.
- Class B requirement compliant.
- Easy to use and an ideal starter plotter printer.
- Quite expensive.
2 Canon Pixma iX6520 Inkjet Printer – Best Budget Plotter Printer
Canon is another company whose name in the world of printing, imaging, and graphics is well established. This Japanese multinational was founded in 1937 and continues to produce high-quality and versatile products.
A one-stop printing solution…
If you are someone who is looking for a single printer for a range of uses, then this could be your answer. It has an impressive 9600 x 2400 color dpi that will give you great results. It will easily print any combination of graphics or text to give you outstanding marketing publications. But it will also give your legal paperwork, including contracts or spreadsheets, a sharp and clear print.
Graphic designers will reap the benefits as it reproduces art and posters, storyboards and sketches. It even has a facility to turn stills from your HD movies into photo prints. There isn’t much this printer won’t deliver with high quality. Furthermore, it is a wide format printer that can handle borderless printing from 4 by 6 inches up to 13 by 19 inches.
Efficient ink system…
There are five individual ink cartridges. One is pigment-based black ink and the other four for the colors are dye-based. Each is replaced individually, and you only replace them as they run out.
Print from the internet…
Using the Easy-WebPrint EX facility built-in, you can arrange and extract parts of pages. Therefore, you can print only what you need rather than the full page.
It uses a USB 2.0 high-speed connection to your computer. This guarantees data transfers will be fast and thus save you time. Additionally, it is compatible with Mac and Windows systems. Although, it is advisable to check the compatibility of your particular operating system.
Needs some room…
It measures 11.8 x 21.7 x 6.3 inches and weighs 16 pounds. Not particularly heavy, but it will take up some space on a desk. A very good printer that has options for use at a very attractive price point.
- Has a wide variety of uses and produces high-quality reproductions.
- Very attractive price point.
- Quite a large size.
3 HP Designjet T530 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer – Best Portable Plotter Printer
Another Best HP plotter printer that is suitable for architects and those involved in the construction industry. This is a plotter that can produce quality reproductions. It will take either 8 x 24-inch wide sheets or 11 x 24-inch rolls and features an automatic cutter. For A1 size paper, it prints one page every 30 seconds.
Small and movable…
This is a compact plotter printer with the capability to perform large-format operations. It measures 38.86 by 20.87 by 36.69 inches, but it is placed on a stand with four casters for feet. This means it can be moved around either in or between offices easily, or anywhere it might be needed. Although it does weigh 57 pounds, so the wheels are probably a good design feature.
It operates using a high-speed USB 2.0, as well as fast ethernet connections and wireless connectivity. Therefore, mobile printing is possible using apps that are found on Chrome OS and Android. Also included in the package is the HP Smart app that offers a variety of print and creative options.
The HP DesignJet T530 is a great mix of quick output and high-quality results. Its portability also means that it will increase productivity in busy offices. Unfortunately, though, it will not print on any canvas material or coroplast plastics.
A very good product that should be considered as one of the Best Plotter Printers. Given its operational options and build quality, it is reasonably priced. However, it should be noted that this printer cannot perform scanning tasks.
- Very good connections that offer quick and efficient reproductions.
- Portable and increased productivity at a decent price point.
- Won’t print on canvas or coroplast plastics.
4 Canon Pixma iX6820 Wireless Business Printer – Best Compact Plotter Printer
This Printer from Canon has a great many printing options, although it does lack some features that more dedicated plotter printers include.
One of its great assets is its size. You could say that at 23 by 12.3 by 6.3 inches; it is a very compact machine with a small footprint. It will therefore not be difficult to find a home for it in a busy office. Something that can be a problem for larger printers. It is also one of the Best lightweight printers you can buy at 17.90 lbs.
It can print in a variety of sizes, from mailshots of four inches by six inches to larger spreadsheets up to eleven by seventeen inches. For presentation charts, it will even go up to thirteen by nineteen inches.
It will give you a good standard of color printing detail with its dpi of 9600 by 2400. In black and white, you can expect it to generate 14.5 pages per minute. For color print, it’s about ten half pages per minute. It has an auto sheet feeder that will hold up to 150 sheets.
There are four tanks that generate great color, and the fifth purely for black and white. They are replaceable only when they run out.
It is compatible with both Mac and Windows systems. But, it is advisable to check the full compatibility based on your operating system.
Some valuable features…
With the Canon Pixma iX6820, you can utilize downloadable templates. This means you don’t have to create every document from a blank page. A good feature that saves time. You also get Canon’s “My Image Garden”, which is a software package that lets you apply filters and other features.
It will also organize all of your photos using facial recognition and offer templates in various combinations of color and style.
Superb features for the price…
Possibly more of an all-business printer, rather than a pure plotter printer, it still offers plenty. And at a very cost-effective price.
- A compact unit with excellent color and black white reproductions.
- Can print small cards up to spreadsheets and full presentations.
- Won’t be able to plot print as some can.
5 HP Designjet T630 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer – Best Plotter for CAD Drawings
To complete our consideration of the best plotters, we take a look at another offering from HP. This is the DesignJet T630, a large format printer that is not for the novice user.
Who is it for?
This is for architects or those who work in engineering or construction. And if you work from home or a small office, this is going to be of real interest.
It measures 57.9 by 23.2 by 22.6 inches and weighs 122 pounds, so it is not lightweight. But given what this printer can do and the sizes it works with, you could consider it compact. It is quite wide, so it can accommodate the larger pagination it prints. But at two feet in depth, it will fit neatly against a wall.
Precise and clear text…
For MCAD, GIS, and AEC professional people, it is going to print great maps, posters, and technical drawings. For music people, it will produce high-quality music manuscripts. It will handle media rolls up to 36 inches wide. It operates with a sheet or roll feed and comes with an automatic cutter.
It utilizes a high-speed USB 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. It also has WiFi connectivity, and access to useful software is included too. Especially HP Click, which allows you to achieve multiple printing of files with a single click.
There is also the use of the HP Smart app to manage and handle large format printing. Other software provided includes HP Support assistant and Windows Print Preview. Also, HP Easy start and Design Jet for Windows.
It will print individual A1/D pages at about 30 seconds per page or 76 A1/D pages per hour. Furthermore, it can print on plain paper, banner paper, high-resolution, and glossy photo paper.
It Is very much a professional printer, which is manifested by its price point. But if you require what it provides, the price point is acceptable. This must be considered as the best plotter for architects currently on the market.
- Excellent quality print finish with a range of plot and print options.
- Plenty of software included.
- It might be expensive for some.
Best Plotter Printers Buying Guide
There can be a range of uses for plotter printers. But what they do need is exactness and precision. They tend to be used in the construction and engineering industries, so the accuracy and quality of the print are vital features.
Types of plotter printer…
There are three types; Flatbed, Inkjet, and Cutting Jet. Each has its own distinct uses and are grouped in terms of how they operate. There are Technical Plotters and Graphic Plotters. It can all seem a little confusing.
So what do you need?
Do you need a graphic or CAD printer, and do you want toner or inkjet technology? What print media do you require, and what print speed? Finally, will it just be you using it, or will there be multiple users?
We have seen a range of options. Some act as purely plotter printers, while some are more photo-based. Both HP and Canon are respected manufacturers. So it is a matter of deciding what you will use it for.
Looking For Something Else?
Finding the right printer has never been easier. So, check out our in-depth Best Printers for Photos Review, our Best Sticker Maker Machine Review, our Best Color Laser Printers Reviews, our Best Printers for Art Prints, and our Best Printer for Mac Reviews to learn more about what you can buy in 2021.
Also, take the time to look at our Best A3 Printers Review, our Best 3D Printers Under 500 Review, our Best Portable Scanners Reviews, our Best Portable Photo Printers Reviews, and our Best Plastic ID Card Printer Reviews for more great items that are currently on the market.
But Which Of These Best Plotter Printers Is Right For You?
If we are choosing a plotter printer, then that is precisely what we want. Our current printers can handle the photo print and associated options.
Therefore, if you need a large format printer, then we would recommend the…HP Designjet T630 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer
A very good printer that will deliver quality reproductions over a wide range of sizes and applications.
Until next time, work smarter, not just harder.