The technicians at Keypoint Intelligence / Buyers Lab have been bowled over once again by the outstanding performance of Canon’s imagePROGRAF products. This time while pitting the Canon TM-305 against the HP T930.
They described the superb TM-305 as having “delivered an allround strong performance in Buyers Lab's evaluation, outclassing the HP DesignJet T930 in many areas”. They went on to say that specifically it (TM-305) had higher productivity under all test conditions, superior colour and black image quality, lower ink consumption and richer device and driver sets.
The Canon imagePROGRAF TM-305 was the more productive model, with Buyers Lab technicians observing that the speed advantage of the Canon model became even more pronounced as the quality level was increased. This allows users of the Canon TM-305 to achieve optimum image quality without sacrificing productivity.
The Canon TM-Series features a hot swap ink tank design, which lets users replace empty inks during printing. In contrast, when the T930 runs out of ink, printing has to stop for the cartridge to be replaced, which leads to more downtime. Another area where the Canon model had an advantage was in the ink consumption evaluation, where it used less ink in all three test scenarios.
The output quality delivered by both printers was of the standard expected by professionals working in AEC, CAD and GIS industries. The Canon TM-305 delivered consistently crisp colour and black text, fine lines, circles and smoother halftone coverage. It delivered larger colour gamuts in most modes tested when printing on both plain and (especially) photo quality paper, more natural-looking skin tones and excellent definition in light contrast areas. The HP T930 delivered higher black optical densities.
Both units utilise a single user-replaceable printhead, which takes less than five minutes to replace. During the evaluation and testing of both printer models there were no issues with either printers with nozzle clogging.
Device and Feature Sets
The Canon TM-305 has plenty of advantages over the HP T930. It has larger ink cartridge capacities, higher memory and hard drive capacity to aid with job processing and storage, smaller ink drop sizes, more media profiles, a unidirectional feature which eliminates banding on image output, even when printing in Fast mode and a flexible layout nesting option to save on paper.
The HP T930 offers a similar nesting feature to the Canon, however, jobs are positioned automatically and it doesn't support the same flexibility and control over image placement.
Both printers offer a robust direct print submission functionality and support for mobile printing via proprietary mobile print apps for both iOS and Android mobile devices, providing additional flexibility for workers who work between sites or remotely. Both printers also come with strong security features, such as secure disk / file erase (optional for the HP T930) and support for IPsec authentication and data encryption over the network.
The Canon TM-305 supports a larger diameter of roll paper (150mm as opposed to 140mm with the HP T930) and a higher maximum media thickness (0.8mm compared with HP's 0.5mm). However the Buyers Lab technicians were impressed with the design and build quality of the HP T930's rear mounted stacker assembly, which can hold up to 50 printed sheets in perfect alignment; there is no equivalent stacker assembly available with the Canon TM-305.
The HP T930 uses less power than the Canon TM-305 whilst in standby, but more when in use. The power consumption on the T930 whilst active is 120W compared to the TM-305's 69W. In standby mode (where the majority of printers will spend the majority of their time, the HP 9730's power consumption is 1.3W as opposed to the TM-305's 3.6W
If you are thinking of purchasing either one of these printers, you might want to check out the full report here -
To see our full list of BLI Comparison Reports and Awards for Large Format Printers see HERE.