At last I'm getting my hands on a proper production B9180 any day now. I did have a pre-production one here a few weeks ago, but it had mechanical problems, so there wasn't much point in writing about it.
HP's new pigment ink technology is, from everything I've seen, every bit a match for Epson's K3 inks. There has been much hinting about new large format professional HP printers and I can confirm that these are very impressive too. HP really means business in the archival professional photo printing business market.
HP's new pigment ink technology is, from everything I've seen, every bit a match for Epson's K3 inks.
Given how long HP have taken over it, and that Epson's K3 has been out for, what - a year now?, I would hope that HP's pigment is *more* than just being a match for Epson.
Epson's Ultrachrome inksets have come as a result from improvement upon improvement, having made mistakes along the way until they reached the various pigment inksets they have available now. This makes Epson effectively an "old hand" when it comes to pigment inksets. HP and, indeed, Canon are both the new-boys on the block here. I wonder if the first users of the B9180 are going to end up being HP's guinea pigs?
I'm not trying to put HP's efforts down but they do seem to have this habit of saying that what the competition is doing is not important, and then do a U-turn. They said that about resolution - "it's not the number of dots you print, it's where you stick 'em that counts", says HP when Epson brings out 5,760dpi printers. But wait, HP bring out 4,800x1,200dpi printers - so I guess resolution IS important after all, right? HP imply that pigment ink is not required for longevity because their Vivera dye inks with a paper combination has a fade-resistance to rival Epson - but wait, now HP decide you *do* need pigment for fade-resistance just about the time they bring out a pigment printer.
Consistency does not seem to be HP's forté.