Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

HP DesignJet T3500

29 Oct, 2015 By: Curt Moreno

First Look Review: Quiet, powerful model is an excellent choice for an everyday printer.


Editor's note: This review is part of a Cadalyst Labs Report. Read "Color Wide-Format Printers for CAD" to learn how this model compares to the others included in the product roundup.

The HP T3500 eMultifunction Printer (eMFP) supports two front-loading rolls and has a sleek black-and-silver design that is both compact and very appealing to the eye.

Getting Started

Installation. Installing new printers is not one of my favorite pastimes. That being said, HP really knocked it out of the park with its installation package. Once downloaded, the installer took a total of about two minutes to locate the printer on my network and install the necessary software. Before I knew it, I was ready to go.

Connectivity. It was also easy to connect to my office network — it was as simple as plugging in a CAT 5 Ethernet cable and plugging the other end into my wall port. The included port is a Gigabit Ethernet port (1,000 Base-T) and is located on the back of the machine. One small feature that I really appreciated is the included cable-management path.

I didn't get to test these functions, but in addition to the traditional workstation-based operation, the HP T3500 is cloud- and Wi-Fi–enabled, meaning that you can plot directly from an Android- or Apple iOS–based device. A USB port is also located conveniently next to the control screen, enabling plots from USB memory sticks.

Media support. HP has designed the T3500 printer to handle a wide variety of media. It is capable of handling rolls of paper ranging from 11" to 36," accommodating sheet sizes ranging from A4 to E. The wide variety of supported media includes the typical bond and coated paper options, but also includes vellum, film, photo satin paper, and even self-adhesive options.

In testing, the bond, heavyweight coated, and photographic papers all presented bright, clear images with no smearing whatsoever.

HP DesignJet T3500

Wide-Format Multifunction Printer

Grade: A+

Pros: Dual-roll support; large ink capacity; easy installation; excellent-quality, high-resolution plots.

Cons: Height is low.

Price: With 90-day warranty: $14,750; with three-year warranty: $19,190; with three-year warranty, compliant with Trade Agreements Act: $21,110.

HP
888.772.9897
www.hp.com

Performance

The HP T3500 eMFP has a very impressive set of specifications, beginning with the dual, front-loading paper rolls plus the integrated scanner, this printer is designed to produce. For a printer, the specifications that I am most interested in are the plot speed and the resolution. HP reports the following:

  • Print speed of 21 seconds per A1/D-sized sheet (line drawings)
  • Print resolution as high as 2,400 x 1,400 DPI

In production I found the provided plot rate to be spot on. I tested both black-and-white and color line drawings, and the HP T3500 produced line drawing plots quickly and reliably.

When plotting graphics and photos, the resolution of the T3500 really stood out. While some users may say they can see the minute differences of small resolution differences, my standard is simple: Can I see the individual dots of ink that compose an image? In the case of the HP, no dots were visible. Even up close, only the very slightest distinction of individual ink dots could be seen.

Ink Cartridge System

The HP T3500 utilizes the now-standard separation of ink cartridges and printhead. The system uses six individual ink cartridges located in two discrete bays on either side of the paper rolls. The combination of cyan, gray, magenta, matte black, photo black, and yellow inks flow to a single printhead. Replacement cartridges for all colors are available in 300-ml size only.

Scan Quality

The T3500's integrated scanner is capable of both full-color and monochrome scans with speeds of 2.5" and 7.5" per second, respectively, with a 600-DPI resolution. The scanner was simple and fast to use and had no problems loading prints. It generates files in TIFF, JPG, and PDF formats, including multipage PDFs, and can scan directly to e-mail.

Other Impressions

The HP T3500 is a system with plenty of nice features. Prints are collected in a top-located hopper that is both convenient and space-saving. The cloud and Wi-Fi connectivity will no doubt become more important as the move to mobile CAD platforms explodes. The real, day-to-day showstopper, however, is the T3500 touch-control screen. Featuring full color and extremely fast response, the screen makes operating this printer fast, easy, and (dare I say) a joy. I literally giggled the first time I pulled up a full-color image preview of my dog's photo for reprint!

HP DesignJet T3500

Detractions of the HP T3500 include the following:

  • The paper catcher isn't very sturdy.
  • The industrial design is nice, but somewhat plastic in appearance.
  • The single largest con of the unit is that it seems somewhat short. The printer's height was perfect for scans, but made changing the second paper roll somewhat laborious when more time was spent bent over the machine. According to HP, the lower design was implemented in part to improve ease of use for those who need to remain seated during roll loading.

The HP T3500 comes with a 90-day limited warranty, or a three-year warranty option for an additional cost (see pricing options in the box above). The 90-day option is only available from HP Service One Gold DesignJet Specialist Resellers.

Wrap Up

The HP T3500 eMFP is a solid choice for an everyday printer that is ready to produce check plots as well as the most gorgeous of art prints. It is quiet enough to be placed near your desk and powerful enough to serve a large staff group. This printer is worth taking a good, long look at.


About the Author: Curt Moreno


Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.

Comments

Re: HP DesignJet T3500
by: TimT
on:
November 23, 2015 - 9:08am
Was there any evaluation of the driver other than install time? How easy is it to add a 100" long custom plot size? Previous HP drivers have required every end user to add custom sizes rather than adding them at the server and installed automatically for end users.
 
AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor and Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD video tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter


Poll
Which device do you typically use to read Cadalyst.com content?
A desktop computer / tower workstation
A tablet
A smartphone
A laptop or mobile workstation
I regularly use both a desktop computer and a smartphone for this purpose
I regularly use another combination of devices for this purpose
I prefer to print out articles from the website and read them on paper
Submit Vote



Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition