Plotter Review: How Good is the HP Designjet T2300 eMFP?

Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

HP Designjet T2300 eMFP

28 Jul, 2011By: R.K. McSwain

First Look Review: Web-connected wide-format device produces top-quality prints, scans, and copies with ease.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Summer 2011 issue of Cadalyst magazine.

The new HP Designjet T2300 eMFP wide-format multifunction printer offers several attractive features, including color printing as wide as 44″, color scanning and copying as wide as 36″, and a wealth of new tools that make printing very easy. I’ve been using HP wide-format printers for more than 15 years and have come to expect quality — and this unit does not disappoint. All prints, copies, and scans were top-notch, and the T2300 is now one of several models to offer built-in access to the free HP ePrint & Share web service, which lets you scan to and print from your own secure web space, optionally sharing these documents as desired.

Printing Process

You have multiple options for printing to the HP Designjet T2300 eMFP.

Integrated USB port. Simply insert a USB flash drive, and a built-in color touch screen on the front of the printer lets you browse for a file to print, previewing the files on screen as you go. Using the USB interface, I printed a 300-dpi JPG image (5968 x 4098 pixels, 4.25 MB) in 1 minute, 20 seconds. A 100-dpi JPG image (1920 x 1280, 272 KB), scaled up to fit 36″ paper, printed in just under two minutes. That includes processing and printing in the Default Normal print quality setting. The HP Designjet T2300 eMFP is rated at 549 ft2 (51 m2) per hour in draft mode, and the print times I observed confirmed this rating.

HP ePrint & Share. 
Another feature that makes the HP Designjet T2300 eMFP easy to use is the new, free HP ePrint & Share application, which performs two functions for this printer (and others equipped with the technology). First, this locally installed application lets you print to any HP Designjet printer without installing any printer drivers; second, it provides an interface to share and store documents to your own secure, shared web space. You can print and upload local documents to your web space at the same time.

The application also includes plug-ins for AutoCAD and Microsoft Office that enable printing from these applications directly to HP ePrint & Share. Through the web interface, you can view, organize, and share files uploaded from the local application, files scanned using the HP Designjet T2300 eMFP, and files shared to you by others. The application comes with 5 GB of free storage; more is available upon request. 

HP ePrint & Share is available as a download at no additional cost for all HP Designjet customers. On the T2300 eMFP, you can access the application from the touch screen.

I encountered a few shortcomings in this new software. For example, it did not correctly perform some custom-printing features — such as scaling a document to half size and fitting a document to a certain size sheet.

Printer driver. The local printer driver installed automatically via Windows 7. All you have to do is supply the IP address of the printer; no downloads are required. Using AutoCAD 2012, I printed the sample file named VISUALIZATION_-_CONDOMINIUM_WITH_SKYLIGHT0.DWG (a fully rendered, 1.4-MB drawing) to a D-size sheet in 2 minutes, 20 seconds, including processing time. A line drawing (AutoCAD sample PB-EX41. DWG, 1.5 MB) printed on a D-size sheet in 1 minute, 15 seconds. As expected, quality was excellent on both. 

As easy as it was to install the local printer driver, it’s not even necessary. When you install the HP ePrint & Share application, a system printer is created named HP Designjet Go Web. When you print a file to this printer, your print job is sent to the HP ePrint & Share application, where you can make needed adjustments, then print and share with others.

Scanner Included

Scanning to file has become almost a necessity these days for archiving documents, versioning signed documents, and digitally transferring information. The HP Designjet T2300 eMFP can scan in color and black-and-white, in a variety of formats and quality ranges. The scanner is mounted on top of the unit and accepts documents face-up. The active color mode determines the speed at which documents are fed, and the instructions for scanning are easy to follow on the touch screen. The T2300 lets you scan to a network folder, directly to a USBconnected device, or to your HP ePrint & Share account. Scanning to a network location or USB-connected device are nearly identical processes. To scan to your ePrint & Share account, you log on and specify file-sharing recipients.

The HP Designjet T2300 eMFP delivers a wealth of features, including web connectivity, for $8,450.

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