Most of us want bigger prints, but inkjet models with 24- and 44-inch
carriages force you to choose between them and your washer/dryer. These 17-
and 18-inch printers are big enough.
Little brother to the 24-inch Designjet 130, one of last year's Editor's Choices, this model's 18-inch output is more than big enough for most photographers, and an inch wider than the other models featured here. Yet the printer is considerably smaller than those competitors, and much less expensive too. Though its six-ink color output is dye- rather than pigment-based, it yields prints with an under-glass display life of 70-plus years, according to Henry Wilhelm -- still a lot better than a typical C-print. Not long ago, dyes were considered much superior to pigment in their ability to produce a wide color range and deep blacks, and the Designjet 90 makes you understand why. In terms of color, density, and depth, prints made on HP's Premium Plus Satin paper have a quality we associate with C-prints, only more nuanced. Detail is extremely fine at 2400dpi, but even at this top resolution the Designjet 90 prints very fast. The standard tray holds 70 sheets of 18x24 paper; there's a front bypass slot for single sheets and a rear slot for papers up to 80 pounds and .02-inch thick. (A roll feeder is optional.) About $1,050.