Clever new design makes the 60" Graphtec SignJet Pro JX 2150 and the 42" Graphtec SignJet Pro JX 2100 ideal for your sign shop business.

Comparative product review of the Graphtec SignJet Pro JX 2150 and JX 2100. Graphtec got their act together and produced a truly clever printer that can do virtually everything. FLAAR rates this the most innovative new printer shown at CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany ( 2001). I would guess the same printer was showcased at the ISA sign trade show in Las Vegas the same precise days. Since the editor could attend only one venue this report is based on the printers at CeBIT.

First clever idea was to get away from Encad printhead problems and go to a more secure printhead, namely the Hewlett-Packard printheads of the DesignJet 2000 and 3000 series. These HP printheads have less clogging problems as the Lexmark heads used by Encad.

Second clever idea was to offer 600 dpi instead of the rough 300 dpi of the Encad NovaCut.

Third clever idea was to offer eight inks instead of a mere four. This way you can use double CMYK + CMYK in dye based to get double speed. You can switch to double CMYK + CMYK in pigmented inks and get outdoor longevity with lamination. Or, as many people do with their Encad NovaJet 850, Encad NovaJet 750, or Roland V8 Pro, is put in one set of dye-based inks and one set of pigmented-based inks so you can switch between indoor prints and outdoor prints instantly. Downside of the Encad NovaJet 850 is reportedly its paper feed mechanism.

Fourth clever idea was to offer the capability to change inks without tools, with no ink mess.

Fifth bright idea was to offer a cutting plotter capability.

This printer is multiple times faster than the Roland CammJet. However that Roland offers six ink colors; the Graphtec just basic CMYK, with no capability for light cyan or light magenta.

We will need to test the printer in a real-life situation to ascertain whether it is suitable for a sign business. What we saw at the trade show definitely made us eager to try one out.

In case you need to print on atypical substances, consider asking for "Inkjet Printers for Thick and Rigid Materials." This is a public service of our university; there is no cost.

While you are at it, you can also ask for the "FLAAR report on wide format inkjet printers for signs, posters, banners" (specify whether for indoor signs with normal inks or outdoor signs in the rain and sun with solvent inks on vinyl). If you are unsure which, then just tell us what you intend to print, whether this is your first (or second) printer, and what kind of help you need.

You can also ask for the report on "Media and Inks for Sign Printing with Large Format Inkjet."

If this will be your first printer, then we have a special report that holds your hand and leads you through all the basic questions that will assist a first-time buyer of a large format printer. Purchase the FLAAR report on "RIP + Help." This explains what RIP software is, why this is useful, and includes tips, warnings, information, and help for a wide range of matters for a newbie. Here you will really appreciate that FLAAR is based at a university; Professor Hellmuth has plenty of experience writing in a manner that explains what you need, and why.

No, we can't save you from printer problems that we don't know about, and yes, even the worst printer has some redeeming usefulness. Thus you need to make the final decision yourself. But at least we can provide plenty of helpful tips and warn you about the more subtle kinds of bait-and-switch advertising. We have seen printers advertised as "photo realistic" when in fact a photographer would be embarrassed to see his or her images on that printer. The slowest printer of all is flagrantly advertised with hype claiming it is the absolute fastest. Our tests also demonstrate that the output is so pathetic that you would throw the prints in the trash. You would also lose your clients if you attempted to charge them for such awful output. Click here to reach the download form.


Most recently updated August 02, 2001