If you're an artist or professional who prints on large format paper, you may be interested in a comparison test done informally on two leading wide format printers, the new HP Z3100 challenger and the Epson 9800.
Right away, rest easy: these two printers are both capable of the highest image quality currently available. There were visible differences in the results tested on exactly the same large format paper, but they were really only visible when prints were viewed critically side-by-side. In a blind test in a gallery, even those of us who performed the test were hard-pressed to claim which printer made which print.
We felt that the debate on image quality differences came down to quibbling. The better questions were related to reliability, ergonomics and user interface. Which is to say: we've all been in a production environment where a client is waiting for prints and the printer has a jammed paper feed or clogged heads. Which one would be better in a pinch?
Our staff was split down the middle. If you're looking for a high end large format paper printer, either one of these will probably knock your socks off.