Product round-up The most probable reasons for printing A3 documents are 1) posters or folded A4 newsletters, and 2) large photos. The types of printer needed for these two requirements are different. For posters and newsletters you want a machine intended primarily for plain paper print and it will save time if it can print duplex. For photos, you’re more interested in high quality output, often with more than four ink colours in the mix.
Both of these requirements are covered here and we look at single-function and all-in-one devices, too. Prices vary widely, so you need to match the machine as tightly as you can to your printing needs.
Canon PIXMA iX6550
This is a five-ink, medium-format printer which can handle paper up to full-bleed A3+. Paper trays are telescopic, so you can save space if you only print A3 occasionally. Physical controls are minimal and there are no card slots or a USB/PictBridge socket. The rear USB is the only data connection. Plain paper print at up to 9.3ppm is good and photo print, at 52s for 15 x 10cm and 2:33 for A3 is very good. Page costs are around 3p for ISO black and 8.2p for ISO colour. Print quality is up to Canon’s usual high standard and the typical price of £160 is low for this class of printer.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Canon
Canon PIXMA iX7000
Although primarily aimed at small office print, this A3+ printer can also put out very respectable photos. There are three paper paths, including a 250-sheet cassette, though again no card or PictBridge connections. You do get Ethernet as well as USB sockets, though. I saw A4 print speeds of up to 8.6ppm, a 15 x 10cm print took 53s and an A3 photo completed in 2:50. Print quality is good on both plain and photo stock and running costs are fair, at 2.4p for ISO black pages and 5.5p for colour. This machine is heavily discounted, so you should be able to pick one up for around £300, though this is still not cheap.
Reg Rating 70%
More info Canon