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Printing Quality

I performed this test several times at different settings, but two printouts were the most characteristic: at the default settings and in the Best quality mode.


Default settings


Best quality mode

The first thing I want to say about these printouts is that the original is probably reproduced in the best way among all the participating printers. The two print modes differ somewhat. In the first case the lines are sharper and thinner, and close lines do not merge into one. The smallest details are not printed out well even in this mode, though. In the second case thin lines become thicker and minute details of the image stand out. On the other hand, some close lines, separate in the first printout, merge into one here.

So the Best quality mode should be used when the original image is full of small, but not very densely located details.


Normal (default) mode

As you can see, the printer produces a good-looking halftone image at the default settings. Light and dark grays are printed well, but the image looks somewhat coarse. Borders between contrasting objects are not well emphasized, as you can see with the alphabetic symbols.

The next printout was made in the Best Quality mode with the grid dithering:

It’s generally the same, but the borders are sharper and the raster pattern is smaller. The photograph looks very nice; the raster pattern doesn’t strike your eyes.


Best quality, mesh dither pattern

And this scan shows how hatching is employed to render halftones. The photograph looks as if drawn with a pencil. The image is lighter in this mode (there is more empty space between the dots), the borders between the plates of the gray-scale are still quite distinct, even though smoother, and some detail is lost in the lightest areas.

Summarizing my experience with this printer, I want to say that the abundance of driver settings is quite justifiable as this machine can be flexibly set up for each particular task at hand. Moreover, its straight paper path makes it a universal device for black-and-white printing on any media type and a very likely candidate for purchase, too.

 
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