With every update in the HP Latex range, it can be difficult to know which one will add the most value to your print business.
It's also important to buy the features you need and not spend on functions that you don’t.
With this in mind, I’m going to run through the information and differences between models along with adding some customer experiences we’ve had here at Granthams.
Entry model - HP Latex 115
The 115 is HP’s first model in its current latex line-up. It accepts a maximum roll width of 1371mm and will comfortably take media up to a weight of around 25kgs. At it’s indoor quality setting, it’ll run through your jobs at around 12 m2/hour. Colour comes courtesy of its 6 x 400ml cartridges along with the HP Optimiser that helps ink adhesion whenever the substrate needs it.
It’s perfect for the user who is not expecting to be printing 24/7 but still needs wide format graphics of the highest standard.
HP Latex 315
The 315 moves up a gear in terms of spec. Still at 1371mm maximum width, this is the first of the HP latex range with HP’s innovative OMAS sensor. The Optical Media Advance Sensor, (you can see why its shortened to OMAS), analyses the media as it runs through the machine making micro adjustments to keep the path true.
When you’re producing exhibition pop-up prints or wallpaper murals, the OMAS can help the panels line up.
The 315 also uses six larger capacity 775ml colour ink cartridges plus HP’s Optimiser.
Designed for the print company running a lower work volume, it comes fully prepared for work duty with HP’s RIP in a box. Although not quite as equipped as a standalone RIP software, it is adept enough to get you up and printing in the shortest timeframe possible. As part of HP’s profiling library, there is direct access via the internet from the machine’s front panel to a growing list of media manufacturer profiles.
Identical in most respects to the 315, the main difference is in the media width it can take. The 335 accepts rolls up to 1625mm wide. As the rolls are a little wider, it can also hold up to 42kgs in weight. At 1625mm wide it’ll print a little more per hour and to help get you on your way, the 335 also arrives with the HP RIP software.
The 335 arrives with a take-up reel to help with spooling up the printed work as it feeds out. As latex technology is virtually instant dry, being able to roll it all on the take-up reel for finishing later can make the whole print process more efficient.
There are a few changes under the hood with the 365. No RIP software this time as the 365 is probably destined to live in a busy print production environment.
It’ll work with all the main RIPs – Onyx, Flexi and SignLab – so if you already have a preference, the HP can be added in. If you’re not sure, talk to us for advice. The same maximum width of 1625mm, and roll weight – 42kgs – of the 335.
The 365, however, will motor through media at a speedy 17 square metres per hour at the indoor quality setting. Load it up, stand back and watch it go.
The machine itself is very similar looking to the models above: a compact design that has the usual HP hallmarks of quality engineering.
The differences here come in the form of an inbuilt spectrophotometer. Sounds complicated I know but in plain English it means it’ll profile media itself. Just in case there aren’t the settings in the online library for that unique product your customer has specified, the 365 will do its own thing and get your job out with minimum fuss.
I know many people who’ve come to rely on this feature and just as many who have said it helped them get that job out that was dropped on them today but was needed yesterday.
Another clever addition is the ink collector unit. Extremely useful when printing edge to edge as it catches any stray ink droplets, it also comes into its own when working with fabrics. As we see more latex printers being used for décor purposes (and HP themselves know this is a rapidly growing sector), previous fabric media had to have a paper backing to help it run through the machine and to keep the ink from seeping through. The HP 365 doesn’t need the paper back and the ink collector unit ensures everything is kept clean. Flags, mesh, tablecloths and more, it opens up plenty of new opportunities.
Making machine operation simpler, the front of the 365 also has a bigger 8” touchscreen panel compared to the 4” of the previous models.
This brought with it a whole host of new features, including an easier loading mechanism, faster print speeds, increased roll support weight from 42kg to 55kg and a built-in Job Queue on the Printer itself, which holds up to 100 jobs for easy reprints.
In addition to this, the inks increase in capacity from 775ml to either 1-litre (on the L700) or 3-litre (on the L800). The new and improved inks and printheads in the fourth generation of HP Latex have also introduced sharper print results, improved vibrancy and saturation (especially on red and black) as well as the ability to use curing temperatures, improving media versatility and making it possible to print on more heat-sensitive stocks.
The most significant advancement with the new generation was the introduction of white ink. This expands the range of applications even further and competes against the likes of Solvent and UV, who have been the leaders for white ink printing for a long while.
Finally, we have the new HP Latex 630 Series, launched in September 2023. This takes all the features of the L700W, but is designed to fit a lower budget when production speed isn’t as crucial.
HP have also removed the spectrophotometer that is equipped by the L365 / L700 / L800 to maintain highly accurate colour matching consistency. With this in mind, the L630 is better suited to a print department that don't rely on a high level of uniformity or anticipate prints from different printing periods to be scrutinised and overlapped. For everyday signage and wrapping companies, this should still be a model to seriously consider.
The L630 is also available with white ink, includes a basic RIP Software in the box and can also be bundled with a HP Vinyl Cutter for a complete Print and Cut package.
The L365 / L700 / L800 models don't include an in-box RIP package or a 'HP's own' Vinyl Cutter, so we would usually bundle other brands tried and tested alongside HP Latex.
If we've missed anything out or you have any specific questions, get in touch in any of the usual ways or through social media. At Granthams we know theright printer is the one that fits intoyourbusinessand we like to think we’ve been around long enough to know how to help.