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Seiko ColorPainter H-104S ad Seiko H-74S reviews Print E-mail

At DRUPA 2008 Seiko introduced a solvent printer, the Seiko ColorPainter H-104S. It is unclear whether this is a beta unit, an alpha unit, or a prototype. The Seiko stand at DRUPA also exhibits their Seiko ColorTextiler 64DS. By the time of SGIA (October 2008), the Seiko ColorPainter H-74S should be visible as well.

Four years ago Seiko had the fastest selling solvent printer in the 64” to 104” range: the Seiko ColorPainter 64S. This was so popular that HP bought the rights to sell it and rebranded the Seiko printers as the HP Designjet 9000s and HP 10000s. Subsequently another Seiko-made printer appeared, the HP 8000s. But these are four years old; the newer Seiko ColorPainter H74S and H104S are newer, better, faster; and are not being sold by Hewlett-Packard.

The Seiko ColorPainter H 104s offers eight different colors or dual CMYK. The H 104s uses new Seiko printheads that are rated for speed. Speed and bright highly staturated colors are the Holy Grail. If this printer can beat the Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland, and HP solvent printers, it will be a major coup for the Seiko Japan and Seiko US teams.

As with most solvent printers, this prints well on PVC, banner, flex, papers, and fabrics. Naturally vehicle wrap is another popular application for a printer that has bright colors with punch.

Seiko ColorPainter H 104S compared with alternatives

Now, in 2008, HP has decided to produce its alternative ink, latex ink. For the new latex ink HP has introduced its own printer, the HP Designjet L65500. HP has unleashed millions of dollars in funding to promote its new latex ink chemistry and the HP L65500 printer as an alternative to solvent ink. Already prior to DRUPA I was taken to a beta test site in Europe for the HP L65500 as well as on a separate trip taken to Israel for a general introduction to the latex ink technology. There is already a FLAAR Report introducing the latex ink. Updates on the latex ink and an evaluation of the HP Designjet L65500 are in preparation.

Epson has recently launched its Stylus Pro GS6000 a solvent printer that many people say is actually manufactured by Mutoh.

Roland already has its AJ-1000, with an earlier generation Seiko printhead. There is already a FLAAR Report on this Roland printer.

Mutoh has their Rockhopper 3 Extreme and Spitfire Extreme, both with Intelligent Interweaving. FLAAR already has reports on all three.

No FLAAR Report is available on the Seiko ColorPainter H 74S or H 104s because it has not been available for a detailed inspection in a demo room, in part because the H-104S at DRUPA was a prototype model. When the beta version is available, we would consider doing a detailed report. The Seiko ColorPainter 64S was our favorite printer in its heyday. Thousands of printshop owners downloaded the FLAAR Reports on the Seiko ColorPainter 64S, so we look forward to doing comparable ealuations on the new ColorPainter H104s.

But today, in 2008, there is more competition, so our FLAAR Reports need to be more comprehensive, which requires out dedicating more time to study each model solvent printer. This is a polite way of saying that we don't always have time or funding to handle each and every printer. So for the moment there is no in-depth FLAAR Report on either the H 74S or the H 104S.

Seiko ColorPainter H-104S printer reviews
The Seiko ColorPainter H-104S, a new mild-solvent printer.

The Seiko ColorPainter H-104S printer evaluations
Nicholas Hellmuth analyzing the ColorPainter H-104s printer at SGIA 2008.



Updated September 9, 2008.

First posted May 29, 2008.





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