Posted by Kevin Vaughan on Wed, Oct 16, 2019 @ 08:15 AM

The Designjet 1700dr is HP’s latest wide-format printer iteration targeting CAD and GIS workgroups. As per the product’s nomenclature, the “dr” refers to a dual roll model.

Die-hard fans of HP will look at this unit with blind admiration. However, There is more than meets the eye when it comes to it.

Be sure to take a closer look before you jump in and invest in a new HP Designjet T1700dr.


A Matter of Inconvenience

The HP T1700dr’s paper rolls load in the back of the plotter. This means that the printer needs to be pulled out and rotated so that the user can replace media rolls.

In fairness, HP is promoting that the top roll can be reached from the top of the unit. But, shorter people will have trouble making the reach and need to resort to accessing the printer from the back. Plus, the second roll is only accessible from behind.

Adobe PDF is still not standard on the base Designjet model. If you need the ability to print Postscript or PDF files natively, you will need to opt for the more expensive T1700dr PostScript version.

First print-out time is not the fastest in its class. In a lab test* the T1700dr took longer than 148 seconds to start-up and process before commencing the first print sent to the machine.

The HP doesn’t allow for fast swapping of ink while printing. When the system runs out of ink, printing will stop until the cartridge is replaced.

Besides the pigment-based Matte Black (MK) ink, the rest of the ink profile is based on dye inks. Dyes are pretty volatile; they are merely water colors that are completely water soluble and can be greatly affected by the environment. You have probably experienced issues with dye inks with fading colors or smearing ink.

The HP Designjet utilizes a bi-directional printing process, which can be prone to banding issues. In other words, the HP print head print as it is traveling in both directions.

This is generally a good thing, but can lead to imaging banding lines when large areas of color (I.e. maps and photos) are needed.

Buy this Instead - The Canon TX-4000


In contrast, the TX-4000 addresses the shortcomings of the T1700dr. Similar to the HP, the TX-4000 is available as a 2-roll wide printer capable of easily accommodating the printings needs of CAD, GIS, and light-production graphics.

The Canon has a faster overall output speed, mainly due to the faster start-up time, 58 seconds compared to 148 seconds of the HP in laboratory tests*.

Changing Ink

When it comes to productivity, there is no comparison. The TX printer utilizes Canon’s unique sub ink system. This is a series of internal ink reservoirs that allows all of the ink to be utilized in the tanks. Likewise, ink tanks on the Canon TX can be changed while the printer in running.


This sub ink technology is exclusive to Canon printers and not available on the HP T1700dr, which stops printing until the empty cartridge is replace.

Ink Consumption

In lab tests, the Canon used anywhere from 19% to 35% less in per print than the HP plotter printer.*

Printer Hardware Features

The TX printers offer three different size ink tanks - 160ml, 330ml, and 700ml for all colors. These can be mixed and matched according to a user’s desired preference. A popular practice is to use 700ml tanks for the MBK and smaller sizes for the other colors.


This achieves a balance between ink cost outlay and maximizing the cost per milliliter for mostly black/white prints.

The Canon PF-06 print head is quite advanced. If it detects that print head nozzles are clogging and there are no alternative nozzles available for compensation, and cleaning routine initiates automatically - without any user interaction.

Keeping prints organized is another area where the Canon TX-4000 excels. It includes a stacker that can collate up to 100 AO size drawings while stacking them flat.

Advanced Print Driver Features

Canon offers the option of unidirectional printing, even in fast mode. This option can be selected to specifically avoid any banding on high-quality output.

The print head will only print in one direction to achieve this. It can be selected within the print driver.

Both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of the canon driver included the Color imageRUNNER Enlargement Copy Mode utility.

This function allows users to pair a Canon small format office MFP with the TX 4000. Once sent, the image is resized and printed in a large format.

Get More Canon TX-4000 Info

Get Quote


Data sources

KeyPoint Intelligence -

Kevin Vaughan

Written by Kevin Vaughan

Kevin Vaughan is the Vice President of TAVCO and heads up Sales, Digital Marketing, and E-Commerce channels. With two decades of experience, he has received various awards from Canon, Océ, and Bluebeam for sales performance and channel growth. When he is not geeking out on new wide-format technologies, or Bluebeam Revu software, you can find him hanging with his wife and kids, playing guitar, or sneaking in a workout.