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In an age of cloud-connected devices and high-end CAD analysis, will we keep plotting to large-format paper. HP thinks so — and its new PageWide XL 5000 and XL 8000 printers are the proof.

Oriol Gasch, the director of Hewlett-Packard’s Americas Large-Format Printing division, lead an assemblage of reporters through product briefings and tours at the company’s Customer Experience facility in Alpharetta, Georgia. HP held the meeting to introduce the PageWide XL 5000 and 8000 high-volume colour plotters in a hands-on environment, and to share HP’s strategies for high-volume printing for large engineering and reprographic firms.

“There are very few times in your career when you see a true revolution in technology, and now is one of those times,” commented Gasch as he began his presentation on the PageWide XL 8000.

Given the specifications and technology overview, the XL 8000 sounded like a device that would finally allow high-output monochrome CAD printing along with high-resolution colour printing without sacrificing speed — a combination that has proven elusive over the years. I was already looking forward to some hands-on time with the unit, but a little more detail was yet to come.