The HP Pro B9180 Inkjet Printer - Serious, Affordable, Archival


If you thought you had to pay $1,000 or more for a 13 x 19 inch printer that produced gallery quality images on a variety of stocks, you're wrong. The HP B9180 is available for around $500, and you get a top quality machine for that money.

I've been testing the B9180 for a couple months, and I'm impressed with its output, the variety of excellent paper stocks available for it, the archival permanence of its output, and the closed loop color calibration system for consistent color. Here is a list of its strengths and weaknesses that I compiled over the months.


  • Outstanding color and B&W output
  • Densitometric closed loop color calibration system for consistent output
  • Excellent paper stocks for fine art printing
  • Impressive 200+ year archival rating with HP inks and paper
  • Easy to use Photoshop Pro Printer plug-in
  • No cartridge swapping for different paper stocks
  • Rugged construction that feels durable with user-replaceable print heads
  • Convenient ink level LCD indicator on outside of unit
  • Large capacity 28cc ink cartridges for long life
  • Always ready to print thanks to auto printhead monitoring system
  • Both USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity built right in
  • Very competitive price: as low as $510 US


  • No roll paper adapter
  • Temperamental manual paper feed when using the Specialty Media Tray
  • Paper and ink hard to find at standard retail outlets; often must order online
  • Certain types of paper jams force you to restart the printer and wait a long time to resume work

The HP Pro B9180 Inkjet Printer is an ideal "first serious" photo printer. It produces gallery-quality output up to 13 by 19 inches, is well-designed, is very affordable (around $500 US with a set of inks and sample paper), and reasonable to maintain. Photographers ready to move up to gallery-quality output at home or in the studio should take a close look at this unit.

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Oh so tempting...

I have an OLD Epson Photo 870, but rarely print anything at home. When my customers buy prints from my website the order is handled by Smugmug, so I've not had a "need" for high quality prints in house.

Would love to see an example print from this HP though.

I've recently bought the HP Photosmart Pro B9180, and I must say it's been a frustrating experience. I use Apple Aperture, and for the life of me, I can't get the printer to print images that even come close to what I see on screen. All colors appear washed out and lifeless. I'm sure it's somehow pilot error, but if someone has a clue as to what I might be doing wrong, I'd be grateful.

Hi John, I can help you get your color management under control. I just did a podcast with Joe Schorr, senior product manager for Aperture, specifically about this topic. I think you'll really like what he has to say. You can find the show here:

I'm getting great looking prints out of Aperture and the HP 9180, so there's definitely hope for you.

I just concluded a workshop at Santa Fe Photo Workshops, where we used this printer (a room full of them, actually) for all our printing. I was so impressed with the prints from the 9180, and the opinions of the staff about the 9180, that I just bought one myself. I have yet to try it out here at home, but I can testify that it produces amazing print quality and color.

Derrick - alway appreciate your input. The Joe Schorr podcast was interesting, but offered no improvement to my issue. My B9180 prints keep coming out dull and muted. This is driving me nuts! :-) I'm using HP Q7854A Advanced Glossy Paper- 8.5" x 11", and the proper ICC profile for it.

One more reference point. I had some photos printed using the built-in services that Apple offers in Aperture, and not surprisingly, the prints arrive looking just as beautiful as their on-screen counterparts, so the odd man out, so to speak, really are the prints generated by the HP B9180...

I got a steal on one of these last week at Staples. They advertised 50% off ALL HP color Photo Printers priced above $150.00. Of the course the Pro B 9180 was not on sale, but I pushed the issue and got one for $320.00 delivered! Hope I have the positive experience you have had. I loved what I saw at last years Photo Expo in NYC and felt I couldn't go wrong @ $320 Dave

I purchased and have been using this printer for about 1 month now. I often get requests for prints larger than 8x10 from my customers that cannot wait the 2-3 days to get professional prints back from my lab so I researched the alternatives and decided on the B9180.