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I'm happy with the print quality from this printer for pictures (and the borderless option is great), but I've found that the printer utility software has too many limitations. You can not fine tune the settings to get the machine to print the way you want it too. Even when you select the manual adjustment setting, it often will not allow you to switch to the highest quality settings, etc. Another limitation is that the ink levels have to be reset manually every time you install a new cartridge. With my old Epson printer the controls could easily be adjusted in the software, and the ink levels were automatically read and adjusted by the software...no manual resets required. My other complaint with this printer is that it seems to make a lot of extra "noises". The actual printing is relatively quiet, but when it's not printing it will sit there and make all kinds of noises like it's processing information or something. My old (4 yr.+) Epson printer was much "louder" as far as the physical printing, but at least when it wasn't printing it didn't make extra noises. I would recommend going with an Epson printer over this one based on the utility software performance alone. However, for novice users who just want to print pretty pictures and word processing files, they'd probably be pretty happy with this printer. The other thing with this printer is the cost of replacement cartridges (they are cheep) compaired with other makes saving approx 50% Although this reveiw isnt glowing it is a great printer and I am glad to have it.
Good Points: Fast Printer Up to 4800 x1200dpi Good Photo quality Prints Very cheap to run* Direct Printer (from Canon digital cameras Bad Points: Top loader (I prefer under tray)* Reasonably noisy (even on quiet setting)* USB connection only* *Compared to HP 940c General Comments: I?ve had this Canon i450 printer for about a month now from http://www.bestcameras.co.uk/ for £74.99 inc p&p. Previously had x2 HP printers (Deskjet 940c and a very old B&W HP) which I will talk about later. The unit is approximately 40x25cm and 45cm in height with A4 paper inserted which means placing this unit under the computer desk virtually impossible. At the moment I the unit is placed on of a separate cabinet unit. I had to think long and hard as to what I wanted in a printer. Initially I wanted an all singing and all dancing printer (like the Canon i850/i865) which will print brilliant photo colour prints and print on CD?s, etc. Then I had to actually had to think as to what my everyday printing requirements would be and how cost effective it would really be to have a dedicated photo printer, considering that there are better digital print services such as www.klick.co.uk and even Asda?s will print 100 (that?s right) 5x7 at just £13 (same day service). Setting up the printer was every easy. USB 1.1 connection under XP is automatic and you don?t actually need any of the drivers (but don?t throw them away!). There is another USB port and this is for Direct Photo Printing with any Canon digital camera. I haven?t used this feature since I have a Pentax Optio 230 (see www.reviewcentre.com/review15337.html). The included software are Canon printer drivers and Easy Photoprint which is a thumbnail based 3 step system which allows you to select the picture/s, paper type and print setting (x4 or x2 pictures on one A4 sheet, etc). This software is a bit basic for most people who need
to alter or adjust the photos such as sharpness, contrast, brightness, etc. I would recommend something like Photoshop Elements 2.2 or Photoshop 7 (full product), Starting the printer up it sounds like it?s going to leap up off the table. The unit takes 2 separate ink cartridges (BCI-24 & BCI-24C) each cartridge is tiny and probably only holds about 5mls of ink, but Canon claim you can get 160 pages at 5% coverage per each cartridge. The print head is attached to the printer unit, but can be replaced if a fault occurs, but should need replacing during the life of the printer. Unlike HP though the Canon cartridges are far less expensive, this is because HP cartridges have their printer heads attached to their cartridges. Canon cartridges in this range I have seen as little as £5.15 black and £9.85 colour original or compatible cartridges at £1.89 black and £2.29 colour (www.inkraider.co.uk)!!!. This is compared to the cheapest HP were the cheapest cartridge was £10 compatible and it didn?t even work! It is believed that HP and Lexmark make between 60-70% of their revenue on their cartridges. Black and white printing was fast and clear with no smudging and reasonable drying time. Whether on draft setting or not the speed does not change, unlike on HP. You can purchase a special double sided tray if you need double sided printing. Photo printing can be set on 4 different quality settings (custom, draft, standard, high) and there are extra setting for photo printing including Image Optimizer, Photo Optimizer Pro and Noise reduction with a small preview box as to how the image might look. It can also take 6x4? photo paper which I haven?t tried yet. Printing on 90gm paper on draft setting produced a wonderful portrait print at 15x13cm in size which showed no lines or streaking or colour bleed. I have printed x60 sheets of A4 size pictures in standard qualitymode before having to replace the colour ink c
artridge (and using just over half of the black cartridge). Conclusion This printer has some great features and importantly the running costs are low for everyday printing requirements with the ability to photo print if necessary. If photo printing is a standard requirement then look at the i550/i850/i865 models with their individual colour ink tanks. I would heartily recommend this printer although a new i455 model has just been revealed, which gives borderless 6x4? photo prints (which is described in the i450 model) apparently. Argos has just reduced their price to £79.99 and although it is slightly more expensive than HP or Lexmark, but BE WARNED examine the running cost of their units over the course of a year. You might find it?s less expensive to by Canon.