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I'm actually a teacher but for some bizarre reason a few colleagues think because I'm in charge of the teaching of ICT I am by default the bloke who knows where every cable goes, where to put the ink, how to reassemble a network and how to program Artificial Intelligence into children. Thank god then that at least one piece of wired hell in our place doesn't need constant nurse-maiding. This is it.
We have six that have been running practically without attention for 3 years now, apart from one runt model that decided to sacrifice itself
and martyr its functionality for the good of the others. It seems to have died for their sins so that they might live. We paid about £70 then, though I doubt youd pay much more than £45 now.
right, down to the gubbins.
They came packed well complete with usb, power cable and basic software. There was no serial cable but I think it has a port for a serial. I never use them so I honestly cant remember. Not bad basic software, just the usual drivers and utilities. It got instant brownie points by including a set of cartridges as well. Thank you magical Canon ink fairy.
Set-up is easy-peasy. insert the disk and the software literally talks you through it. Which I think is a dodgy use of the word *literally* as it didn't actually speak. That would be scary. Anyway, the whole process was 5 mins fro start to test page printing.
Print quality - is good. Now were a school so to be honest it isn't the most important factor. rarely do we have a 5 year-old criticising us for the dodgy quality of our printing on displays. Not living ones anyway. But, at the time it was the best Id seen from a *school* printer and I still think it passes muster today. You will get better - but you probably wont notice all that much unless you get really close. and thats a wierd thing to do.
Ink - lasts!!!!!!!! We are a poor poor government institution. Nor far off
being the poorhouse. we need printers that will print for ever. where that magical ink fairy gone now? and this one does pretty good. Id be lying if i said id counted the pages but the black will last a good month of endless childish guff done by small children who like drawing anonymous patches of colour whilst swearing blind they represent an acurate likeness to their mother. Scarily, they occasionally do. Good value for money is important to us and this is as good a scrooge printer we have had.
Print speed - Was fast at the time but seems slow now compared to the newer ones. If it was a printer at home it would be fine. It'll do a page of text in approx 30 secs anyway. In school it can end up with a queue of splodgy colour mis-shapes waiting to come out which can seem to take for ever when you want lunch!
Head cleaning - not a lot but some. Each summer we are sent home to work really hard for six-weeks. It nearly kills us I promise. It certainly kills printers who take exception to having their print heads exposed to warm air unused for the duration. The ink dries and the head is kaput. These printers seem to cope really well and a quick head clean sorts them out. We have had to bin printers at the end of the holidays!
durability is............super. They seem to withstand kids well. Better than me anyway. we haven't lost a single print tray or had a hinge snap!!! can't say that for many!
And the broken one. I'll never know. The real technician who turns up occasionally with a cart took it away after prodding it with his huge intelligence. Took it away and pronounced it dead. it may have been jelousy and in fact the printer is now on his mantelpiece next to the digital photoframe.
After all, a technician would sit in admiration of something he doesn't have to fix wouldn't he?
Well done canon, you actually make my life a little easier.
I have owned a 550 for 3 years. We purchased it after our honeymoon to print out our favourite images. It is a well built printer in a quality silver finish. The pictures it produces are of a high standard and text prints are fast and clear.
Compared to early bubble/inkjet printers this one is exceptionally good. I see no reason to change this printer even after 3 years heavy use.
The footprint is pretty small with the paper loading and delivery tray folding away neatly leaving the unit about the size a large shoebox.
Installation is very easy, with clear instructions provided. The supplied software is also useful without being too obtrusive. It gives clear indication of the ammount of ink remaining.