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This is my first attempt at a Category A review (and an electronics one no less) so please bear with me! Feel free to point out any information that you think I should include.
Me and the printer
I bought this Canon inkjet printer new perhaps two years ago (I forget the exact date except that it's now out of warranty ...). I live in Japan and at the time it cost me 16,000yen new (the exchange rate at the time made it about 100 quid (sorry, my computer doesn't have a pound symbol...), but with the pound currently on the brink of no value at 123yen/pound it's more like 130 quid now). It came with a one year warranty.
Previously I'd owned a rubbish Lexmark which I bought secondhand and was a nightmare to find ink for so I was pretty pleased with my new printer.
I'm an English teacher so I use it mostly for printing out worksheets for my private students and the occasional text document (I do a lot of creative writing which I often submit to publishers and magazines), although as I work in a high school if possible I use the school's industrial-sized printer (but that's a secret!).
The printer came with an installation disk, however, my Windows XP recognized it and I didn't have to use the disk at all. After following a few onscreen instructions it was safely installed. My previous printer had an annoying habit of uninstalling itself when I unplugged it, but I had no such problems with this one. In fact, unless I'm planning to use it I usually leave it disconnected in the cupboard next to my desk.
I have to admit that compared to my previous off-white printer this is one cool-looking beast. It's a kind of low, jet black rectangle with a paper tray (which holds perhaps a hundred sheets at a time) that slots in underneath and another paper feeder that lifts up at the back. It's quite chunky but only weighs a couple of kilos so is quite easy to move from one room to another. It does feel a little flimsy though, and the lower paper feeder tray has a tendency to drop out if you lift it up but it's no problem if you're careful.
I was actually prompted to write this review because only this morning I had to print out some photographs of myself with a couple of students taken at a festival a month or so ago. I usually go to a photography shop to print photos because its hassle free and I'm worried about using up all the ink (more on that later) but I didn't have time to go out to the shop last night and I'd promised the students the photos this morning. I found a 10 pack of glossy 15cm by 10cm postcards in the printer box (two packs actually came free with it, and two years down the line they were still unused...!). I'm a self-confessed technophobe but I found it refreshingly easy to change the paper settings on the computer, add my own user-specific paper size (a miracle considering my Windows operating system is in Japanese) and print the photos off. I did five copies, each one took perhaps ten seconds. The quality was outstanding, as good as photos are in the photo shop. The students had no idea I'd just printed them off my computer.
My biggest one, and it's probably one with all printers, is the ink. It's VERY expensive - I pay 4200yen (about 35 pounds) for a pack of four colours and a larger black cartridge. And considering I don't really use it that much it runs out alarmingly quickly. I know it's possible to get refills, but in the shop I frequent (a large electronics superstore called Yamada Denki - probably the closest equivalent Japan has to PC World, although it sells everything from air cons to fridges) they aren't much cheaper and it looks like a messy job. It is possible to buy individual ones if a single colour runs out, but I found if I just took out all the colour cartridges and left only the black one in, the printer would hassle me for them and refuse to print. I'm not sure if there was something you could change in the specifications for this as I'm not much good with computers, but it did seem a little annoying.
However, a few months ago, I came across a cheaper brand of ink in our equivalent of B&Q which claimed to fit my printer. It was a good 15 pounds cheaper so I bought it. I don't use my printer a great deal but some time later when I came to use it I found it wouldn't work (although at first it had been fine), and I ended up having to send it back to the manufacturer to be fixed. When it came back a couple of weeks ago (with a 50 pound bill, I might add), I was told that the problem was that the cheap ink had leaked, and that I should only use official Canon ink. I was a little irked at this, partly at the fact that my printer was unable to handle it, partly because the ink claimed it should have fit, and partly because I could see NO difference between the two cartridge brands other than the sticky label. Still, I put new Canon ink cartridges in and so far it has worked no problem.
With the constantly evolving nature of the computer industry I imagine this printer is out of date now and probably only available secondhand. Personally I like it and have no intention of replacing it any time soon as long as it continues to work. Yes, the ink is expensive but all printer ink is expensive. The printing quality is perfectly adequate for my needs, and having recently had success with printing photographs I am considering using it for that purpose more often in the future.
It might not be cutting edge but it does the job. Recommended for people who do just a moderate level of printing but if you churn out reams and reams of stuff you might want something a bit more powerful.
(will also appear on ciao)
I was giving this printer for free and luckily it's one of the best we've had! It prints quickly and clearly.
I dont buy canon ink refills as they are expensive, i usually buy replacement cartridges from amazon or somewhere like that which work in the printer. I got all the colours for £9.99 instead of like £30!
I've never printed onto CD (as i dont know how) but i've printed many pictures and essay and they have been good quality. You can ajust the paper size on the computer so it prints to the right size and has no problem printing on glossy paper either.
The only problem i've had is paper jam, sometimes i need to print 15 pages and i do double side printing and it's like the printer gets confused and then jams and i have to pull the paper out and sort it out, but it doesn't take long. I would definately buy another canon printer.
I've had this printer for a few months now and it has not let me down once. The speed is second to none and it's so quiet its unbelievable.
The ink cartridge holder lights up to indicate which colour is empty to make it easy to identify and the price of compatible cartridges is very good too.
It has a seperate tray for normal paper and I use the back tray for photo paper. Having had Canon printers before I knew they were good but I had several Epsons more recently and they are easily a match for them on print quality, infact Canon's are probably better.
The printer itself I think is quite smart and all shuts in on itself when not in use, so not really that bulky.
One of the best things this printer does is print onto discs, using the pull down slot and the disc tray that comes with it. Very easy to use and all the software you need is on the disc supplied with the printer.
Altogether a great printer, cheap to run, easy to use and reliable. Would recommend to anyone.
After falling into the trap of the cheap printer but expensive ink with my previous HP printer, this time I decided to do a bit of research into the cost of ink first. While the Canon is more expensive upfront than some printers though not by a huge margin, it makes up for it in cheaper running costs.
The printer itself is a solid unit and has two paper loading sections one at the top which is very much what you would expect from an inkjet and a loading bay at the base of the printer. This was somewhat fiddly to use at first as it took some time to work out how to extend the lower cartridge so A4 paper could be loaded, but once it is done once it becomes easy to do in future. The two tray system is advantageous in that you can have regular paper in the lower tray and use the top one for photo printing. However on this note while the cost of ink is lower than some, it is still likely cheaper to have photos printed by one of a myriad of online companies
Print quality on photos is excellent though as it is on conventional printing, the printer also has built in duplex, meaning it can print on both sides automatically.
Ink wise, it uses five cartridges, allowing you to change just the colour you have run out of, official cartridges are about £8 - £10, and are chipped to try to stop you using generics. However you can buy generics fairly cheaply with the chip in place for about half as much (£4 - £5), and while there might be a slight decrease in quality, it is evidently too subtle for me to notice.
The first noticeable thing about this printer is the size! It is big especially considering it is not a laserjet printer. A big black plastic box is not something everyone will want in the vicinity of their computer expecially if it is in a frequently used room.
However for a home printer it's worth looking at as the benefits and quality far out weighs the appearance.
The new ink set-up is different to printers I have used in the past having not only a black and colour cartridge but separate cartridges for each colour. I much prefer this as invariably using a standard colour printer only one colour would run out and I would find myself replacing the entire colour cartridge to ensure decent printouts. This makes colour printing much more reliable and you can get the full value out of each cartridge. The printer monitor is fairly reliable at telling you which colours are running out, however does give you an excessive amount of warning. I found I could print about another 20 sheets to a good standard after the alert had flashed.
The cartridges are reasonably priced when compared with other brands even when you are buying all the colours and are available in multi packs or as singles.
It also seems to be useful for printing varied types of paper such as card and acetate. Obviously with a Canon printer, the expectation is that the photos will be good. This did not disappoint. All the photos I have printed so far have been of a professionally printed standard. The printer deals well with black and white, greyscale and full spectrum include neon colouring. Software that comes with it configures well with all the cameras and camcorders I have tried it with (3 cameras, 2 camcorders (NIKON, CANON X2, OLYMPUS, JVC). I was also able to use it with a movie clip recorded on a mobile phone. The Photoprint is a really simple program that allows you to apply your photos to all types of documents that then are automatically aligned and printed perfectly! Pict Bridge means I can just link the camera to the printer without having to load and copy photos on to the computer and just get the prints - the photo album is back
The quality of printing is excellent and once you know how to change to the settings you want it is really quick to get the printing done. I do tend to use it more for pictures than anything else and this is what the Pixma 4600 has been designed for. The resolution is high and the settings allow your to print to a high standard. The separate inks facilitate maintaining this easily and quickly. I wish they could make it in a transportable version!
My printer had been playing up for a couple of months, I normally (99% of the time) only use it for printing in black for invoices, however I do occasionally print something off in colour and sometimes print a photo. It was missing one of the colours out now and again and so I decided it was time for a new one.
My old printer was a Canon and although it was playing up it had served me well for about three years of constant use. I also think the design of the Canon printers is very good, I think they are far better to look at than most other makes and this is quite important when you are going to be looking at it everyday, sat on your desk. Another reason is the fact that the ink cartridges are much more affordable than some other makes, I once had a Hewlet Packard printer and required a second mortgage everytime they were ready for replacing, this is a fairly important factor for me as I tend to replace at least one ink cartridge per week.
I decided my new printer was to be a Canon and set about surfing the internet for a decent deal. My new printer, like my old one, would be printing black only 99% of the time but occasionally I like to print a photo out and so it needed to be good in this area also. I must admit I get most of my photo printing done by the professionals now, as there is so much competition and this has brought the prices of printing right down, but sometimes you just want to print one off there and then and so it is nice to have the option available.
I found the Canon Pixma IP4600 on a site I have used before a couple of times and one I find to be very good. They are called OYYY.co.uk and they tend to be very competitive on price. Also if you log on to their site through Topcashback (the best cashback site around at the moment in my opinion, message me for a referal link) you get 3% cashback on your purchase, this almost covers the next day delivery charge. As well as being competitive on price they offer a next day delivery service which is always nice.
The Canon Pixma IP4600 is a colour inkjet printer which boasts a standard resolution of 9600 dpi x 2400 dpi, it will print 26 pages per minute in monochrome and 21 in colour and a 10x15cm photolab-quality print in approximately 20 seconds. It has three paper handling inputs which are; a 150 sheet paper tray, a 150 sheet paper cassette and a 1 disc DVD/CD tray and also supports double side printing, the maximum paper size is A4 and it also supports; B5, A5, Letter, Legal, Envelopes (DL size or Commercial 10), 10 x 15cm, 10 x 18cm, 13 x 18cm, 20 x 25cm, Credit Card (54 x 86mm).
You do not have to have it connected to your PC (or MAC) as it also has a PictBridge direct printing port. It comes with two different types of software for the PC and MAC which is Easy-PhotoPrint EX (different version for each platform). The printer has five ink cartridges (two black and three colour)
I did not notice this service before ordering my printer but must mention it here as I think it is a brilliant idea. 'Your Print' is a service from Canon (and available on OYYY.co.uk) where you can pick a digital photo that you have, upload it to Canon, choose a printer that are interested in purchasing, and they will send you a print of your photo done on that printer absolutely free!!. This is a fantastic idea and means you can 'try before you buy' and check out the quality of the printing your new printer is capable of.
I have been using this printer for about two weeks now and have to say I am very impressed. Firstly it is very nice to look at, it is mainly black and very curvacious with a silver line around the top and the Canon logo on the front in silver also. The operational buttons are placed on the curved front which I like, and I am very please with the overall look, which I think is fairly important as it sits directly in front of me all day. You can also close the front up which makes it look very neat and tidy when not in use.
The fact that this printer has two paper sources is also very handy as you can load each one up with up to 150 sheets of paper and selct your paper source from the PC, this is handy if you print on two different types of paper quite often (like normal paper and photo paper) as you can load each different source up with the two different paper types and simply select the source in the computer, meaning you do not have to change the paper around. To be honest though I only really use the paper cassette underneath the printer and this allows me to store the printer against a wall and with a monitor on top of it, this just needs moving slightly when changing ink.
When printing with this Canon, like I mentioned above, I mainly only print in black, and so could in theory use a much cheaper printer, or maybe a laser but the quality of printing in black for invoices (which is what I print 99% of the time) is excellent. It is noticably better than the three year old Canon I have just got rid of. The letters and numbers appear perfectly and are very sharp. Colour printing is also extremely good, I have only printed a few things off in colour since I have had it, mainly pages off the internet or emails, but whenever there has been a colour, detailed picture it has come out perfectly and I really can't say a bad word against it. I have also printed a couple of photo's out just to see how good it is at them, I used Tesco finest glossy photo card and printed them in the highest quality level available, and I have to say we could not really tell much difference between these and some professional ones we have, the colours are vivid and the lines sharp, I really cannot fault this printer on any level of printing, especially at the price it is so readily available at. I do not normally print photo's off at home as I find with all the special offers online with professional printers it actually works out more expensive to print your own, however as I have said I do like the freedom of having this facility available. I have not yet tried the DVD/CD printing yet as I do not have any printable discs, however I will update this review when I have tried this function out.
All things considered this is a fantastic printer in my opinion, is is very reasonably priced and ink is not going to break the bank (see below). It ticks all the boxes for me, it is good looking, pretty quick and prints brilliantly. The instructions, if you need them because it is very simple to set up, are very easy to understand and going off Canon's track record, with me, will be very reliable also. And the Your Print service is a really good idea allowing you to try it out first.
Price And Availability
The Canon Pixma IP4600 is available at a very wide range of stores and I will not list them all here, however I bought mine from OYYY.co.uk for £69.98 plus £2.99 post and packing, at the time of writing this price is still the same but if you need anything else at the same time you will receive free postage if you spend over £100. You will also receive 3% cashback on this if you first go through Topcashback. At the time of writing this was still the best deal I could find pricewise if you don't mind waiting up to five days for delivery. If you want it quick Lambdatek are offering it for £76.36 with next day delivery, this works out cheaper than OYYY.co.uk with their next day delivery although you will not earn any cashback with Lambdatek.
The all important ink prices are as follows; the three colours are £7.54 each including VAT and the blacks are £7.33 and £7.98 including VAT, these prices are for original cartridges and are also from OYYY.co.uk but do not include postage prices. I will be buying compatible cartridges and have just found and ordered a full set of inks for £19.99 including postage, on ebay, which I think is very reasonable.
Having taken everything about this printer in to account, I could not give it any less than five stars and would definately recommend it to anyone wanting a new printer that is reasonably priced and wanting to print anything from paperwork to photos.
Thanks For Reading, Also On Ciao!
I recently received this printer and I found it extremely easy to setup. During the setup procedure, the software offers you a print-head alignment. To activate the alignment, you need click on 'Execute', instead of 'Next', as once 'Next is clicked, you aren't able to go back to the previous screen.
I am extremely impressed with the printouts, both colour and black and white. I showed some of printouts to my friends, and none of them could believe the quality and they all thought the printouts and photos came from a more expensive printer.
It is fast and brilliant looking, The photo software that comes with the package is extremely good and the auto photo fix works excellently, to provide good quality photos.
Printing from a PictBridge compatiable camera worked smoothly, with printer disconnected from the computer. You can also print from memory cards.
This is the best photo printer that I have had.
My only let down is that no USB lead is provided.