Product Type: Canon inkjet printers
Newest Review: ... 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... more
Canon Pixma ip4600
Canon Pixma iP4600
Member Name: ilovemycat
Canon Pixma iP4600
Advantages: Great quality photo printing
Disadvantages: Don't use cheap ink...
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)
Summary: An excellent printer if you can get one on the cheap
|Ease of use:|
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