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Bought initially to print on CDRs, a job the printer performs admirably. It also has a USB connection allowing you to print directly from digital cameras - and not only Canon cameras. What it does lack compared to similar devices is an LCD screen for previewing images. It even prints on normal plain paper, too!
Duplex mode is a great timesaver for printing large documents on both sides of the paper, a feature previously only found usually on high-end printers. That's not to say that this printer is of low quality!
Connectivity is excellent with USB, wired and wireless ethernet included. Setup is easy enough and the wireless connection supports security such as WEP and WPA.
There's something of a gotcha concerning the ink. Unfortunately Canon decided to chip the ink cartridges when this model was released, which makes obtaining compatible ink either more expensive or more inconvenient depending on the type you buy - either way, you may well be left without an ink level indicator. Full sets of original ink can often be found at a discount on the high street, however.
In summary: print quality is excellent, operation is smooth and reasonably quiet (although the printer can rock from side-to-side on less sturdy furniture) and they can probably be found going for a song these days.
I bought this printer to replace my older Epson 880, that was getting too expensive to run (£40 in ink every eight months) and having quality problems. A colleague at work had a Canon printer and he was very impressed with the quality.
After some debate, (I really quite like the Epson gear), I decide to "defect" to Canon, and pay the little extra to get the in-built networking of this printer, (I've got a couple of PC's in the house, so this makes sense). The separate ink tanks, which were also cheaper than the 880's was also a big factor. And the icing on the cake was the automatic duplexing - save on paper.
This printer can use either normal (wired) Ethernet, wireless Ethernet, or a direct connection over USB. Since this is a modern photo printer, you wouldn't expect to see the old parallel port. I chose to use the wireless option.
Canon supply some software which you can use to configure the printer for wireless, although to do this you have to connect the printer to a PC via USB - fair enough. Installation went relatively smoothly, the only problems being down to my wierd US Robotic networking gear not being cooperative. But that was soon sorted, and it was a piece of cake to get the other PC's in the house speaking to the new printer via the ether! This pleased my wife, who was concerned about having more cables all over the house.
This printer is quite quiet in use, and it surprises me that there's a "quiet" mode on the driver which slows down the printer, (which I've never needed to use). If you're not using the duplexer, it's also quite quick. It also folds up nicely which means that, although it's larger than the Epson it replaces, it doesn't dominate the room that it's in or desk it's on.
Text output, on cheap "Inkjet" paper I got from Staples is pretty acceptable, with a little crinkling on charts and other areas of large colour. The duplexer slows down the print speed noticably, because it pauses between sides to allow the newly printed side to dry.
But I also got this printer to do photographs! First impressions were not good - output on Kodak and Epson (I had some left I wanted to use up) premium papers was very poor. The Kodak paper in particular was smudging badly. I switched to some Canon paper I bought and all was well - the images I got were very good, indistinguishable from "real" photographs unless you took a magnifying glass to them. They were so good that I ended up using my printer to do the photos for the family's passport applications/renewals. The borderless prints, in A4 size, are impressive.
The other media that this printer takes is printable CDs/DVDs. You need to use a special application that Canon supplies, (the software bundle with the printer is quite good), along with a special tray. The software isn't bad, although it's a pain that you can only insert the tray when IT tells you, and not before, (smacked wrists if you do!) - and it has to go in a special slot. Quality is very reasonable, barely perceptible (on good media) as home printed rather than something out of a professional CD printer.
I now use my printer for a mix of office type work and photos - probably a 80:20 split and I'm now on my second complete set of ink cartridges. The ability to replace ONLY the colour that's out is a positive boon, and the printer driver is very good at warning you well in advance that you're getting low. The ink replacement process is itself pretty straightforward as long as you use some common sense and don't rush it, (takes about 2-3 mins per cartridge). The other nice feature for my work split is that I can put the non-photo paper in a 100 sheet cassette that fits under the printer, and select either photo or non-photo paper from my desk.
Would I recommend it? Probably yes, and I've had no cause to reconsider my buying decision.
This printer might just become your favorite home electronics component. The feature-rich PIXMA iP5200R Photo Printer can produce a beautiful photo lab quality 4" x 6" borderless print in about 36 seconds. And it delivers an amazing resolution of up to 9600 x 2400 color dpi, for detail and clarity unmatched by comparable printers. To achieve this, Canon Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) uses a next-generation 3,584-nozzle print head that ejects precise, consistent droplets as small as 1 picoliter. Also, the ContrastPLUS 5-color ink system - four dye-based inks and a pigment-based black ink - produces true-life photos with a wide color palette, along with laser-quality text.
Want to print directly from your PictBridge compatible digital camera or DV camcorder? It's easy: just connect and print! The dual paper path lets you keep photo paper stored in one tray and plain paper in the other, so you're always ready to print photos or documents. Another feature is the 2-sided printing capability using the auto sheet feeder or the paper cassette - helping you cut your paper usage in half.
The iP5200R photo printer conforms to the IEEE 802.11b/g wireless (WiFi) standard, enabling it to receive wireless transmissions from up to 164 feet away. Meaning? You can work here and print there, with no printer cable to tie you down. Print a photo from your den, or a report from the patio. You can integrate this versatile printer into a full wireless home network, or print to it from an individual WiFi-enabled computer. The iP5200R photo printer uses WiFi Protected Access (WPA), the latest technology to help make your wireless printing more secure. And if your home or office uses a mix of Windows PCs and Mac computers, no problem; the iP5200R photo printer is designed to work with both.
The Canon ChromaLife100 system combines the PIXMA iP5200R Photo Printer's FINE print head technology and newly developed inks with select Canon photo papers, with results rivaling that of many conventional photos. These beautiful photos will also last up to 100 years when stored in an archival quality photo album.