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I purchased a Canon S200 printer as a stop-gap measure when my absolutely dreadful Epson 680 gave up for good (a definite blessing in disguise!). I have since upgraded to the brilliant Canon i560 (which I have also reviewed) but used the S200 for a few months whilst I saved up for a better one. The printer cost me less than £40 from the superb ebuyer.com - this is especially excellent when you consider that cartridges (unofficial) for the printer can be purchased for about £3 each! Sometimes budget printers like these sting you later on the cartridges but with this unit, the cost is low and stays low! Unpacking the printer, you'll notice it is fairly compact and light, and also feels rather tacky and plasticky. The printer is mostly standard beige, with the front cover in a green/grey effect. It doesn't look too bad, but not too good either. Let's face it, at this price looks probably aren't a major consideration. Note you do NOT get a USB cable included in the price and there is no parallel port so you will need to purchase a cable spearately if you don't have one lying around. Software installation is fairly painless and the manuals are excellent. And if you do get stuck, I've found Canon's technical support to be superb. The software is basic but allows tweaking of your print quality and running of the usual utilities. Print quality is predictably mediocre. When you consider that this printer costs just £40 however I'd say it's still pretty impressive. Mono text printouts are acceptable, sometimes a little grey looking with some bleeding at the edges on plain paper. Speed is fairly slow compared to other printers, but again taking the cost into account there are no major complaints here. Plain paper colour printouts are again slow and midd
ling in quality. If you want to try and print photos (which the printer doesn't even pretend to be able to do) you'll find that with a bit of decent photo paper and on the highest quality the results are really not too bad. They look a little washed out and grainy in places but are more than adequate for the occasional play around. One snag with this is that a print takes about 5 minutes. When I was ready to upgrade, there was a slight snag when the printer got a bit damaged in transit to its new owner. Luckily, this was just a piece of the flimsy casing that had snapped and jammed the cartridge, after I had removed it the printer worked fine again. Shows that you'll have to be a bit careful when handling it. Overall, I'd say that you get what you pay for. The S200 is an excellent choice for the very occasional user or student on a budget. Use it to print out the occasional email, web page or document and you won't be disappointed. Print more than this and you may want to go for something a little more expensive - maybe the £70 i475. If you're expecting lightning fast top quality photo printing then you're gonna have to pay a lot more - personally I recommend the Canon i560, best printer I've ever used. No matter what, I'd take it over my hideous old Epson anyday! Thanks for reading, Tom.