All-in-one machines may be the flavour of the year, but for some people a simple inkjet printer makes more sense, economically and in terms of space. Canon can cater for this market with a range of ink-jet printers, including the new PIXMA iP2500. At a price barely over £40, it’ll set you back no more than a good night out.
Continuing with Canon's Japanese lacquer box design, the Pixma IP 2500 is cased in high-gloss, black plastic with silver flashes on its front vertical edges. Lift the back half of its top cover up and it forms a paper support for feeding plain or photo paper. As there's no output paper tray in front of the machine this lands directly on the desk so you'll have to keep your desk clear.
The only controls are power and form-feed buttons, both with integral indicator LEDs. At the back is a single socket for a mains connector – no external power blocks here – and a USB 2.0 socket at the side is the only data connection.
The whole of the front and top cover hinges up to reveal a simple design internally, with holders for two print cartridges. Unusually for Canon, the cartridges have integral heads, more like HP or Lexmark designs, and a simple slide in and click up installation of the black and tri-colour consumables is the only physical installation required.
Despite the integral ink and head design, the PIXMA iP2500 appears to do a lot of ink charging and often interrupts printing for an extra bit of pumping. The software installation includes Canon's Easy-PhotoPrint utility, which helps organise and print photos, along with the less well known Easy-LayoutPrint. This second utility can print calendars, stickers and predefined layouts, though the range of layouts is small. Finally, there's Easy-PrintToolBox, which brings together the other two applications.
Canon doesn't claim any great speeds of this printer, listing 13.3ppm and 7.8ppm as the top speeds in standard mode for black and colour printing, respectively. Even so, they are still ambitious figures, as it took 55 seconds to print our five-page text document, which equates to under 6ppm.
The text and colour graphics pages took 1 minute 48 seconds, which works out at 2.8ppm, so in both cases print speeds were less than half the published figures. However, in the home market, for which this printer is intended, even these real world speeds are not too embarrassing. Most people will be able to live with the throughput of this machine.