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The high-gloss black and silver colouring of its range of printers and all-in-ones has become something of a house style for Canon. Even this low priced PIXMA iP2600 has many of the features which make its bigger, more expensive siblings popular and the elegantly simple design is one of them.
With a slightly curved paper path, from a tilted feed tray at the rear to an output tray at the front, the iP2600 needs none of the two or three level telescopic supports of some of its rivals. The printer's top cover folds up to become the paper tray at the rear and the front cover folds down, with an extra support swinging out from its front edge, to catch pages as they emerge.
There are no fripperies like memory card slots and the only indicators, each set in their own button, are for power and error condition. The button with the error indicator forces a paper feed. The only sockets at the rear are for mains power and USB connection to a PC or Mac.
Hinge the whole of the printer's top cover up and you have access to its twin print cartridges. The heads are integral with the ink cartridges in this machine, so you get a new head every time you change the black or other tri-colour ones. They clip in easily, once the carrier has moved to the maintenance position on the carriage.
Set-up involves installing Canon's standard suite of support software, including a driver and the Easy Photo-Print EX applet which, as the names suggest, provides basic photo printing support.
Canon quotes both draft and normal print speeds for the iP2600, with 22ppm and 13ppm for black and 17ppm and 7.8ppm for colour. This unusual honesty is something other companies could mimic to good effect. However, our 5-page text document took 56 seconds to complete in normal mode, giving a print speed of 5.4ppm, and the text and colour graphics print took exactly two minutes, a print speed of 2.5ppm.
These don't come close to the quoted speeds, because we time a discrete print job, the kind of job most customers will use their printers for, not the mid-section of a continuous print run as manufacturers prefer for obvious reasons.
A 15 x 10cm photo print, at best print quality, took 1:36, a reasonable time for an inkjet, but not close to the headline figure of 55 seconds quoted by Canon. This is for a print in normal mode, though.