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Canon PIXMA iP4600 Inkjet Printer review



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Canon PIXMA iP4600 Inkjet Printer
  • Canon PIXMA iP4600 Inkjet Printer
  • Canon PIXMA iP4600 Inkjet Printer
  • Canon PIXMA iP4600 Inkjet Printer
  • Canon PIXMA iP4600 Inkjet Printer
  • Canon PIXMA iP4600 Inkjet Printer


Our Score:


It’s unusual for a top-of-the-range printer to cost under £75, but Canon’s PIXMA iP4600 is definitely a high-end inkjet and it’s available at this price. If you know the company’s well-regarded all-in-one range, you can think of this machine as an all-in-one without the scanner. Most of the other functions you’d expect in a Canon all-in-one are here.

As with most Canon inkjets, the case is almost entirely finished in high-gloss piano black, which looks good until the minute you get fingerprints on it. It’s smaller than some earlier Canon printers, but this means the paper cassette, which fits under the printer, sticks out the front. Although it’s obscured by the output tray when you have the front cover down, it looks less sleek when the printer’s closed. There’s a second paper source, a rear tray brought into play when you fold up the top cover.

There are just two control buttons, for power and paper feed/resume, built into the curved right edge of the front panel and a single USB socket at the rear. A PictBridge socket, for direct camera connection, sits below the controls. An internal hinged cover folds down to become the guide for the CD/DVD carrier, which enables you to print directly on printable discs.

Lift the top cover and you can install the permanent print heads and the five ink cartridges. Canon provides two blacks, one pigmented for strong, black text and one dye-based, to be compatible with the other colours. As you clip each cartridge in place, a red led indicates it’s properly located; it also flashes when ink is getting low.

There appears to be some disagreement between Canon’s manual writers and their software people. While there are slips added to the manual advising you to load the rear tray only with photo paper and the cassette with plain A4 sheets, the installation routine for print-head alignment insists you load plain paper into the rear tray. We also saw error messages asking for paper in the rear tray, when we’d set ‘cassette’ as the paper source in the driver.

The safest advice is to run plain paper from either source, but to only run photo blanks from the tray, in case of paper jams. In Canon’s specs, the cassette is only rated up to 105gsm, while the tray can take up to 300gsm.


September 25, 2008, 2:05 pm

There is an error on page 3.


Canon claims only 30 years of lightfastness under glass bare bulb 10 hrs/day using the PR201/PP201/PT101 paper. This is the same as the ip4500/4300/4200. This site lists 100 years. To be fair they claim gasfastness of 20 years using the new paper and new ink, and 300+ years of dark album storage. It makes me wonder how well the old inks perform using the new paper.

The assertion regarding use of photo black for plain text documents is accurate. On prior models Canons mix dye and pigment. This resulted in three things, a higher print capacity, quicker dry times, and a yield that will likely not complete spend your black tank with a full paper tray. Because the page yield on the ip4600 is so much lower, about 350pages for black rather than 525p on the ip4500, it may be they are using even less ink. Canons use a lot of ink to print in contrast to other brands and as such there is an issue with bleeding when printing on both sides.

D. Gilbert

October 22, 2008, 4:00 pm

Can Simon Williams........I think he wrote the article above.........tell me how to use the CD/DVD that is in the front of the machine? I've gone through most everything I can find in the on line manual and nothing tells me what to do with this door, guide and how to print with it. Is it an attachment of some sort? How does it work? I just got my ip4500 hooked up yesterday and so far, everything's working fine, except for that one part. I truly like the automatick duplex printing. It IS slower, but it's also hassle free.

D. Gilbert

November 30, 2008, 8:33 pm

Well. The picture that is shown above with the CD/DVD carrier, which enables you to print directly on printable discs......is NOT available on this model sold in the US. I'm told at Canon, that the "shell" is used world wide for all distributors, thus the door "D" is on on models here in the US.......but the purpose, CD/DVD printing in not available to us. Only in Europe at this time. Nuts! Would have been nice! Had I known before hand, perhaps I could have ordered the unit from Lambda Tek in the UK.

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