Duplex printing can be switched on from within the driver, too, and can be set to duplex along the long edge (book) or short edge (flip-chart).
With its deep print head, the Pixma iP5000 can print black text quickly, producing our test page at a rate of over six pages per minute. This still doesn't compare too well with Canon's claimed 25ppm, but then our page involves complicated things like headings and paragraphs.
A 5 x 3in photo print took just under one minute fifty seconds, which is again a good time, though not as good as some other Canon printers. The i450, for example, produce the same page 34 quicker.
Text print quality is excellent, with fine black print even on very standard office copier paper. Business graphics also reproduce well, with clean tones and little of the irregular dithering we sometimes see with colour fills in charts.
Photo reproduction is detailed, with fine detail delicately laid down and smooth transitions through areas of changing tint. The 1pl drop size must clearly make a difference to this, but the comparatively close spacing of dots is also a factor.
One problem we did notice with the printer under test was that the status indicator failed to show the use of some ink colours, so that when the test was complete and all tanks were empty, the software still showed fully charged black and cyan. We assume this was a problem with our particular review unit, rather than the design as a whole.
Canon now considers its print heads lifetime components, so you should only need to change them if there’s some form of damage. This is the first time a head for a thermal ink-jet has been rated for life in a consumer printer.
We don’t have to include the cost of replacement heads in the running costs, as we had to with previous Canon printers and this gives figures of 1.87p for a five per cent black page and 49.1p for a 20 per cent colour page. These are very good figures, with the black print cost particularly impressive. The colour print ink cost is still swamped by the cost of glossy photo paper, which represents 44p of the total for Canon stock.
The Canon Pixma iP5000 is a very well-equipped printer, which should be equally at home in a small office as it would be at home. Print quality, speed and running costs are all more than acceptable and at a street price of under £150, it’s superb value for money as well.