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The black text head has a wide print swathe, resulting in a fast page rate of nearly 10 pages per minute. That’s a measured 10ppm, too, not too far off the 15ppm Canon claims for a standard (ie not draft) page. This rate is not maintained if you try and print a duplex document, though, when the pauses between printing the first side and second side give you a rate of only around 2ppm.
Colour prints take around 40 seconds, against Canon’s claims of 36 seconds, so are again quite nippy. We measured prints using both the USB 2.0 connection and a wireless 802.11g link and there was little difference in most print tests, though, unaccountably, the 6 x 4-inch print we used took nearly twice as long over the wireless connection.
Print quality is good on both black text and photo documents, though by default our test photo prints came out a little darker than we expected and were slightly heavy on red. Pages on plain paper felt damper than from some of the printer’s competitors.
The ink level icons in the status screen are small and not very accurate, staying at the same levels for long periods and then suddenly jumping down. The first low ink warning, though, is pretty accurate to Canon’s claims and the overall page yields for both black and colour inks were very good and slightly better than claimed, which is always a good sign.
Page costs came out at just under 4p for a five per cent black text page and just under 50p for a 20 per cent colour page. The text page cost is good and very similar to its main competitors, but the colour cost is rather higher, mainly because Canon’s glossy photo paper is quite expensive – we couldn’t find it for less than 40p per A4 sheet. In comparison, HP’s glossy photo paper can be found at around 22p, if you know where to shop.
This is a versatile printer, offering fast black text and high quality, four-colour photos in a machine which can handle CDs and DVDs, can print (slowly) on both sides of the paper and can be addressed across a wired or wireless network. For £150 all in, that’s not a bad feature set and this would be an ideal inkjet for a home or small office.