Most inkjet printers designed to handle paper up to A3+ are aimed primarily at the photo enthusiast or graphics professional. However, Canon’s Pixma iX7000 is directed at the small office market, where plain paper prints are more prevalent and larger page sizes are needed more for posters, flipcharts and other business prints. That's not to say this machine can't produce good photo images at the larger size, but that they aren't its main function.
As you might expect, this isn't a small machine. It's wider than nearly all the printers we’ve tested and when fully open for A3+ print, it's nearly as deep as it is wide. Fortunately, when printing small sizes, both its input and output trays can be telescoped in, saving a lot of space, and the rear tray, which is reserved for photo paper, can be folded down onto the printer’s top cover.
There are three separate paper sources on the Pixma iX7000, with the 250-sheet paper cassette slotting in at the front, a 20-sheet rear feed tray and a further 10-sheet manual feed at the front, above the output tray. This makes the machine very versatile, as you can keep plain paper loaded, while printing from either of the other two sources.
As you might expect, controls are minimal, with a large button and indicator for power and a smaller one for paper feed. There's no front panel USB socket, which is a bit of a shame, but there are sockets at the back for USB and Ethernet.
Lift the printer's lid and the head carrier slides into view, holding twin black cartridges (text and photo inks) together with cyan, magenta and yellow ones for full, four-colour print. Canon ‘s helpful LED indicators are used to show when the cartridges are correctly inserted and when any inks are getting low and in need of replacement.
There's a sixth cartridge, though, positioned under a cover to the left of the printer carriage. Marked Clear, this ink coat is applied by roller to each sheet of plain paper, so that Canon's 'Lucia' pigment inks sit on the coating and not directly on the paper. Canon claims this leads to brighter, more detailed prints on untreated papers.
Support software includes Easy-Photo Print and easy-Web Print and drivers are supplied for both Windows and OS X.