Canon is a lot more reasonable with its speed claims than most other printer makers and specifies the Pixma iX7000 at 10.2ppm for black print and 8.1ppm for colour, both printing A4 pages. In our tests, we saw a maximum speed of 8.6ppm, printing 20 pages of black text, which is not far off the headline figure. When it comes to colour, though, we only saw 4.8ppm, a little over half the claimed speed.
These speeds are still not bad for an inkjet machine, though, and hold up well when printing on pages larger than A4. An A3 photo printed on plain paper took just 45 seconds, a very impressive time.
Less impressive is the duplex speed. This printer offers duplex print as standard, but when we printed our 20-page text document as 10-page duplex, the speed dropped to 3ppm, taking 6mins 37secs to complete. This is slow enough to hit office productivity and it's doubtful many people will do much duplex printing on this machine.
A lot is made of the plain paper print quality of the Pixma iX7000, though we have some misgivings. While black text is dense, we noticed some missed registration from one sweep of the print head to the next and a certain amount of spiking around characters, indicating ink run. Text print was not as clean as from some other Canon machines.
Colour graphics are certainly bright and dense, with no signs of dither patterns, and are impressive. Our test photo print on plain paper, once the paper was given time to dry, was also good, though there was some slight banding and a little patchiness in darker areas of the image.
Photo images on Canon's photo paper are clean and smooth with good levels of detail, including in the shadows. A full A3 print showed that this machine is capable of very passable, large-scale photos.
Since the clear coat is used on all plain paper prints, we've included its cost in both black and colour page costs. A4 black pages come out at 3.1p and colour ones at 6.2p. The colour cost is lower than from most colour inkjets and the black cost is competitive, so providing yourself with outsize print is not going to cost extra, page for page, though A3 pages will, of course, cost more than A4 to print.
The attractions of the iX7000 over a colour laser printer are the same as for any inkjet. It produces better colour and can print quality photos on glossy photo paper. The detractions are the same, too, as a typical laser will be quicker and produce better black text quality. You won't find an A3 laser for £300, of course, and if the size is important in your office, this machine is a good choice.