Okay, silly speed-claims time again. Canon quotes draft and normal print speeds, but even the normal speed is said to be 12ppm in black or 8ppm in colour. Our five-page text print took 58 seconds, which is 5.17ppm and when we ran the longer, 20-page document it’s still only rose to 6.34ppm, only just over half the rated speed. Part of this was due to a consistent 15 second wait, before the printer started to feed paper. Printing our text and colour graphics test, again a five page document, took 2:12, or a speed of 2.27ppm.
The black text speed isn’t bad for an inkjet machine, particularly one in this price bracket, though the colour speed is a bit ponderous, but we can’t see why manufacturers should continue to inflate the speeds you’ll see in real life. No, that’s not true, we know exactly why they do it: it’s because every other manufacturer does it and customers still respond to the numbers on the boxes.
Print quality is very good. That doesn’t mean very good for a printer costing £40, that means good in comparison with many of the inkjets we review at a range of prices up to several hundred pounds. Black text on plain paper is very crisp and tightly formed, with no sign of jagged edges or spatter around the characters.
Colour graphics are also smoothly reproduced, with little noticeable dithering, clean colours and no registration problems with black text over colour. Photographs are also well detailed, in both bright and shadowed areas, colours in skies vary smoothly and look natural throughout. We printed test photos in both best and normal quality and could see very little difference between the two, though the normal mode print takes around half the time.
The two ink cartridges are available in normal and high yield versions and, as usual, we used the high yield consumables to get the best economy. Working through the maths gives costs per page for black of 4.13p and for colour, 8.75p. These are both on the high side, meaning Canon is trying to pull back some of the low asking price of the machine through its consumables. However, it’s very much on a par with some Lexmark all-in-ones.
This may be an inexpensive all-in-one printer, but it still produces excellent print quality, is easy to use and, despite Canon’s outlandish claims, is reasonably quick. Print costs are a bit on the high side and it would be useful to have a PictBridge socket, but in other respects this is probably the best all-in-one printer you can buy for under £50.