Canon Pixma IP100 Review

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Canon's assortment of Pixma inkjet printers have built an outstanding name for themselves over time. The vast majority areThe majority are desktop devices, however the iP100 is actually a portable printer, built to be transported around with you. It weighs in at merely 2kg - a bit more should you attach the lithium-ion battery.

Fabricated in silver with black end plates, the iP100 possesses a novel style. Lift up the top cover, which becomes the paper feed tray, and the front cover, which covers the output slot, conveniently drops down. As much as 50 sheets of plain paper may be loaded for printing, plus the device may also manage standard picture blanks.

There's a supplementary top cover, which presents the means to access the twin ink cartridges. These are unique to Canon's portable printers and, in contrast to most small format printers, there exists a pigmented black cartridge, in addition to a four-colour dye-based cartridge that features a photo black to enhance dark tones in photograph prints.

You will find merely two control buttons, one to power the printer on and off, and then the other to feed a sheet, each having indicator LEDs for power and paper jam. On the side are sockets for low voltage power from Canon's standalone power supply, USB for computer connection and PictBridge, in order to print from a camera. There is also an optional Bluetooth adaptor, that plugs in to the USB port and provides wireless connection to a Bluetooth device.

Canon's printer driver is quite common fare, offering the typical type of controls for multiple pages per sheet as well as watermarking.

Portable ink jet printers have a track record of slow and substandard quality prints, however, not the iP100. Despite the fact the speeds are nowhere close to the advertised figures of 20ppm and 14ppm for black and colour, our five-page, black text print required 45 seconds, allowing a rate of slightly below 7ppm. Similar five-page text and graphics prints, such as colour graphics, took almost 90 seconds, or just below 3.5ppm. Whilst neither of these rates of speed is amazing, they are more than sufficient for a personal printer.

Print quality is really good, with clear, highly detailed black text from the pigmented ink cartridge as well as crystal clear, vibrant colours, if not quite as vibrant as the finest desktop offerings. A 15 x 10cm print needed slightly below 1 minute 40 seconds, which once more is a pretty good rate. The image was very clear and razor-sharp, with lots of shadow fine detail as well as excellent, smooth colour gradations. We could see very little variation concerning prints created with this device and those from Canon's desktop inkjets.

You have to pay more for the size and mobility of this printer, with a whole package will set you back near £210 when you include the battery.

Despite these additional expenses though, the Pixma iP100's superb print quality suggests you must give up little for the ability to take your printer with you. This product makes an exceptional companion to almost any laptop.

Canon PIXMA iP100 ink cartridges are available here.

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