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When we were in the market for an A3 colour printer the choice seemed huge. Unfortunately on many printers, so did the price tag. In the under three hundred pounds bracket the choice of decent A3 printers is less impressive and therefore I am delighted to report that a few months after our purchase, we are more than satisfied with the price, reliability and range of features that this printer offers.
Why A3? Firstly, before you decide on an A3 printer make sure you this is a necessary purchase. For most home users, the frequency of A3 printing is so low that the extra premium paid for a decent quality A3 printer will never be worthwhile. However, if your home or professional needs demand the regular need to print on larger than A4 format then you would do well to consider this offering from Canon.
What do you get for your money? You get a printer that other than its width looks identical to most other Canon inkjet printers. It does of course require a little more desk space. (58cm X 33cm X 21cm) This is of course crucial information if this is a purchase for home as most home workstations don’t have such a large space aside for a printer. The print quality and speed is similar to a budget level inkjet printer. The resolution given is 1440dpi X 720dpi which is superbly adequate especially when considering the price. Text and business graphics are fine on A3 at this resolution, images have slight banding and the colour doesn’t seem quite so vivid as cheaper A4 inkjet printers. (Though this is marginal and for all but the most discerning user this should not be an issue.) The printer connects to the computer through either parallel printer interface or USB. I use the USB connection and unless you are stuck with a machine that has no USB ports this is the most sensible option as USB communication is significantly faster than that obtained when using the parallel printer interface. As with most inkjet printers, the printer will print direct to a huge variety of media and of course as an A3 printer also offers the ability to print on the media at much larger sizes. This printer is connected to Microsoft Windows XP Professional but also has drivers for Windows 95/98, ME and 2000 plus drivers for Mac OS 8.1 or later.
Overall: This is a budget printer and the speed and quality does communicate that fact. That said, there are other A3 inkjet printers available that offer similar quality for significantly more money. I believe that at the £289.99 we paid for this printer we have had good value for money and reliable service. To date – and this is tempting fate – we have had no problems with this printer. Shopping around should find the printer available slightly cheaper now. Overall this is a good buy for those in the market for a budget A3 printer.