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My printer had been playing up for a couple of months, I normally (99% of the time) only use it for printing in black for invoices, however I do occasionally print something off in colour and sometimes print a photo. It was missing one of the colours out now and again and so I decided it was time for a new one.
My old printer was a Canon and although it was playing up it had served me well for about three years of constant use. I also think the design of the Canon printers is very good, I think they are far better to look at than most other makes and this is quite important when you are going to be looking at it everyday, sat on your desk. Another reason is the fact that the ink cartridges are much more affordable than some other makes, I once had a Hewlet Packard printer and required a second mortgage everytime they were ready for replacing, this is a fairly important factor for me as I tend to replace at least one ink cartridge per week.
I decided my new printer was to be a Canon and set about surfing the internet for a decent deal. My new printer, like my old one, would be printing black only 99% of the time but occasionally I like to print a photo out and so it needed to be good in this area also. I must admit I get most of my photo printing done by the professionals now, as there is so much competition and this has brought the prices of printing right down, but sometimes you just want to print one off there and then and so it is nice to have the option available.
I found the Canon Pixma IP4600 on a site I have used before a couple of times and one I find to be very good. They are called OYYY.co.uk and they tend to be very competitive on price. Also if you log on to their site through Topcashback (the best cashback site around at the moment in my opinion, message me for a referal link) you get 3% cashback on your purchase, this almost covers the next day delivery charge. As well as being competitive on price they offer a next day delivery service which is always nice.
The Canon Pixma IP4600 is a colour inkjet printer which boasts a standard resolution of 9600 dpi x 2400 dpi, it will print 26 pages per minute in monochrome and 21 in colour and a 10x15cm photolab-quality print in approximately 20 seconds. It has three paper handling inputs which are; a 150 sheet paper tray, a 150 sheet paper cassette and a 1 disc DVD/CD tray and also supports double side printing, the maximum paper size is A4 and it also supports; B5, A5, Letter, Legal, Envelopes (DL size or Commercial 10), 10 x 15cm, 10 x 18cm, 13 x 18cm, 20 x 25cm, Credit Card (54 x 86mm).
You do not have to have it connected to your PC (or MAC) as it also has a PictBridge direct printing port. It comes with two different types of software for the PC and MAC which is Easy-PhotoPrint EX (different version for each platform). The printer has five ink cartridges (two black and three colour)
I did not notice this service before ordering my printer but must mention it here as I think it is a brilliant idea. 'Your Print' is a service from Canon (and available on OYYY.co.uk) where you can pick a digital photo that you have, upload it to Canon, choose a printer that are interested in purchasing, and they will send you a print of your photo done on that printer absolutely free!!. This is a fantastic idea and means you can 'try before you buy' and check out the quality of the printing your new printer is capable of.
I have been using this printer for about two weeks now and have to say I am very impressed. Firstly it is very nice to look at, it is mainly black and very curvacious with a silver line around the top and the Canon logo on the front in silver also. The operational buttons are placed on the curved front which I like, and I am very please with the overall look, which I think is fairly important as it sits directly in front of me all day. You can also close the front up which makes it look very neat and tidy when not in use.
The fact that this printer has two paper sources is also very handy as you can load each one up with up to 150 sheets of paper and selct your paper source from the PC, this is handy if you print on two different types of paper quite often (like normal paper and photo paper) as you can load each different source up with the two different paper types and simply select the source in the computer, meaning you do not have to change the paper around. To be honest though I only really use the paper cassette underneath the printer and this allows me to store the printer against a wall and with a monitor on top of it, this just needs moving slightly when changing ink.
When printing with this Canon, like I mentioned above, I mainly only print in black, and so could in theory use a much cheaper printer, or maybe a laser but the quality of printing in black for invoices (which is what I print 99% of the time) is excellent. It is noticably better than the three year old Canon I have just got rid of. The letters and numbers appear perfectly and are very sharp. Colour printing is also extremely good, I have only printed a few things off in colour since I have had it, mainly pages off the internet or emails, but whenever there has been a colour, detailed picture it has come out perfectly and I really can't say a bad word against it. I have also printed a couple of photo's out just to see how good it is at them, I used Tesco finest glossy photo card and printed them in the highest quality level available, and I have to say we could not really tell much difference between these and some professional ones we have, the colours are vivid and the lines sharp, I really cannot fault this printer on any level of printing, especially at the price it is so readily available at. I do not normally print photo's off at home as I find with all the special offers online with professional printers it actually works out more expensive to print your own, however as I have said I do like the freedom of having this facility available. I have not yet tried the DVD/CD printing yet as I do not have any printable discs, however I will update this review when I have tried this function out.
All things considered this is a fantastic printer in my opinion, is is very reasonably priced and ink is not going to break the bank (see below). It ticks all the boxes for me, it is good looking, pretty quick and prints brilliantly. The instructions, if you need them because it is very simple to set up, are very easy to understand and going off Canon's track record, with me, will be very reliable also. And the Your Print service is a really good idea allowing you to try it out first.
Price And Availability
The Canon Pixma IP4600 is available at a very wide range of stores and I will not list them all here, however I bought mine from OYYY.co.uk for £69.98 plus £2.99 post and packing, at the time of writing this price is still the same but if you need anything else at the same time you will receive free postage if you spend over £100. You will also receive 3% cashback on this if you first go through Topcashback. At the time of writing this was still the best deal I could find pricewise if you don't mind waiting up to five days for delivery. If you want it quick Lambdatek are offering it for £76.36 with next day delivery, this works out cheaper than OYYY.co.uk with their next day delivery although you will not earn any cashback with Lambdatek.
The all important ink prices are as follows; the three colours are £7.54 each including VAT and the blacks are £7.33 and £7.98 including VAT, these prices are for original cartridges and are also from OYYY.co.uk but do not include postage prices. I will be buying compatible cartridges and have just found and ordered a full set of inks for £19.99 including postage, on ebay, which I think is very reasonable.
Having taken everything about this printer in to account, I could not give it any less than five stars and would definately recommend it to anyone wanting a new printer that is reasonably priced and wanting to print anything from paperwork to photos.