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I would like to start this review by stating why I chose to buy this product over the many other printers that I could have opted to buy. The first reason was because I had never owned a printer with the portable function that this one does. As I am often moving around a lot from place to place it is important for me to keep on top of things so I often take my laptop wherever I go. I have found it annoying in the past when I have needed to print something but do not have a printer on hand to do it. These leaves me with two options I can either send the file to my other computer and wait to print when I get home or I could find a printer that I could hook up two somewhere E.G a friends and use that. This printer eliminates this problem however as it c an easily be carried around in my laptop bag for use whenever I need it. I have used this printer many times when I’m on my travels and it has saved me many times when I have been caught short and need to print.
The second reason I chose to buy this printer was because I have had many Canon printers in the past and have had nothing but the best quality. I have already owned 3 Canon products from the Pixma range alone so I knew roughly what to expect. I knew that I was going to get a great printer with the added bonus of it being able to travel with me easily. Even though there are many other portable printer options out there, and even some of these being released by Canon themselves, I have tested these products in the past and found that the main problem with them was that they were far too bulky. So the moment I heard about this little beauty I just had to have it.
The third and final reason I chose to buy this product was because I had not had a new printer for my laptop in a while and thought it was about time that I had one. Instead of just doing my usual method of using the printer connected to one of my computers I decided it was about time I got my laptop its own printer so that I would not have to continuously swap the connections on the printer between my computer and laptop.
The Canon Pixma iP90v is designed in the style of a laptop. This brings with it style and the option to carry this printer with ease. The printer is however about twice as thick as my laptop but this is still a very good size for a printer. Before this there was a similar product called the Canon Pixma iP90. This model however improves on this by offering faster printing speeds for photos and also added support for Windows Vista users such as me. As I never owned a iP90 so I cannot really compare the two. However I am told that they are both very similar and that you shouldn’t buy the iP90v if you already own the iP90.
The printer is small enough to simply slide into you laptop bag for printing anywhere you like. There are many ways that you can choose to send your photos to your printer. The first being with help from the USB port. With the USB you can print easily from any PictBridge camera. There is also an IrDA port for all your wireless printing. Another option is the use of Bluetooth. With the Bluetooth technology you can print from any blue tooth enabled device such as a laptop or PDA. For this however you will have to purchase the Bluetooth adaptor available from canon so that it can be attached to the PictBridge port. Even though this printer is capable of printing from all these sources and more you will often find that you need to buy special Canon adapters that if you are printing from many different sources like I was can become costly. All the ports are easy to get to and you should have no problems locating any of them. At this point I would like to stress that the instruction manual did not offer as much help as I would have hoped when it came to printing my images from various sources.
This printer uses the same ink cartridges as its predecessor and many other canon printers. The cartridges should set you back around £18 for your black ink tank and £19 for your color if you buy directly from Canon. Most of the time however I choose to buy the photo pack, which consists of a color tank and 100 sheets of 100x150mm (4x6-inch) photo paper. This pack is only £20 which I found great value for money. A great feature I found on this printer was the ability to use a Save Black Ink mode. In this mode you will get a text that is closer to dark grey rather than black. This was a great feature and it hardly made a difference to the color for me but I still seemed to be saving heavily on my Black ink. There is also another option however if you find yourself running low on black ink. You can also switch to Composite Black mode. When in this mode the printer will mix all the colours in the colour tank. The colour produced will not be black but a sort of dark purple. I felt that this feature was not as useful as the other option so in my opinion was the runner up. However it is great to have this option when in a pinch.
I found the speed of this printer to be moderately fast. The speed of this printer is the same as its predecessor except for your photo prints. It can produce black text at a rate of 6.23 pages per minute at top speed I found. This speed is exactly the same I am told as its predecessor. When printing colour graphics however I found I was able to print at 1.42ppm. This I’m told is around 10% slower than you could have printed on the old model. I do not understand why canon would have chose to decrease the speed on this model but for a casual printer user the speed will make little difference For me however I was starting to think at think point that maybe I should have saved myself some money and bought the iP90.
Having mixed feelings about this printer I went and checked out a friend’s iP90 to check out the printing quality on it. I found that it was good but in some areas of printing the quality did lack a little. Compared to my new iP90v there was no comparison. My iP90v produced much clearer prints and I found that the colours were much richer. This made my feelings of wanting the old model instead obsolete for the time being. I was greatly impressed by the difference on the two machines when printing in black text. I found that the black on the documents from my friends machine was not as rich and did not product as perfectly formed characters as my printer. I was slightly disappointed when I chose to print some of my photos in grayscale as there was a slight blue tint to the grey on many occasions.
I found 1 minor and 1 major problem with this printer. The minor problem was the print speed. As this machine is meant to be designed for easy access I would have expected that speed would have been a very important element to consider in its manufacture. However in the end I was able to look past the speed problem as it was only slightly slower than what I would expect and since the quality of my images was coming out so great I felt that it was worth the wait.
The major problem I encountered however was the price. Now you may be thinking that around £160 is not bad for a printer of this quality and of course you would be right in saying this. However to be able to make this printer truly portable, which was the reason that I chose to buy it in the first place, you will have to purchase a battery kit which will set you back another £100. This was something that I felt I should have been told by Canon or my printer supplier before my purchase. If I would have known this information I would probably have not chose to buy this printer. So be warned if you have your heart set on this printer and want to make full use of its portability be prepared to pay an extra hundred.
Canon PIXMA iP90v - printer - colour - ink-jet Photo printer, ink-jet, colour Portable Form Factor 31 cm x 17.4 cm x 5.2 cm Dimensions (WxDxH) 1.8 kg Weight Canon FINE (Full-lithography inkjet Nozzle Engineering) Inkjet Technology 4-ink - cyan, magenta, yellow, black Ink Palette (Colours) Legal A4 Max Media Size (Standard) 216 mm (Legal) x 356 mm (Legal) Max Media Size (Custom) Up to 12 ppm - colour fast - A4 (210 x 297 mm) ¦ Up to 7.2 ppm - colour normal - A4 (210 x 297 mm) ¦ Up to 16 ppm - black fast - A4 (210 x 297 mm) ¦ Up to 12.7 ppm - black normal - A4 (210 x 297 mm) Print Speed. 4800 dpi x 1200 dpi max Resolution (Colour) USB, infrared, direct print USB Interfaces Media Types - Envelopes, transparencies, plain paper, iron-on transfers, photo paper, semi-gloss photo paper, photo stickers, glossy photo paper, matt photo paper, high resolution paper 30 sheet total Media Capacity Borderless printing AC 120/230 V Power System Requirements - Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional , Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows XP, Apple MacOS X 10.2.8-10.3, Apple MacOS X 10.4, Microsoft Windows Vista
I bought this printer for around £170 plus the extra hundred for the battery pack. You can now pick one of these up for as little as £150. Although if you want the battery pack the lowest price is still around £100.
Final Thoughts ============
This printer is a printer designed simply for convenience. However in some areas it performs greatly, such as when printing photos, and in others not so greatly, in terms of speed. Overall though the print speed and quality seemed to satisfy me. This is a good printer for anyone looking to print on the go. However I feel that now there are many other great portable options out there. If you are just looking to use this printer just for stationary use then I would look for another cheaper yet better quality option.
7 Out of Ten
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