Canon Pixma Pro 9000 review
Expensive but solidly built - a fast way to get superbly vibrant A3 prints
Inkjet printers aren't renowned for their longevity or resilience, but Canon seems to be attempting to change that with the Pro 9000. We were amazed by its size and substance; with a footprint of 655 x 355mm and a weight of 13.5kg, it dominates any desk.
Open up the top and you'll find a row of eight ink cartridges, each of which is individually replaceable, as is the print head assembly. Unlike Epson's printers, there's just the one black rather than black and light black. Instead, there are green and red inks in addition to light cyan and light magenta. For fine-art prints, the Pro 9000 has a completely flat paper path, allowing you to feed sheets up to 1.2mm in thickness.
Performance proved impressive too. Our full A4 test photo arrived in high-quality mode in just 1min 56secs, and as an A3 print in 3mins 39secs. The quality is outstanding, with deep, solid blacks, faithful detail reproduction and no hint of banding. Thecolour gamut is extremely wide, with the dedicated green cartridge accurately reproducing highly saturated grass in landscapes. The single criticism we have is the razor-narrow paper-output rollers leave faint lines on prints, which are visible from some angles.
Drop into standard quality and an A4 photo appears in just 55 seconds. From a normal viewing distance, standard mode is indistinguishable from high quality, but close up the resolution is a little lower with a just-noticeable grain to prints, although it's still easily good enough for almost any purpose.
A downside of the single black cartridge is that printing in pure monochrome mode - set as a driver option - drops print speeds dramatically. Our monochrome test shot took two minutes to print in high-quality colour mode, but a fidget-inducing 16 minutes in monochrome mode. The results were superior, though, with better separation of shades and a completely neutral tone compared to the cool blue cast of the colour-mode print.
It's expensive, especially when you consider that replacing all eight cartridges costs £80, but the build of the Pro 9000 instills confidence if you're looking for a relatively high-volume printer. It isn't ideal for monochrome, but for superb, fast colour output it's a great option.