Canon Pixma iP2600 review

£25
Price when reviewed

The Pixma iP2600 is one of the cheapest printers we’ve ever reviewed, but its elegant casing suggests Canon hasn’t skimped on build quality.

Canon Pixma iP2600 review

Sadly, the glossy plastic turns out to be horribly scratchable – our sample picked up numerous marks while we were testing it. And the fold-out paper guide feels flimsy and cheap.

But the iP2600 has significant strengths. Despite its price, it kept up with the pack for standard-quality printing in both mono and colour. And its time of 3mins 49secs to produce our photomontage compares favourably to the Lexmark Z2320’s 5mins 15secs.

Draft printing is slower: even with the iP2600’s drying time turned down to minimum, the Epson and both HPs more than doubled its 8ppm. But, if you’re buying a £22 printer, odds are you won’t be taxing it with high workloads anyway.

Print quality was a nice surprise. The iP2600’s draft output was as legible as that of any printer here, with text solid and regular. The only visible letter deformation was a slight thickening of some stems. Standard mode impressed us even more: text was exceptionally even, with real weight and clarity. Plus, greyscales appeared perfectly smooth.

Photographic reproduction was more equivocal. The Pixma iP2600 produced rich colours and gradients, with none of the distracting dithering seen on some other printers. But its output was lighter in tone than the photos produced by rivals. For some images this worked very well: nature shots, for example. But shadowy scenes lacked intensity, and ended up looking slightly drab.

Predictably, the real downside of the Pixma iP2600 is running costs. It takes just two cartridges – one black, one composite colour – and it managed to print just 78 photographs before the colour ran out. Replacing it costs three-quarters of the price of the printer itself, so if you make a habit of photo printing you’ll get better value from the iP4500, not to mention double-sided printing and a speed boost.

But if all you want is a cheap and cheerful printer to bash out the odd photo, the iP2600 is it.

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 4800 x 1200dpi
Ink-drop size 2.0pl
Integrated TFT screen? no
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function no

Running costs

Inkjet technology Thermal
Ink type Dye-based colour, pigment-based black

Power and noise

Peak noise level 43.0dB(A)
Dimensions 442 x 253 x 142mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption 7W
Idle power consumption 1W

Performance tests

6x4in photo print time 1min 42s
Mono print speed (measured) 7ppm
Colour print speed 3ppm

Media Handling

Borderless printing? yes
CD/DVD printing? no
Input tray capacity 100 sheets

Connectivity

USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? no
Bluetooth connection? no
WiFi connection? no
PictBridge port? no

Flash media

SD card reader no
Compact Flash reader no
Memory Stick reader no
xD-card reader no
USB flash drive support? no

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported? no
Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported? yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported? no
Other operating system support Mac OS X 10.3.9-10.5
Software supplied Easy-Photoprint EX

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