Canon Pixma iP2600 review
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.
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.
|Resolution printer final||4800 x 1200dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|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|
|6x4in photo print time||1min 42s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||7ppm|
|Colour print speed||3ppm|
|Input tray capacity||100 sheets|
|SD card reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|USB flash drive support?||no|
|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|