Canon Pixma iP4500 review

£60
Price when reviewed
With the Pixma iP2600 delivering excellent print quality for £22, you might wonder whether it’s really worth splashing out on its big brother, especially when you realise that the two printers use almost identical drivers, giving them the same range of printing options. But the extra money does make a difference.

One advantage of the iP4500 is its speed, which outruns the iP2600 to achieve an overall first-place tie with the HP Officejet. The winner depends on what sort of printing you do: for black and white, the Canon lags behind the HP, especially in draft mode. You also need to turn the “drying time” down to minimum in the driver to achieve decent speeds, which we recommend doing unless printing on unusual stock. But when it comes to photographic printing, the iP4500 does the job in half the time of HP’s Officejet.

Speed, of course, is pointless without quality. However, standard mode text was every bit as sharp and regular as on the iP2600. Draft mode did demonstrate less precise letters, but text wasn’t deformed, and legibility wasn’t impaired.

Photo printing was excellent: shades and gradients were smooth and even, while photos were sharp and vibrant. However, the iP4500 shares the iP2600’s bias towards paler tones, so while lighter pictures appeared bright and airy, darker areas lost some of their intensity.

The iP4500 uses separate cartridges for cyan, magenta and yellow, plus discrete reserves for dye-based and pigment-based black. With a complete set we managed to print out 280 photographs, which translates to the lowest print costs of this month’s inkjets at just 13p per picture. We also like the way the cartridges are transparent, so you can see how much ink is really left.

Factor in a built-in duplexer, which lets you produce double-sided prints, a PictBridge port, CD printing and this month’s lowest quoted noise level, and you’re left with a package that more than justifies the price.

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 9600 x 2400dpi
Ink-drop size 1.0pl
Integrated TFT screen? no
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function yes

Running costs

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

Power and noise

Peak noise level 35.0dB(A)
Dimensions 445 x 303 x 160mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption 13W
Idle power consumption 1W

Performance tests

6x4in photo print time 48s
Mono print speed (measured) 10ppm
Colour print speed 4ppm

Media Handling

Borderless printing? yes
CD/DVD printing? yes
Input tray capacity 150 sheets

Connectivity

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

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 10.2.8-10.4
Software supplied Easy-Photoprint EX

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