Canon Pixma ip4500 review
Canon’s Pixma ip4500 boasts some fearsome specifications for £62: built-in duplexer; two paper trays, allowing you to either use the top-loading paper tray or the paper cassette built into the bottom of the unit; a plastic adapter for direct printing onto CDs and DVDs.
The front of the unit is sparsely populated, with no LCD screen or memory card reader: a PictBridge port is the only concession to standalone printing. But for purists who edit their images before printing them, the ip4500’s four-ink system offers excellent quality. At best settings, on Canon’s top-end PR101 paper, prints are indistinguishable from traditional lab results.
Despite offering four-colour photo printing, the ip4500 uses five ink tanks: four small colour units and one large 520-page PGI-5BK cartridge for text-only jobs. Text quality is another strong point. Although very close inspection revealed inkjet’s trademark feathering, even on cheap paper text printed well enough to be mistaken for laser output from normal reading distance.
By default, the ip4500 builds in a significant drying time for each page it prints, and our initial testing revealed a disappointing print speed of 4.5ppm for A4 mono. Getting rid of the drying time raised this to a more acceptable 10ppm. Just don’t be fooled into thinking the duplex mode will save you time as well as money: in simplex mode, our A4 document took under five minutes; duplex mode for the same document more than doubled the time taken. Photo printing was more rapid – a top-quality A4 print finished in 1min 32secs, and 6 x 4in prints emerged at just under two per minute.
Our real-world tests show that print costs aren’t the cheapest at 34p per 6 x 4in photo, but when the ip4500 excels at printing just about anything – and is cheaper than the outgoing ip5300 (web ID: 116244), which it replaces – a place on the A List is assured.