Canon Pixma iP3000 review

£66
Price when reviewed

We were sorry to see the back of the excellent DeskJet 5150, as it left a large void in the world of value inkjets. But HP’s failure to adequately replace it is to Canon’s advantage, for although the iP3000 can’t match some of its discontinued rival’s qualities, it excels in other areas.

Canon Pixma iP3000 review

We first saw the iP3000 back in issue 121 and were amazed at what was on offer for the price. First there are the looks, matching those of the pricey iP8500, which costs almost four times more. There’s utilitarian design too. The side-mounted cables make it fit flush with the wall. This is spoiled slightly when the input tray is open, but a second tray at the base can be used exclusively. This also limits dust intake, expands capacity to 300 sheets and acts as an alternate source for envelopes, headed or photo paper. It’s selectable via the driver or a front button. Other unusually high-end features include a separate tray for CDs and a duplex unit. However, a 28-second hiatus between sides diminishes the latter’s desirability.

Standard text looked good, though the occasional spatter did mar prints. Only a slight decrease in saturation characterised draft mode. Speeds of 6.9ppm and 9.7ppm respectively were more than satisfactory. Grain was generally slightly more evident in graphics than other competitors – not surprising considering there are only four (CMYK) cartridges. It also noticeably struggled when printing white text on a black background, with bleeding obscuring the letters.

Photos were good, although close scrutiny revealed faint banding and more grain. This was slightly more evident in our 6 x 4in colour photo where some noise also appeared. In mono, all banding vanished and only a fine grain was detectable in the sky. Also worth noting is that Canon photos aren’t particularly light fast. Even if kept behind glass, they’ll fade quicker than with other inkjets. If you cherish photos, look elsewhere.

However, there are many good points. Running costs are good and speed is excellent. A 6 x 4in photo took only one minute, 16 seconds to appear and an A4 print less than two minutes. All things considered, it’s the fastest printer on show.

When all results are viewed together, the Pixma iP3000 is an attractive package. While quality could be better, for such little outlay you get so much. Without the 5150 around, it’s leagues ahead of others in its price range.

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