Canon Pixma iP2200 review

Price when reviewed

For a printer costing less than £50, Canon makes bold claims about the iP2200 offering borderless photo-lab-quality prints. But, as we well know, the purchase price is only half the story. What about the cost of new cartridges when the originals run out?

Canon Pixma iP2200 review

Fortunately, Canon offers high-capacity cartridges for the iP2200. One is a pigment-based black cartridge that costs £23.82, the other a tri-colour costing £28.07 (both prices include VAT). As you can see in the Running costs box below, this equated to relatively affordable prints, although the iP2200 is by no means the most economical on test.

The hardware itself is basic. We didn’t forget to attach the output tray for the product shot on this page – prints simply drop onto the desk, which is a pain if you want to mount your printer on a shelf. And as the iP2200 is one of the smaller printers here, this is something you might want to do – it measures just 430 x 295 x 258mm (WDH) with the rear tray open.

Cartridge alignment is manual, so whenever you change one you have to select the best quality box in each of the 12 rows by filling in an onscreen form. Don’t expect card readers, a TFT screen or anything but a USB 1.1 interface either – there isn’t even a PictBridge port here.

Printing photos from a PC using the bundled Easy-Photo Print software is simplicity itself, and you can print without borders up to A4. Quality from the four-colour 4,800 x 1,200dpi engine isn’t quite up to Canon’s claims, but most people certainly won’t be disappointed. Apart from being a little grainy, photos would pass for photo-lab quality at normal viewing distances. Colours are over-saturated (affecting skin tones, as well as other memorable colours like grass and sky), but this can be addressed with the easy-to-use driver.

The driver offers plenty of options, including an Image Optimiser tab, which can help optimise colour and mono photos. There’s also a Job Progress indicator, which includes an ink-level gauge. An Ink Saver mode is a rare sight in this group test, and you can choose plenty of different layout options, including booklets and posters. Maintenance options include roller cleaning, as well as the usual print-head cleaning and the less usual drying time adjustment. Finally, there’s a quiet mode, which is useful, since at full speed the iP2200 is a noisy printer.

More good news is that a 6 x 4in photo will print in 56 seconds – only the other Canons are quicker. HP’s 5940 might be a better choice overall, but it takes over half-a-minute longer. An A4 print will take three minutes, 36 seconds on the Canon – around average here. Mono text was some of the best we saw and in normal mode will print faster than anything else on test at 6.5ppm – an impressive feat at this price. Switch to draft and quality drops, but speed only increases to 7.1ppm – a significant way behind the Deskjet 5940’s 13ppm.

If running costs are important, note that the iP2200 can’t match the Epson R240. But despite this and its other limitations, the Pixma iP2200 is a decent budget printer. Photos may not last as long as those printed on the HP 5940 (30 years versus 108 years), but for the price the quality and speed on offer are great.

Running costs

The iP2200 is the only Canon printer on test this month to feature integrated print heads, as opposed to separate ink tanks and print heads. This is no bad thing. Replaceable print heads means improved reliability and efficiency and, although the iP2200 is more expensive to run than several other printers that use cartridges with integrated print heads, its final cost per 6 x 4in print of just 37p places it fourth overall. It’s also worth noting the very low £1.06 A4 price, which includes VAT.

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