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Conclusions

Inkjet Printer: End of the Year Roundup
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Canon I850

The i850 spells the end for all other Canon photo printers: they have lost their worth now that there is this i850 bombshell. The i850 produces four-color prints equal to those of the best SIX-color printers, and it is currently the most versatile printer on the market.

We should just note that the driver we tested did suffer from a little bug: prints on Paper Photo Pro in the highest resolution available had far too much contrast and were unusable. To be fair to Canon, we should say that we tested a pilot model, so the defect may have been sorted out on the finished product. If not, the problem can be addressed by changing the paper type in the driver to Paper Photo Glossy (very similar to Paper Photo Pro) or lowering the print quality slightly.

Model i850
Manufacturer Canon
Price (US) $199
Price (EU) n.a.
Resolution 4800 x 1200 dpi
Number of cartridges 4
Price for set of cartridges (US) $64
Price for set of cartridges (EU) 66 €
Number of colors 4
Speed, B&W 22 ppm
Speed, color 14 ppm
Connectivity Parallel & USB Full Speed
Format A4
Number of nozzles 1600

We were quite obviously bowled over by the i850. It is the most practical inkjet printer currently available both for text and photos. However, there is still room for improvement on four points:

  • The way the ink soaks into draft paper. The colors show through so much it makes printing on both sides of the paper a problem;
  • When will Canon equip its printers with a detector of paper type? Once you have experienced the highly effective one on an HP printer, you find it hard to do without;
  • The price. It would be nice to have the same droplet size on a more affordable machine, even at the cost of a lower speed;
  • The photo paper. Canon paper is quite time-resistant, but only if you protect it under glass. Otherwise the colors fade quickly. HP matte photo paper needs no such protection, and that is much more convenient!

The rest is a matter of taste. You may or may not like the new colors, the metal hood and general appearance. That is not a major issue as far as we are concerned. It is fast, does not use a lot of ink and prints very well..


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