Canon, HP's Xmas Ink-Jet Printer Fleet

Canon Pixma IP4200

The Pixma iP4000 impressed us last year with its quality and printing speed. Now we look at its replacement, the Pixma iP4200.

Ergonomics And Functions

In terms of design, nothing much is new. The Pixma iP4200 has the same restrained looks as the preceding generation, with its curves simply a little more rounded. The overall esthetic impression, even though that's not much of a factor for a printer, is quite good, but the housing is still very plain. Except for a PictBridge connector on the front panel, there's nothing fancy. There's no memory-card slot and no LCD display, which means that the Pixma iP4200 can only perform to its full potential via the computer. The wealth of functions of the driver, particular in the maintenance menu, and the many applications Canon offers, deserve mention here.

This printer also has functions that add to its attractiveness, such as an attachment for printing onto a CD or DVD, and an automatic duplex function. With the latter, though, you'll have to be careful when using thicker paper, which can lead to jams.

Finally, note the inclusion of a loading tray in addition to the standard top loading path. The tray is used for CDs and DVDs, but also for photo papers that need very precise positioning for borderless printing. On the other hand, some functions are missing; for example, Canon has dropped its automatic paper recognition feature. That's a real shortcoming when you compare it to the HP models.