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Inkjet-Printer: Heavyweights From Canon, Epson and HP

Office Quality

All the printers were run in default mode. The paper weight was 80g/m². Only two options were modified: ink drying time was set at zero in the Canon printer and the fast page feed option was activated in the advanced settings on the C84. These two parameters have a substantial effect on printing speed, but not on print quality.

Original Graphics Enlarged By 3Original Text Enlarged By 3
Canon i860
Epson C84
HP photosmart 7760

Let's first look at the left-hand column. The i860 gave the closest green to the one we wanted. This sample is also the only one which does the bar shades well.

The C84 test is bright and legible but marred by yellow stripes in the background. This is too obvious to allow the prints to be used for business purposes. The only way round it is to go into the driver and modify the resolution manually. You gain in quality, as we describe later in the page on the C84, but you lose quite a lot in output rate.

We already pointed this out last year, and this year's tests confirm it: the photo cartridge supplied with photosmart printers gives dull and rather fuzzy results. For good pictures, you'll need to buy the optional black cartridge as well. Quality and speed will improve (cf. the page on the photosmart 7760 at the end of this article).

If you only print color texts, Canon et Epson are about the same while the HP the prints are always paler.