There is nothing to distinguish i850 text and graphics prints from those of the S500 and S600 series, so our previous comments still stand: the text characters are precise and compound documents in default resolution are perfectly adequate for business use. However, though you need an expert eye to tell the difference, HP still has the lead. This is most noticeable in HP graphics where blocks of color and gray are more even and text on a color background perfectly clear, whereas with Canon it is a bit fuzzy. What's more, Canon ink tends to soak into the paper more than HP, which is inconvenient for two-sided printing.
In photo mode however, the dots and raster are invisible, the contrasts nicely brought out and the images are agreeable. In all, the prints are:
- equal to lab photo prints;
- better than prints from an HP Deskjet using a standard cartridge;
- equal to a Deskjet using a photo cartridge (the raster is not so visible and, unlike an HP, the i850 has no defect in the blues though it has a bit less detail and is less resistant to the effects of time);
- equal to S900 prints;
- equal to Epson Stylus Photo 830 5760-dpi prints: the dots are less visible but the prints are a bit too pale.
At this point, we may say you'd be well-advised to own a good digital camera to get the most out of your printer. Especially as its cost per 10 x 15 print is very reasonable and comparable to a conventional lab photo.