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Inkjet Printer: End of the Year Roundup

Canon I850: The New Benchmark!

Canon's new four-color inkjet printer is as good or even better than some six-color photo printers. It works at top speed and its prints are as good as laboratory ones. And it doesn't use up a whole lot of ink.

The new 4800 dpi resolution that came with the i550 had no effect whatsoever. Ink and droplet size stayed the same. When we finished testing it, we felt it was pity they couldn't have come up with little droplets of two picoliters.

Four hours later, it was as if a Canon engineer had heard us: up popped the i850 with two-picoliter droplets instead of five. Better still, the number of nozzles on the print head had gone up:

  • the S330 has 704
  • the S550 has 1088
  • the i850 has 1600: 1280 for color and 320 for the black cartridge. How about that for a record?

After five whole cartridge sets and several thousands of pages in draft and photo mode, it was clear there was life before and after the i850 for Canon, and for the rest of the inkjet world. The HP photo cartridge in particular is in trouble. If they want to keep up with Canon, they'll have to return to a conventional cartridge system.

Of the 56 inkjet printers tested over the last two years, the i850 has beaten three records for speed, including the highly-prized photo mode, first page and monochrome mode. It was not far from taking the prize for color in ordinary resolution, but in the end, this still belongs to the Epson Stylus Photo 950 (a printer marketed in Europe but not in the States).

Even more: it uses the same cartridges from the S500 and S600 series as the i550, but the quality of its photos compare with the S900, one of the best photo printers ever made.

The i850 is neither a photo printer nor an office printer. It is a general-purpose printer in the strictest sense of the term. It is as good for text as for photo, taking the torch from HP, which for years was the only manufacturer to offer excellent quality text and photos with the same cartridges.

  • lucyrssll
    Stinkyink now offer ink cartridges for the Epson Stylus Photo 830 ink. Oh and it's free delivery too!
    Reply