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PMA 2008: Part 1 - Printers

New Printers from Canon

Neither printer introduces any surprising new features to Canon’s lineup, although some would contend that Canon is already the industry leader, and its lineup isn’t lacking anything in terms of features. My printer, scanner, and cameras are all Canon, so I’d hardly be one to argue that position. Still, a new wireless printer or Pictbridge enabled compact is always nice to see.

The PIXMA iP2600 enters the market as the ultimate in affordability for a Canon photo printer, with an MSRP of just $49.99. It’s not a true compact, but it does have a sleek, rounded corner design, with a glossy black finish. The PIXMA iP2600 has a 1200 x 4800 dpi resolution, which is more than sufficient for routine photo printing, a 2 picoliter ink droplet size, optional auto correction for exposure, color, brightness, and contrast, and the ability to print just about any size photo with a borderless edge, from credit card size to 8.5” x 11”.

canon pixma ip2600

If you’re looking for an inexpensive printer, the only real negative I see to the iP2600 is that it uses only two ink tanks (black and color). This can be wasteful, since you practically never run out of all three colors at one time, you can end up throwing out ink tanks that have only run out of one color. Printers that carry separate cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink tanks are usually more economical when it comes time to replace ink cartridges.

The PIXMA MX850 is a more expensive, all-in-one printer, designed for home or small office use. As all-in-ones go, it has a surprisingly sleek design, with a black and metallic silver finish. The PIXMA MX850 supports a color print resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi, significantly higher than that of the PIXMA iP2600. It also uses 1 picoliter ink droplets, for precise control over ink distribution on your prints. The MX850 also comes with auto correction, and it uses 5 ink tanks (separate blacks for print and photo, plus cyan, magenta, and yellow), and each are individual tanks, making replacing them economically sound.

canon mx850 scanner

The MX850 scanner features 4800 x 9600 dpi optical resolution, and 48-bit internal / 24-bit external color depth. There are also copy and fax functions. The unit is Pictbridge enabled, and can print directly from both cameras and memory cards. Although it is not wireless, it is wired Ethernet ready. The MSRP is $279.99, which seems about right for an all in one that includes a somewhat high resolution printer and scanner.