Canon Bubble Jet i560 review
A good-value and versatile printer, but it's too closely priced to the excellent i865 for an award.
Review Date: 18 Dec 2003
Price when reviewed: (£128 inc VAT)
Canon's i560 bridges the gap between the budget and top-end printers. Its grey and beige styling is a little glum but it's well built. Both input and output trays fold into the body as protection from dust, while power, paper feed and job cancellation buttons adorn the fascia. A PictBridge port enables direct printing and USB and parallel ports are also on offer.
Unlike HP's 5150, which uses a six- colour system, the i560 has four ink tanks. Text in normal mode was crisp with only a slight blockiness in draft prints. Respective rates of 4.2ppm and 10.5ppm were faster than most, but the regular pauses in normal mode, due to a lack of memory, annoyed us.
In our quality tests, the i560 only once scored below 7 (due to poor reverse text), although fonts and photos were well produced on coated paper. The photomontage was superb, with natural skin tones, good detail and uniform transitions and fades. Grain was only visible close up in lighter areas; our main grumble is that it was very noticeable in mono photos and graphics.
The i560 took second place for overall speed. Its production of a 6 x 4in photo in 78 seconds and three minutes for our A4 photomontage is outstanding. Other Canons managed to produce faster photos, but all except the i865 printed text a lot slower. It might be impressive, but the i560 is hard to recommend when the better-quality i865 costs just £23 more.
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