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Canon Pixma iP4700 review

Verdict

A very minor upgrade, but it's still the best all-round home photo printer you can currently buy

Review Date: 28 Aug 2009

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Price when reviewed: £73 (£84 inc VAT)

Buy it now for: £198
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Canon's flagship standalone inkjet looks suitably glossy and current. It glimmers moodily under the lights, with its clean design and compact, foldaway dimensions. Its name, the iP4700, suggests progression from the previously A-Listed iP4600. Problem is, it's pretty much the same printer.

There are a few minor differences. The silver trim has now gone, so the body is all black, and the rear ports are recessed far enough so that it can comfortably be pushed flush against a wall. But the rest remains constant: rear and base paper trays for plain and photo paper types; an opening on the front for the supplied CD and DVD-printing tray; the PictBridge port at the foot of the right-hand side.

Canon's official specifications claim the print engine is slightly quicker, so we loaded the five familiar ink tanks and ran our tests. The times were almost identical to those of the iP4600. Not that this is a bad thing: a 6 x 4in photo at high quality arrived in just 47 seconds, rising to 1min 37secs for our full A4 photomontage. Documents were a little slower, with a rate of 8.8ppm in normal mono mode, and 4.6ppm in colour. That isn't quite up there with dearer office-focused inkjets, but it's nippy for a home model, and the integrated duplex unit will save on paper.

Quality was every bit as impressive as previously, with the pigmented black ink producing gloriously thick and bold text. That tank won't be touched when you print photos, and the remaining dye-based black and colours make for sharp, detailed images. Colours were vibrant but not overly saturated, and our monochrome photo was flawlessly neutral - a feat many home inkjets can't manage.

Since this is very much a consumer device you're limited to a single USB connection on the back, and the omission of media card slots is a little disappointing for Canon's top inkjet model. But there really isn't a great deal else to criticise.

At £73, it's barely any dearer than the iP4600 - which is the least we'd expect given their similarity - and it accepts the same five cartridges for between £4 and £8 each from Amazon.co.uk. That makes for a photo cost of around 11.4p before paper costs are added, and a document rate of 5.8p for a colour page of text and images. Not at all unreasonable.

It seems strange to be giving such high marks and an A-List spot to a printer we've freely acknowledged does almost nothing to improve on its predecessor, but since the iP4600 will soon be off the shelves, you'd be crazy not to switch your attentions to the iP4700. It may not innovate, but it's still the best home inkjet around.

Author: David Bayon

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User comments

Envelopes?

Can it print DL and C5 envelopes?

By stephen_elms on 20 Nov 2009

Envelopes...!!

We currently run a laser brother HL-4040CN and an injet Canon Pixma ip4700. The brother is about a year old. the canon is new. The brother is an absolute dog with envelopes and is beginning to splat toner over the print outs. However we'll use for internal stuff untill anything need replacing! So that's the reason we went back to good ol' inkjet upon a good write up in PC Pro magazine. Anyway the print quality IS superior - however it too is an absolute dog with C5 and DL envelopes! So now we have a pack of dogs! Please can anybody recommend a printer which, through their usage experience, can actually print envelopes??

By stephen_elms on 6 Jan 2010

ENVELOPE PROBLEM

Could Stephen Elms please clarify the envelope problem. I am looking to buy this model specifically as it offers a second input device that I will keep loaded with DLs
Thanks

By DBThomas on 7 Jan 2010

Zzzzzzzzzzz

I bought an Ip4600 on the recommendation of PCPro. I'm sitting here right now waiting for it to start. It's quick once it gets going but it must faff on for about 2 minutes before it starts. Every time. Goodness only knows what it's doing. It is particularly bad if the ink is getting down a bit, even if there is easily enough to do the job. I think I'll try something else next time :-(

JH

By JohnHo1 on 23 Jan 2010

Envelopes under linux

The linux drivers, only available on the European Canon web site, are rudmentary compared to the WIN drivers. Thus, when set to the N°10 envelop, under linux (Mandriva), the IP4700 cuts off about an inch of the left side of the envelop from the printable area. Has anyone found a solution to this problem?

By gtdiller on 26 Feb 2010

iP4700 problem printing from photoshop

Very poor prints from photoshop, picturs very pale speckely. prints ok with bundled easy print. I contacted Canon but they were not interested in helping. Has any one had this problem and cured it?

By LondonDan on 26 Feb 2010

Zzzzzzzzzzz

I too found the IP4600 very very slow to start unless you remembered to set fast mode, it used a huge amount of ink and as the carts were tiny cost a fortune to run, it finally gave up the ghost after 13 months second Canon (IP4500 printhead)to go that way I won't be buying another

By distrubbed on 24 May 2010

Ronnie M

I have had great envelope printing with 6x3.5 ins., DL(plain and window), C5(plain and window) DL and C5 incl self seal, with Epson Stylus Photo R800. Yes it is expensive and was purchased mainly for photo printing, which it does superbly.

By Ronnie_52 on 1 Jul 2010

www.stinkyinkshop.co.uk

Stinkyink now offer ink cartridges for the [url=http://www.stinkyinkshop.co.uk/acatalog/Canon
-Pixma-IP4700-ink.html?utm_source=forums&utm_mediu
m=forums&utm_campaign=forums]Canon Pixma IP4700 ink[/url]. Oh and it's free delivery!

By preditation on 30 Jul 2010

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