Canon Pixma iP4700 review
A very minor upgrade, but it's still the best all-round home photo printer you can currently buy
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.
|Price ex VAT||£73|
|Price inc VAT||£84|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||5|
|Resolution printer final||9600 x 2400dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||9PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Cost per A4 mono page||N/A|
|Cost per A4 colour page||5.8p|
|Ink type||Dye-based black & colour, pigment-based black|
Power and noise
|Peak noise level||46.5dB(A)|
|Dimensions||431 x 296 x 153mm (WDH)|
|Peak power consumption||17W|
|6x4in photo print time||47s|
|A4 photo print time||1min 37s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||9ppm|
|Colour print speed||5ppm|
|Input tray capacity||300 sheets|
|SD card reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|USB flash drive support?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 2000 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 98SE supported?||no|
|Other operating system support||Mac OS X 10.3.9 and above|
|Software supplied||Canon Easy-PhotoPrint EX, CD-LabelPrint|