Canon Pixma iX7000 review
Reasonable print quality, but the lack of photographic perfection is made up for by the range of features
Few printers capture the imagination in the PC Pro office like a large format inkjet. The possibilities - spectacular A3+ photos or big, bold business documents - are much greater than with a standard A4 printer.
The iX7000 is for offices, claims Canon, and its chief office credential is its price. At just shy of £260 exc VAT, it's considerably cheaper than Canon's top-end A3 photo inkjet, the Pixma Pro9000 Mark II.
It's cheaper to refill the ink as well: the Pro9000 uses a ten-ink system, which offers incredible photo quality, but a new set of cartridges costs more than £90. The iX7000 has a CMYK, five-ink system, with an extra black for printing text, and costs £56 to refill.
The drawback for photographers is reduced image quality. In isolation our prints were fine, but compared to those from the Pro9000 Mark II the iX7000 produced less accurate colours - skintones appeared warmer and less natural. Our A-Listed A4 printer, Canon's iP4700, also produced better test results. For unfussy customers it's fine, though, and it's quick: in best quality mode it finished an A3 photo in just four minutes.
But the iX7000 is aimed at offices, and it produced some superb documents. Blacks were dark and even, and solid blocks of colour - as you're likely to find on business documents and charts - were nicely produced with no signs of banding. It turned out five A3 PDFs at a rate of one every 30 seconds, and finished a 20-page A4 printing job in just over two minutes, or 10ppm.
Media handling is the iX7000's other chief draw. If you feed paper in manually, the printing path is flat, which allows you to use up to 300g/m2 card stock. You also get two paper trays. One is a cassette feeder capable of holding 250 sheets, and the other is a vertical paper tray that holds up to 20 sheets. It means you can stuff the cassette with everyday paper, and the vertical paper tray with specialist media.
Either tray can accommodate up to A3+. And, if you print from the lower cassette, you can use the iX7000's automatic duplexer, which printed our five-page PDF in 3mins 30secs, double-sided. These options make the iX7000 excellent for small workgroups, and the Ethernet port on the back only adds to its appeal.
If you regularly print marketing materials or colour proofs, the iX7000 is ideal. You can expect to pay at least twice as much for an A3 laser printer, and you'll lose the iX7000's photo-printing capabilities. Add the advanced paper-handling and decent turn of speed, and you're left with a printer any professional should consider.
|Price ex VAT||£257|
|Price inc VAT||£296|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||4|
|Resolution printer final||4800 x 1200dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||10PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A3+|
|Cost per A4 mono page||1.6p|
|Cost per A4 colour page||4.8p|
Power and noise
|Peak noise level||36.0dB(A)|
|Dimensions||647 x 530 x 260mm (WDH)|
|Peak power consumption||22W|
|6x4in photo print time||50s|
|A4 photo print time||2min 28s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||10ppm|
|Input tray capacity||250 sheets|
|SD card reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|USB flash drive support?||no|
|Other memory media support||None|
|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||Easy-PhotoPrint EX, Easy-PhotoPrint Pro, Easy-WebPrint EX|