Canon Pixma IP 2600 – Best Budget Printer
Posted by togaye on August 24, 2008
Printer manufacturers have been working hard to get away from the plastic grey look that has been mandatory for all printers in the past and the Pixma iP2600 follows this trend. The sleek exterior is 5.6×17.4×10 inches and has a mirrored glossy black finish, more reminisant of a furniture accessory rather than an inkjet printer. It certainly doesnâ€™t take up a lot of desk space and will blend in nicely with your iPod or other desk peripherals. As one would expect on a budget printer, the control panel is limited to a power button and a paper feed button, located on top of the printer. The power button doubles as an error indicator by flashing a warning. Power input and USB port are located on the back of the printer, although no USB power cable is supplied with the unit. As previously mentioned, the printer does not support PictBridge so you will not be able to print directly from your digital camera.
The Pixma iP2600 comes with a black cartridge PG37 and a three-colour cartridge CL38 as standard. These are low capacity cartridges, the black containing 11ml of ink and the colour a total of 9ml, 3ml of each colour cyan, magenta and yellow. Higher capacity cartridges are available that fit in this printer. The high capacity black PG40 has 16ml of ink at a cost of around Â£13 and the high capacity colour CL41 with a total of 12ml of ink, 4ml of each colour. These cartridges, although more expensive to purchase, will work out cheaper in the long run as they produce a lower print cost per page.
In speed tests the Pixma iP2600 performed very well. It managed to produce 5.68 pages per minute of black text, which compares well with both the HP DeskJet D4260 and the Lexmark Z845, that are both more expensive printers. The canon also performed well in quality tests, the characters formed were precise with crisp edges and created no blurred areas, in colour graphics tests most documents came out with solid colours and nice even distribution of colour. The only slight area of concern was in portions where gradual colour gradients occurred but these imperfections were barely noticeable to the bare eye and only a perfectionist could grumble.
4×6 photos printed on Canons semi-gloss paper were also impressive. They were not perfect but were well balanced and even, a difficult job for a budget printer.
So with solid printing performance at relatively quick output speeds and acceptable photo prints, the Pixma iP2600 is an affordable choice and is a printer that performs well above its weight, making it probably the best budget buy under £50.
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