Nice little picture maker!
Get the best photo prints ever…
Fast, high quality, and compact printer…
None at all!
Do you have a digital camera? Do you want to print your digital photos at home? Do you want to save a lot of money while doing so? Then you definitely need one of these Canon PIXMA iP4200 photo printers. My boss has had his new Olympus digital camera for some months now, but he wanted a better way to print and share his photos with family and friends, so he got one of these for just below $120.00 plus shipping from tigerdirect.com. What attracted him to purchase this particular printer was the brand name itself, the fact that is a photo printer, and the printing fast speeds.
HARDWARE & SOFTWARE INSTALLATION
The hardware setup was really simple because the quick setup instructions guide you through step by step on what to do exactly to get this machine working properly. It took me less than five minutes to unpack and set up the unit and connect it to the (PC-01 is the first computer on our office network) computer. We can all share it from there.
The software and driver installation were also faster than expected because nowadays some manufacturers make installing drivers pain and time-consuming. But the wait also pays off, and in this case, the performance and quality are very good. I had this printer connected and running in about twenty minutes.
DESIGN & CONTROLS
This photo printer is 16.5 inches wide, 11.8 inches deep, and 6.3 inches in height; you can say it is a pretty compact printer. It weighs about 14.8 pounds which is really nice. We really do not care about the weight because we are just going to place it on a shelf and forget about moving or lifting it. As long as it prints our photos nicely, we will be happy.
There are not many buttons on this thing so you will not get confused or stuck when working with it. The best way to find out what each button does and how to use them is to read the user manual (thoroughly) which will provide a lot of information with details on how to operate this unit.
This unit can take paper in from two locations; from the top or from the bottom. Now do not get me wrong here, but this will allow you to have different sizes or types of paper in each tray so you do not have to switch every time you want different papers. I suggest that you use the bottom tray for your photo paper as it is better protected from dust and other harmful substances and use the top for your regular everyday printing paper.
There is a PictBridge port in the front so you can print directly from your compatible digital cameras. If you do not want to transfer your images from your camera to your computer then this is a nice tool for you.
The user manual is very simple to read and comprehend. My boss is not a very computer literate person, but with a little help from the user manual, he can figure out how to do just about anything on this printer. Canon has done a really good job of writing this manual because it is really easy to follow.
SPEED & MEMORY
The maximum speed for draft quality black prints is about 29 pages per minute (about 2 seconds per page) and about 20 pages per minute (about 3 seconds per page) for color. You can print a good 4 x 6 photo in approximately 51 seconds or so. If you are like me and want to print everything with high quality and want them quick, I would suggest using this unit.
OPERATIONS FROM A COMPUTER
The installed software and drivers will help you print what you want and how you want it quickly and easily. The software is easy to use and manage, but when it comes to managing your photo library, Adobe Photoshop Album leads the pack. All of the utilities and software that comes in the driver CD are great and very helpful but they are just not powerful enough to manage my bosses 2000 plus pictures library.
OPERATIONS WITHOUT A COMPUTER
You can print photos without even turning on your computer with this photo printer. All you do is, plug in a PictBridge compatible camera to the port on the printer and you can print the photos you need.
My boss really likes this feature because sometimes he likes to print photos when his computer is just booting up. My boss and I use this feature a lot because he takes a lot of pictures of the equipment we work on and I get to do the printing.
This photo printer is compatible with all of the following ink cartridges. Here is a list of these cartridges and how you can get them:
- PGI-5 Pigment Black
- CLI-8Bk Black
- CLI-8C Cyan
- CLI-8M Magenta
- CLI-8Y Yellow
All of the ink cartridges are easy to install and/or replace; all you have to do it open the cover and unlock the cartridge which allows you to remove and replace the cartridge.
These cartridges cost anywhere between $10 and $15 each. But if you want a good deal, I would suggest purchasing your ink supplies from Costco Wholesale as you can get a better deal if you buy a three-pack. A three-pack usually costs me around $34.00.
Every single print my boss and I have made so far (whether it is text, text with graphics, or just photos) turned out to be great. The text quality is similar to those from a laser printer or they sure look smooth like laser prints.
All the text prints we make are either of normal or draft quality, but the normal quality looks better because it is very close to laser quality. We never have to use higher quality for our text needs because the normal quality is already better and efficient for all our needs. We only use a high-quality setting if we print something for a proposal or presentation.
Graphics and Text Prints
Whenever we print graphics and text together, like a web page (like driving directions), we just select what I want to print and let the printer handle the rest. At normal quality, the prints are clearly readable. In the draft setting, the quality is the same but the print is lighter because it uses less ink.
We have printed lots of photos and have never had a ruined photo due to printer malfunction or printer problems. This printer does not know how to waste paper at all and every photo printed was of the highest quality.
PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENT
The manual suggests some useful tips on how to maintain this photo printer, but there some things you just learn to do by using the unit every day.
Maintaining as per the manual
The manual shows you exactly how to clean and have it performing at its best all the time. It also shows how to check the ink level and perform self-tests. It has very helpful tips on how to handle/clean/dispose of ink cartridges (new or used) properly.
Dust does tend to collect over time so it is always best for the printer and it performs that you clean the exterior and the interior at least once a month (maybe use some kind of compressed air blower to blow the dust away then wipe it with a dry piece of cloth or paper). Follow the instructions in the manual.
Canon provides a one-year limited hardware warranty and plus a toll-free number for telephone support. You can visit canontechsupport.com or dial 1-800-828-4040 to get warranty support. You may be asked for the model and serial number which can easily be found by following instructions in the manual.
We have been using this Canon PIXMA iP4200 photo printer for about a month now and there has never been a time when we got disappointed with the print quality, printing speed, or the performance of this unit. We are fully satisfied with all features and abilities of this machine. My boss is glad that he purchased this machine for all his photo printing needs. I am sure this printer will last us for years and will keep providing us with low cost, but high-quality photos. This can also make a great gift for someone during this holiday season.