Canon S6300

The Bubble Jet S6300 prints anything from 4-x-6-inch card up to A3+ size – offering full-bleed on A4 and A3 output – and is pitched at computer-aided designers. Without having its competitors on hand, I was unable to quantify Canon’s claim that the S6300 is the fastest in its class (17 pages per minute (ppm) in A4 mono and 12ppm in A4 colour). However, manufacturer speed-claims should be taken with a pinch of salt. They are almost impossible to reproduce and don’t reflect real life. The Macworld Test Centre image includes a couple of photographs and some text, which is a more realistic trial. Out of the blocks
The S6300 is no slouch, outputting Macworld’s print-test image at its top-resolution (2,400-x-1,200 pixels) in just under 3 minutes 30 seconds, which makes it the fastest A3 inkjet we’ve tested. The S6300, as well as being a larger format, offers a number of technology enhancements. One is Photo Optimizer Pro, an image-correction feature that analyses hue and brightness, and automatically corrects parameters such as colour, exposure and saturation to produce optimized prints. If our test-output is anything to go by, then it works – and with a minimum of fuss. Unless you’re a workflow colour-management expert, complicated print interfaces – such as Epson’s – can be more trouble than they’re worth. Canon’s is simplicity itself, offering three quality-options: Text, Graphics and Photo. There is also a manual option for the pros. The test image was output on photo-quality glossy paper and the results were both colour-accurate and photo-quality. To view and download this image, go to www.macworld.co.uk/testcentre. Canon claims that its Microfine Droplet Technology “delivers exceptional photo- quality printouts as standard across all types of papers”. Most people don’t care why printers work, only that they do – and I can report that the 6300 performed admirably across the board, from A3 full-bleed images on glossy photo-paper, down to 8pt-text documents on crappy old photocopying stock. Canon’s Single Ink technology means each colour is self-contained and can be replaced independently of the others, offering considerable savings. The S6300’s black cartridge costs £8.99 to replace, while the colour ones are £6.99. Compare this to the Epson Stylus Photo 1290 A3 inkjet, whose black cartridge is £17 and its all-in-one colour cartridge £19. And remember, with the all-in-one colour approach, when one of the colours is empty – yet the others still full – all have to be replaced.

OUR VERDICT

The S6300 is a no-nonsense, high-quality A3 inkjet that does everything asked of it to a high standard. Its format also makes it a flexible solution for graphics pros who work with a variety of media. Although no beauty on the outside, beauty is only plastic deep. Mac OS X users will be pleased to know there’s an S 6300 X-driver on Canon’s UK Web site. This review appeared in the Expo 2001 issue

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