Canon Pixma iP4200
The most noticeable feature of the Pixma iP4200 is its extraordinary size. At nearly a foot deep, without its paper trays extended, it takes up an unusually large amount of desk space, for no apparent reason.
It’s positioned as an advanced photo printer, boasting what Canon calls “photo lab quality”. But as it turns out, it’s also a pretty good all-rounder, producing impressive text output on plain paper, as well as the obligatory borderless photo prints, and having the ability to print on CD-R media.
On the photo side of things, the iP4200 uses Canon’s new ChromaLife 100 ink system, which Canon claims offers light-fastness for 30 years. Sadly, time constraints prevented us from accurately testing this claim. However, we were able to test print speeds, and the iP4200 took just over 2 minutes 7 seconds to print an A4 photo, and 1 minute 6 seconds for a borderless 6 x 4-inch photo. Photo quality is truly outstanding, and as Canon boasts, virtually indistinguishable from true photo prints. However, we did find the colours rather oversaturated and artificial.
The printer uses an unconventional five-colour ink system, with the standard four CMYK colours, plus a photo black cartridge so there’s no need to change cartridges depending on the type of output.
For non-photo printing, the iP4200 produces very high-quality text output, with sharp, clear characters at a breakneck pace of 7.5ppm in standard mode, and just 11 seconds to output the first page. In fast (draft mode) it achieves 12ppm. Highlighting the printer’s usefulness as an all-rounder suitable for business use, it features a built-in duplex unit for double-sided printing.
Overall, the iP4200 is an impressive all-round printer, let down only by its rather odd proportions.