i860 Color Bubble Jet Photo PrinterThe i860's driver lets you quickly setup the printer by simply choosing the Media Type (Plain Paper, Photo Paper Pro, Photo Paper Plus Glossy, Matte Photo Paper, High Resolution Paper, T-Shirt Transfer, Transparency or Envelope) and the Print Quality setting (High, Standard, Draft or Custom). The optimum Quality is automatically selected depending on the Media Type but you can manually select it using the Custom option. By default the driver is set for Auto color adjustment or that can be manually selected to use Windows ICM. The default options produce the best quality printouts at the fastest print speed. Other options lets you select to print in Grayscale and enable the Print Preview function.
Clicking on the Custom button for Quality lets you manually select the printing speed from Fast to Fine. You can also select the desired Halftoning options. By default when using the Standard quality setting this slider is at the "3" position which produces beautiful 4x6" prints. When making letter-size photos you can use the finer but slower "2" or "1" setting.
Clicking on the Manual button for Color Correction lets you manually adjust the individual colors as well as the intensity. Here you can enable/disable ICM color matching and select a Print Type and Brightness setting.
Clicking on the Print Advisor button brings up this screen. It's kind of a built in FAQ to educate you on what settings are best for what media and etc.
The Page Layout options let you select the paper size, orientation (portrait or landscape), printing type (normal-size, fit-to-page, scaled, page layout printing, poster, banner), borderless printing with an adjustable amount of extension, duplex printing, number of copies, printing order and collate options.
The Stamp/Background page lets you select an overlay stamp to print on your pages. Choose from Draft, Important, Confidential, Secret or define your own. You may also select a background image.
The Effects page lets turns your photo into a simulated color illustration, slide the
lever to increase or decrease the effect. You can also create a monochrome effect like
Sepia, Pink, Blue, Green or select a custom color. The Vivid Photo option enhances
the green and blue colors and contrast and may be too much for some images. You can also
enable or disable the Image Optimizer or Photo Optimizer PRO enhancements which help
produce better enlargements from lower resolution images.
option helps reduce the "speckle" noise
often found in blue areas such as the sky. It has two settings: Normal and Strong.
Left is no Photo Noise Reduction, Right is with PNR enabled.
The Profiles page lets you load, create or save custom sets of printer parameters for the type of printing jobs that you do frequently.
The Maintenance page lets you clean the print heads with options for a regular cleaning cycle or a "deep" cleaning cycle for really clogged heads. There is also an option for aligning the heads or checking the print nozzles. You can also set the Auto Power Off time, Custom Settings and the Quiet Mode. From here you can also start the Status Monitor (see next frame.)
The Status Monitor shows you visibly the level of ink in each of the ink tanks. It also tells you the status of the printer and the setting of the paper thickness lever. When one of the tanks is low the Status Monitor will pop-up to alert you. The low tank(s) will have a yellow exclamation mark over it to let you know that it needs to be replaced soon. The ink warning first comes on when there is still some ink remaining so you won't run out in the middle of a printout and waste a sheet of costly photo paper.
Here's a Magenta ink tank after I was "warned" that it was low. The chamber on the left side is full of ink when the tank is new. As you can see it drained the left chamber completely and the foam-filled side that feeds the head is very close to empty.
The Print Preview function is the last place you can abort the print so it's nice that Canon has now added the display of the paper size, paper type and the printing type. These items were not incorporated in earlier print drivers and are a welcome addition to the i860's driver.