Canon S800

The Canon S800 is a great photo printer, it's fast and quiet and there's no denying that the individually replaceable ink tanks are more economical than having to replace a multi- color cartridge just because one of the colors has run out. However you must consider that these individual ink tanks retail for $11.99 and the cost of the average Epson 5-color cartridge is around $25. The S800's printhead assembly can be replaced by the user which eliminates the need to send the printer in for service in the event of a failure or major clog. The driver maintenance options include both a regular and a "deep" head cleaning cycle as well as an alignment procedure to keep your printing as perfect as possible. The actual print quality is outstanding, especially considering that it outputs a full page 8.5 x 11 inch print at the highest quality possible in about five minutes. The same photo print takes from seven and a half to eleven and a half minutes on the Epson 780 printer. The prints are very comparable to those made on an Epson photo printer at 720dpi or 1440dpi (microweave on and high speed off). There is more shadow detail visible at 1440dpi or 2880dpi on the Epsons but it takes at about twice the printing time and uses a lot more ink. Installation on my Windows 98 machine was quick and simple and the printer was good to go within minutes of taking it out of the box. The driver software is designed so that even novice users can be cranking out photo-quality prints quickly. And when you're not printing photos the S800 is more than capable of being an all-purpose color and text printer too.