Canon Selphy DS700For your everyday text and color document printing tasks the Pixma iP4000 is an excellent printer and it's very fast. It's also very quiet and one of the most versatile printers that I've used in some time. The built-in duplexer (two-sided printing) is great for web page or document printouts and will save lots of wasted paper. It's also great for printing your own professional-looking photo albums, sales flyers, catalogs or whatever. The top and bottom paper trays are really slick and highly useful too. Use the auto sheet feeder on the top for plain paper and put your photo paper in the cassette on the bottom where it's kept neatly tucked inside of the printer and away from dust, moisture and etc. If you're on a printing spree, both the top and bottom trays can be loaded with up to 150 sheets of plain paper each and the printer can be set to auto-switch trays when one goes empty.
The above 320x240 clips (shown at 100% with no post-editing) are from a simultaneous 600dpi scan of three 4x6" prints made on the Canon i9900 (4800x2400 dpi), i9100 (4800x1200 dpi) and iP4000 (4800x1200 dpi) printers. All three printers were set the same, using best print quality, Photo Paper Pro media, default color control and no enhancements enabled. It's visibly apparent the difference that the i9900's 4800x2400 dpi makes versus the 4800x1200 dpi of the i9100 printer. But check out how the iP4000's output compares to the i9100, the iP4000 is only using 4 colors -- the i9100 is using 6 colors! The iP4000 cranks out 4 x 6" borderless prints in about 36 seconds when connected to the computer. When connected to a camera in Pictbridge mode it makes the same 4 x 6" print in just 1:20 compared to 2:10 for last year's i860 printer. It makes a full-size 8.5 x 11" borderless glossy print in 2 minutes flat! The iP4000 has both a USB and bidirectional parallel port so it's compatible with the new Windows and Mac operating systems and it's also useable with older Windows 95 and Windows NT machines as well. And the iP4000 like all the other new Canon photo printers and digital cameras is PictBridge compatible. You can directly plug any PictBridge-enabled camera into the front USB port using the camera's regular USB download cable. Now you can make prints without need of a computer, simply select the images on the camera's color LCD and any printing options and then press the appropriate button. Switch paper trays easily with the paper selector switch on the front of the printer. For many users this is the simplest and easiest way to make perfect photo prints as you needn't know anything about graphic or photo-editing programs. There's no doubt that the $499 8-color Canon i9900 printer is superior but for the vast majority of today's digital camera users who print mostly 4x6" size prints with the occasional 5x7" or letter-size print, the $149 iP4000 is going to be more than satisfactory. Looking at the printed output it's difficult to justify buying a dedicated 6- or 8-color photo printer, it's amazing what Canon is doing with just three colors. I printed a number of black & white prints and the output was good but not the equal of the Epson 2200 or HP 7960, both of which have special photo gray and black inks. Using double-weight matte paper the B&W prints looked their best. Unlike most of the other "photo printers," the Pixma iP4000 is also an incredibly fast general purpose printer and its text output is brilliant. So while your buddy's expensive photo printer is just sitting there doing nothing 99% of the time, your iP4000 is printing letters, web pages, spreadsheets and making marvelous photos too.