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Steve's Digicams


i9100 Color Bubble Jet
Photo Printer

Review posted 6/29/03

Canon i9100 Color Bubble Jet Photo Printer

Fast, Professional, Wide Format Photo Printing

The Canon i9100 is the 2003 flagship of Canon's line of photo printers, the wide format i9100 Photo Printer replaces the S9000. The i9100 will appeal to professional level digital photographers wanting the highest quality photo printing with exceptionally fast print speeds.

The i9100 incorporates the ultra high-density multi-nozzle print head featuring 3,072 nozzles (the largest number of nozzles in its class) to achieve print speeds of approximately 37 seconds for a borderless 4" x 6" photo print, approximately one minute for 8" x 10" prints and approximately five minutes for 13" x 19" prints. New on the i9100 will be edge-to-edge borderless printing support for both 5" x 7" and 13" x 19" in addition to the 4" x 6" and 8.5" x 11" currently available.

Quality from the i9100 is achieved by using the advanced Microfine Droplet Technology with 4800 x 1200 dpi, twice as much as the S9000, and six-color photo printing using Canon's Individual Ink Tank system and Vivid Photo. Lightfast for approximately 25 years, photos printed from this printer rival professional photo developing.

The i9100 uses USB and is compatible with Windows XP/2000/98/ME, and Mac OS 8.6-9.X and OS X v 10.2.1 to 10.2.4. It comes with Canon's one-year limited warranty with InstantExchange. In addition to Easy-PhotoPrint (Windows and Mac) and Easy-WebPrint (Windows only), Canon includes PhotoRecord software (Windows) allowing end-users to easily crop digital photos, create albums and print photos; PhotoStitch (Windows and Mac) allowing users to quickly format panoramic shots taken with digital cameras and ZoomBrowser (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac) providing easy digital download, viewing and photo album capabilities. Shipping in July 2003, the i9100 has a MSRP of $499.99.

Canon i9100 Features:

  • Prints 4" x 6" borderless photos in about 40 seconds

  • 3,072 nozzles for exceptional speed and quality

  • MicroFine Droplet Technology with 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution

  • Borderless printing in 4 x 6", 5 x 7", letter size, 11 x 17" and 13 x 19" sizes

  • 6 individually replaceable ink tanks lowers the "per print" cost

  • Exif 2.2 compatible with included Canon Easy Photo Print program

Canon i9100 Color Bubble Jet Photo Printer

The i9100 uses USB and is compatible with Windows 98/ME/2000 and XP, and Mac OS 8.6-9.X and OS X v 10.1 or later (Mac OS X borderless printing requires v 10.2 or later.). This is no parallel port connection, only USB.

Mechanics & Performance

The i9100 is a stylish looking, beige and silver colored printer that will turn your computer workspace into a daylight darkroom. Setup is straight forward and can be accomplished by following the steps outlined on the included big page of directions. You first install the removable print head assembly and then unwrap and install the six ink tanks, install the software and then connect the USB cable and turn on the printer. Windows finishes loading the drivers and within a minute or two you're up and printing.

I was so impressed by the Canon S9000 photo printer last year that I bought one for myself. Compared to other photo printers the Canon printers are thoroughbred race horses, they output high resolution photo prints incredibly fast. And Canon's ThinkTank ink system with individually replaceable ink tanks means that you don't toss out a cartridge just because one color runs out. The user can also replace the print head assembly if needed without requiring a trip to a service center.

In actual use the i9100 is so quiet that you almost don't notice that it's working. I printed a borderless 8.5 x 11 inch photo using the glossy photo paper and "High Quality" print settings in the driver. The finished print was ejected only one minute and fifty seconds later. It was the equal to the best print that I've ever made on any Epson or HP photo printer and completed in less than half the time.

If you're tired of being overwhelmed or confused by printer driver choices then you'll like the way the Canon software is written. It is detailed starting on page three of this review. Epson printer drivers have so many different output resolution choices (360dpi, 720dpi, 1440dpi, 2880dpi, 5760dpi) and High Speed and Microweave options that it is really confusing to the user. The Canon driver only needs to be told your media type and size and you're good to go.

You can click on the Custom buttons if you want to manually change the Fast-to-Fine (speed vs quality) setting or enable or disable the Image Optimizer, Photo Optimizer PRO and Photo Noise Reduction enhancements. Depending on the paper type and image type these "enhancements" don't always produce the most optimum results. They are designed to smooth the pixel "jaggies" out of low-res images or to create prints with a lot of "punch" (color, contrast, sharpness) to them.

Continue To
Page Two

i9100 Photo Printer Specifications

Print Speed (up to)4x6 Color Photo : Approximately 37 seconds†† (borderless)
8x10 Color Photo : Approximately 1 minute††; (borderless)
Number of Nozzles3,072 nozzles (512 x 6 colors)
Print Resolution (up to)4800 x 1200 dpi* in Black
4800 x 1200 dpi* in Color
OS CompatibilityWindows XP, Windows 2000/Me/98, Mac® OS (8.6 to 9.x) and Mac OS X version 10.2.1 to 10.2.x (see for updated compatibility)
Ink CompatibilityBCI-6Bk Black Ink Tank, BCI-6C Cyan Ink Tank, BCI-6M Magenta Ink Tank, BCI-6Y Yellow Ink Tank, BCI-6PC Photo Cyan Ink Tank, BCI-6PM Photo Magenta Ink Tank
Standard InterfacesUSB (cable not included)
Paper SizesLetter, legal, A3+ (13" x 19"), ledger (11" x 17"), A4, A5, 4" x 6", 5" x 7", U.S. #10 or European envelopes
Paper CompatibilityPlain paper, envelopes, Canon Specialty Papers - Glossy Photo Paper, High Resolution Paper, Matte Photo Paper, Photo Paper Plus Glossy, Photo Paper Plus Glossy For Borderless Printing, Photo Paper Pro, Photo Paper Pro For Borderless Printing, Transparencies, T-Shirt Transfers
Paper HandlingBuilt-in sheet feeder - 100 sheets @ paper weight 17 lb.
Envelopes - 10
Glossy Photo Paper (8.5" x 11", 11" x 17") - 10 sheets
High Resolution Paper (8.5" x 11", 11" x 17") - 80 sheets
High Resolution Paper (13" x 19") - 20 sheets
Matte Photo Paper (8.5" x 11") - 10 sheets
Photo Paper Plus Glossy For Borderless Printing (4" x 6") - 20 sheets
Photo Paper Plus Glossy (5" x 7") - 10 sheets
Photo Paper Plus Glossy (8.5" x 11") - 10 sheets
Photo Paper Pro (4" x 6") - 20 sheets
Photo Paper Pro For Borderless Printing (4" x 6") - 20 sheets
Photo Paper Pro (8.5" x 11") - 10 sheets
Transparencies (8.5" x 11") - 30 sheets
T-Shirt Transfer (8.5" x 11") - 1 sheet
Noise Level (Approx.)37 dB(A) in best quality mode
Physical Dimensions22.5" W x 13.1" D x 7.7" H
Weight17.6 lbs.
Power Source120V AC, 60Hz
Warranty1-year limited warranty with InstantExchange program (certain conditions and restrictions apply; see for details)
Software IncludedSetup Software and User's Guide CD-ROM including†††: Printer Driver, electronic User's Guide and electronic Photo Application Guide, Easy-PhotoPrint (Windows/Mac), PhotoRecord™ (Windows), ZoomBrowser EX (Windows), ImageBrowser (Mac), PhotoStitch (Windows/Mac), Easy-WebPrint (Windows, requires Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.5, version 6.0 recommended)
† Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.
* Ink droplets can be placed with a minimum pitch of 1/4800 inch.
** Will vary based on composition of images/documents printed.
*** Capacity calculation based upon print head frequency times nozzle count.
†† 4" x 6" (using Canon Photo Paper Pro For Borderless Printing) and 13" x 19" (using Canon Photo Paper Pro) photo print speeds are based on standard (default) mode. 8" x 10" print speed based on default mode driver setting printing an 8" x 10" image on 8.5" x 11" Canon Photo Paper Pro. Print speeds will vary depending on system configuration, software, document complexity, print mode and page coverage.
††† System requirements vary by application. ImageBrowser, Easy-PhotoPrint and PhotoStitch are not supported in Mac OS 8.6.

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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