The other day I got an email from a friend saying he was in the market for an new inkjet printer.
He already had an older HP printer, but says it wouldn’t work correctly in Windows 2000 or XP (He has Win2K). Furthermore, HP says they won’t even support the printer anymore, even though he offered to pay them for it. Consequently, he’s forced to buy a new printer because of it. He wanted to know if I could recommend any.
Of course, being involved in the printing industry, I was happy to offer my help. My friend only had two basic requirements. First, he wanted something that could print high quality photos, and second… that “it wasn’t made by HP”.
I emailed him back and recommended a couple of Canon printer models to him. I also sent him links to a few printer review articles from ZDNet. He said a few other people he had talked to also had good experiences with Canon, so he took the advice and was going with one of them.
It also occured to me this might make a good topic for an article, because some of you might be in the market for a good quality photo printer. (Or maybe you know somebody else who is.)
Canon Passes The Test of High Quality Photo Inkjet Printers
Print quality, price, speed, and cost of replacement supplies are all factors in choosing a printer. A combination of experience, customer feedback, low-price of ink replacements and a little research has made Canon printers my top pick.
There are two Canon models that I think are the way to go if you want an affordable inkjet printer with the ability to print excellent quality photos. The Canon S820 and the Canon i950.
These two models seem to have good photo quality, good pricing, and cost of inkjet cartridges are comparibly less expensive than similar performance printer models. They also rate very high in actual user satisfaction. (Another important aspect I like to review if possible)
ZDnet (http://www.zdnet.com — where much of this research is from) contains a “user ratings” feature as part of their onine reviews
I really like this feature and value user scores as much or MORE important that the ratings ZDNet provides. I feel that those are the unbiased opinions of the people in the trenches. If they don’t like something, they usually don’t have any hesitations about saying so.
Both of these models recommended received 9 out of 10 or better from actual users.
Here are two reviews of the Canon models I’d recommend.
Canon S820 Photo printer
- Price: (roughly $95-$129)
- Max Resolution: 2400 x 1200 dpi
- Color print speed: .47 ppm (pages per minute)
- Interface: Parallel, USB ZDNET rating = 7.2 out of 9 User rating = 9 out of 10
Canon i950 Photo printer
- Price: (roughly $225-$249)
- Max Resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi
- Color print speed: 1 ppm (pages per minute)
- Interface: USB only ZDNET rating = 7.8 out of 9 User rating = 9.6 out of 10
One thing to note is the Resolution improvement of the i950. It halves the dot size of what many photo printers out there are doing. Smaller dots mean more detail and smoother curves. The i950 is a lot of printer value for the money.
Another feature of these two printers that I like is that they use individual ink tanks for each color, instead of a single cartridge containing all colors.
The reason I think this is a great feature, is because it eliminates the waste of a whole cartridge if you only run out of one color. With individual tanks, you can simply replace the individual color tank that’s needed. It saves money, saves ink, and saves garbage.
On a related note… ASAP Inkjets just finished a product field test of the ink cartridges these models use.
We had some of our previous customers participate in a home test to evaluate the performance of these inkjet cartridges. We put different brands head to head against each other to see how each one stacked up.
After the results were in, we actually switched the brand we carry based on the winner of these tests. We did this to help make sure we were providing our customers with the best quality of inks possible.