Canon Pixma iX7000 review

An appealing low-cost alternative to an A3 colour laser printer for office use, but HP's Officejet 7000 is faster and better value.

18 Dec 2009
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
296
inc VAT

Specifications

thermal inkjet, 10ppm print speed, USB Hi-Speed, 10/100 Ethernet, 260x647x530mm

Last month we reviewed HP's Officejet 7000, an A3+ inkjet printer with print quality, performance and running costs to rival a laser printer.

A3 colour prints are useful in office environments, but while an A3 colour laser costs upwards of £1,000, the Officejet 7000 costs just £185. This month it's the turn of Canon's similarly named iX7000 to try the same trick.

We were a little concerned that the Officejet's plastic shell might not survive the rigours of a busy office, but Canon's iX7000 is far more substantial. Its paper handling is more versatile, too. The main cassette holds 250 sheets, and there's a 20-sheet rear input tray exclusively for photo paper plus a manual feed slot that accepts up to 10 pages.

The latter is useful for occasional A4 prints when the cassette is loaded with A3 paper. We experienced a couple of paper jams when using this input, though. Automatic duplex printing is supported, but it's slow at 1.8ppm for double-sided A4 text prints, and 1.3ppm for A3.

Single-sided A4 text appeared at 9.6ppm, matching the speed of the Officejet. However, A3 paper came out at just 3.3ppm, quite a bit short of the Officejet's 5.7ppm. The differences were even greater in draft mode, where the Canon managed only a small increase in speed but the HP sped up to 17.6ppm for A4.

The Pixma's performance sometimes took a nosedive, too, due to housekeeping routines that kicked in halfway through print jobs. A4 business graphics were marginally faster than the HP at 4.1ppm. Photo print speeds were respectable, with 4x6in borderless prints taking a little over a minute each and A3 photos around four-and-a-half minutes.

The iX7000 produced excellent text prints on plain paper at the standard quality setting. Text in draft mode looked a little thinner than from the HP, but that's partially a matter of taste. Business graphics on plain paper were up to scratch, too, but the HP took the lead for both colour accuracy and deep, solid black.

The iX7000 uses Canon's new Lucia pigment-based inks, rather than the dye-based colours used by most inkjets. The inks are designed for optimal sharpness and durability on plain paper, but the iX7000 can't compete with the best inkjets for photo print quality. Colours lacked vibrancy and ink droplets were visible in light grey areas of photos. The finish of photos was a little odd, too, with reflections taking on a bronze tint. However, they were better than the HP's photos, which suffered from washed-out shadows.

The iX7000 is more expensive than HP's Officejet 7000, but its three paper inputs, duplexing facility, superior build quality and better-looking photos ensure that it doesn't seem overpriced. Overall, the HP impressed us more with its lightning fast prints and low running costs, but if you need the extra features then this printer is the better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Maximum native print resolution 4,800x1,200dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 10ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 8ppm

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 4m 6s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 6m 46s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 6
Number of ink cartridges 6
Maximum number of ink colours 6
Maximum number of cartridges 6

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB Hi-Speed, 10/100 Ethernet
Optional printer interfaces N/A
Size 260x647x530mm
Weight 19.8kg
Noise (in normal use) 36dB(A)
Power consumption idle 1W
Power consumption active 21W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A3+
Maximum paper weight 300gsm
Standard paper inputs 3
Standard paper input capacity 280
Maximum paper inputs 3
Maximum paper input capacity 280
Duplex (code, cost if option) No

Photo Features

PictBridge support No
Borderless printing A3+
Direct (PC-less) printing No
Supported memory cards N/A
CD printing No

General

Printer technology thermal inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Other inkjet features N/A
Other inkjet options N/A

Buying Information

Price £296
Consumable parts and prices PGI-7BK £9.99, PGI-9PBK £8.99, PGI-9Y £8.99, PGI-9M £9.99, PGI-9C £9.99
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 565
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) 1070 (yellow), 715 (magenta), 870 (cyan)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) 640 (black), 405 (yellow), 268 (magenta), 303 (cyan)
Price per colour A4 page 3.4p
Price per mono A4 page 1.8p
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Details www.canon.co.uk

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 4m 6s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 6m 46s