To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Canon PIXMA iX6850 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £165
inc VAT

Great for creative use in the office, but pricey and not so good over Wi-Fi

Canon’s new PIXMA iX6850 is an inkjet printer capable of handling paper up to A3+ (329x483mm). It’s pitched as an office printer but, with its maximum resolution of 9,600×2,400 dots per inch (dpi) and five-ink print engine, it should be capable of delivering high-quality glossy photos on coated paper.

Canon PIXMA iX6850

The iX6850 has the typical good looks of the PIXMA range, and is made from high-quality glossy black plastic. It feels like a solid product, with proper paper input and output trays that extend to almost fully support sheets of A3+ paper, and which have minimal flex when heavily loaded. Both can be partially retracted when you’re using smaller paper sizes, but when fully extended the iX6850 needs lots of desk space.

Manual Duplex Only

It’s a shame there’s no duplexer, but the driver will help you do it manually

There’s no automatic duplex (double-sided) printing, but the iX6850 supports both wired and wireless networks. Although there’s no display, Canon has thought of a neat new cable-free way to configure Wi-Fi for those without a WPS router. It worked perfectly for us, but unfortunately we couldn’t say the same for the Wi-Fi itself, which was slow and unreliable in our tests. After a couple of failures we switched to a wired connection, which worked fine.

Canon PIXMA iX6850

The iX6850 delivered our 25-page letter test at 12.4 pages per minute (ppm), and completed our more demanding colour graphics test at a respectable 4ppm. A3 printing was rapid, with the printer despatching five mono pages in 51 seconds, and five graphics-rich colour pages in just under two minutes. The results were very good, with crisp, dark text and reasonably powerful, vice-free graphics.

Photo Printing

Shortcuts help you quickly pick the right settings for everyday jobs


The iX6850 prints extremely good photographs, with razor-sharp details and neatly controlled shading. While perhaps not a match for photo-focused alternatives such as the PIXMA Pro range (see Group Test, Shopper 307), this is a surprisingly competent photo printer, particularly given its support for borderless prints at all sizes up to A3+. One fly in the ointment is that the photo printing speed is only middling. At highest quality, each postcard-sized photo took two minutes.

We’re used to seeing office inkjets that are cheaper to run than laser printers, and the iX6850 is no exception. Stick to the XL cartridges and the black component of a full-colour A4 page will cost around 2.1p, while the colour component will cost about 4.7p.

With reasonable costs, good results and a decent turn of speed, the iX6850 ought to be a winner, but its lack of a duplexer and comparatively poor Wi-Fi performance count against it. It’s also fairly expensive. The HP Officejet 7610, an A3 multifunction with fax that would probably be more useful to a typical small business.

Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution9,600×2,400dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A414.5ipm
Quoted speed, colour A410.4ipm

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.08m 14s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.012m 7s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours5
Number of ink cartridges5
Maximum number of ink colours5
Maximum number of cartridges5
Quoted photo durability30 years
Quoted photo durability sourceCanon

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Noise (in normal use)44dB(A)
Duty cycle12,000 pages (maximum)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA3+
Maximum paper weight300gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity150
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity150
Duplex (code, cost if option)No

Photo Features

PictBridge supportNo
Borderless printingA3+
Direct (PC-less) printingNo
Supported memory cardsnone
CD printingNo


Printer technologythermal inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7/8/RT, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, Android, iOS
Other inkjet featuresnone
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices£11 each
Quoted life of supplied black cartridgepigment black 375 pages (ISO/IEC 24712), dye black 1,645 pages (Canon estimate)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)Cyan 337 pages, magenta 324, yellow 331 (all ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Price per colour A4 page4.7p
Price per mono A4 page2.0p
Warrantyone year RTB

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.08m 14s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.012m 7s