Canon Pixma iP8500

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Canon Pixma iP8500

Pros

  • High speed, low running costs

Cons

  • Lack of flash media slots

Bottom Line

The IP8500 prints photos very quickly, has a duplexer, and has cheaper-than-averages ink and paper costs. However, its limited direct-print features make it best suited for use hooked up to a PC.

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During our tests the Canon PIXMA IP8500 printed great-looking photos and very attractive borderless snapshots, but it costs a good deal more than some comparable models, such as the HP Photosmart 8450. One thing the extra money will buy you is time when printing snapshots: the PIXMA IP8500 printed a 4" x 6" photo in just 39 seconds, more than three times faster than the HP Photosmart 8450. This PIXMA printed to plain paper at below-average speeds, however: 3.4 ppm for text and 1.4 ppm for graphics.

The IP8500's ink and paper costs are lower than average, at roughly 57 cents per snapshot at the time of writing. It uses eight individual ink cartridges, adding red and green inks to the standard cyan, magenta and yellow. Our borderless 4" x 6" print was every bit as good as the photos the PIXMA IP8500 printed on letter-sized paper. The prints looked quite sharp, with rich colours and sufficient detail in darker areas. Text didn't look as crisp as the text printed by some other models we have tested, but edges were fairly sharp.

If you plan to perform all your image editing and printing functions from your PC, you won't mind that the IP8500 doesn't have media card slots or an LCD. But that doesn't mean you're entirely out in the cold with your digital camera: the IP8500 has a direct-print port for printing directly from a compatible camera.

There are only two buttons on the control panel: a resume/cancel button and a paper tray selector. Also, the direct-print port doesn't allow you to upload the images to your PC, unlike some other models we've tested.

The IP8500 holds a lot of paper. The drawer in the base of the printer takes up to 150 sheets of letter-size paper, sticking out of the front in order to do so; when holding 4" x 6" or 5" x 7" paper, the drawer remains flush with the front panel. The upright sheet feeder at the back of the printer can hold an additional 150 sheets, and accommodates up to legal-size paper.

The Canon PIXMA IP8500 has a built-in duplexer for making double-sided prints, but it waits a few seconds so the ink on the first side can dry before it begins printing on the second side.

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