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First look: Canon's impressive portable printer

Pixma IP90 offers speedy prints on the road

Canon's £199 Pixma IP90 portable photo printer offers good prints for mobile users. The lightweight unit prints better and faster than its predecessor, the Canon I80, and even competes with full-size rivals.

We clocked the IP90 printing text at 6.3 pages per minute – faster than many desktop inkjet printers and 10 percent quicker than the I80. Colour graphics came at a relatively slow 1.4ppm, but our test photo printed in a reasonable 2 minutes, 33 seconds, nearly a minute faster than the I80.

In quality tests the IP90 produced text documents full of finely formed characters. The print was dark and very readable, although on several occasions we noticed slightly misaligned characters. There was also a moderate amount of banding in our plain-paper line art and colour graphics samples, but overall the clarity of the prints impressed us.

On photo paper, colour and gray-scale images looked a little light; and compared with prints from full-size inkjets, the images lacked some contrast, which made them look slightly blurry. That said, the unit produced very crisp photos for a portable printer.

The IP90 offers plenty of connectivity options but lacks the memory card slots found on some portable printers. In addition to a USB port, there's a built-in infrared port (useful with cell-phone cameras), a PictBridge port for compatible cameras and you can opt for a Bluetooth option.

The IP90 represents a solid travelling companion for anyone who finds they often need to print on the go.


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