The Canon Pixma iP1800 is Canon's entry-level inkjet photo printer, which is clear if you take a gander at its price tag. You can pick up a Canon Pixma iP1800 for around £30, and this printer is equipped with the bare essentials to perform its duties: a sheet feeder, a dual ink-cartridge system, a USB port to connect the printer to your PC, and a roller that spits out your photos. Despite this minimal set of features, the Canon Pixma iP1800 won't disappoint. The Canon Pixma iP1800's photos have some imperfections, but they look pleasing overall. You'll definitely get enough bang for your buck.

To keep the Canon Pixma iP1800 at its low price, Canon left out features you'd find on most photo printers. There's no photo-card reader, no separate media tray for smaller photo papers, no PictBridge support and no output tray. The Canon Pixma iP1800 is user-friendly, though, and very easy to set up. After snapping the two ink cartridges into place, loading some paper, installing the Canon Pixma iP1800's printer driver and connecting the USB cable to your PC, you're ready to print. Since there is no output tray to catch your prints, you should turn the Canon Pixma iP1800 to face a clean, flat surface.

The colour photos we printed with the Canon Pixma iP1800 looked decent. Colours appeared accurate when compared to our control photo, and images were very crisp and clear overall. But black inks were too light, and thus shadow detail was lacking in depth. The black-and-white photos we printed with the Canon Pixma iP1800 had the same problem with shadow detail. Our panel of experts gave the Canon Pixma iP1800's photo-print quality a Very Good rating.

Although the Canon Pixma iP1800 is a photo printer, you may feel tempted to use it to print text documents, emails and so on. The gray-scale text documents we printed were slightly grainy, and, as with the colour photos, the black inks were light. Our panel gave the Canon Pixma iP1800's gray-scale print quality a Good rating.

The Canon Pixma iP1800 performed better with colour documents, preserving thin lines and distinguishing gradients quite well. Our panel gave the Canon Pixma iP1800 printer a Very Good rating for graphics, fine lines and gradients.

Canon Pixma iP1800: Specs

  • Print resolution: black - 600x600dpi, colour - 4,800x1,200dpi
  • USB 2.0 connectivity
  • print sizes: credit card (2.13x3.39), 4x6, 4x8, 5x7, 8x10, letter, legal
  • 150-sheet capacity
  • 442x237x152mm, 3.3kg
  • Print resolution: black - 600x600dpi, colour - 4,800x1,200dpi
  • USB 2.0 connectivity
  • print sizes: credit card (2.13x3.39), 4x6, 4x8, 5x7, 8x10, letter, legal
  • 150-sheet capacity
  • 442x237x152mm, 3.3kg

OUR VERDICT

The Canon Pixma iP1800 exceeded our expectations of how well a £29 printer could perform. Although shadow detail was lacking and blacks appeared too light, the Canon Pixma iP1800's ability to produce very good photos was impressive for a printer at this price. In addition, the Canon Pixma iP1800's ability to print decent-looking gray-scale and colour documents adds extra value to a purchase you won't regret.

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