The Canon Pixma iP3500 inkjet printer offers impressive speed, very good output, and useful features for a low price.

The Canon Pixma iP3500 inkjet printer is ambitious, squeezing a lot of printer functionality into an inexpensive package. While it falls short in some ways, it's still a great value.

Printing quickly the Canon Pixma iP3500 is competent model. Plain-text pages exited at a brisk pace of 8.3 pages per minute (ppm), while photo-printing speeds ranged from 1.6ppm to 3.2ppm in our tests, about average overall.

On plain paper, even closely spaced fonts looked precise and nicely black, with just a little jaggedness in curvier letters. Most of the colour images we printed using the Canon Pixma iP3500 exhibited a yellow to orange cast, which made them look warmer and more attractive but also produced slightly odd flesh tones.

At rest, the Canon Pixma iP3500 looks like a shiny, black bread box. When it's time to print, an array of doors, flaps and panels reveals a versatile - if sometimes complicated - set of features.

The usual top-loading input tray takes a wide range of media sizes. The Canon Pixma iP3500's two-part output tray looks like an Evel Knievel jump: paper slides from a short tongue of plastic over a small bit of empty space toward a longer end piece. Nestled into the empty space is a second input tray that takes a few standard media sizes (A4, letter, B5); you could, for instance, load plain paper there and have the top input tray free for loading photo paper or labels.

The small crowd of tongues, trays, and extensions can be confusing - it's hard to tell where things go in or out - but the second input is still a nice bonus. The few controls (visible when the front door is open for normal operation) are scattered, and their icon-based labels are hard to decipher.

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A permanent printhead and removable ink tanks for each of the four colours sit beneath the printer's center panel. The user-friendly design has clearly visible slots for the tanks. Like the ink tanks on some other Canon inkjets, each of the Canon Pixma iP3500's tanks has an embedded LED that lights red when the tank is properly inserted (which seems counterintuitive - why not green?).

The Pixma iP3500's ink costs, based on documents with a mix of text and graphics, seem reasonable.

The installation includes Easy Photo-Print EX software for organising, editing, and printing photos, plus Canon's My Printer application for adjusting settings and troubleshooting. A thorough on-screen manual covers both hardware and software. A Solutions Menu interface centralizes access to all of these items.

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Canon Pixma iP3500: Specs

  • Colour inkjet printer
  • CMYK - 4 individual ink tanks
  • B&W pages per min: 25
  • colour pages per min: 17
  • max B&W dpi: 600-by-600
  • max colour dpi: 4800-by-1200
  • tray capacity, pages: 150
  • PictBridge
  • 302x145x36mm
  • 4.9kg
  • Colour inkjet printer
  • CMYK - 4 individual ink tanks
  • B&W pages per min: 25
  • colour pages per min: 17
  • max B&W dpi: 600-by-600
  • max colour dpi: 4800-by-1200
  • tray capacity, pages: 150
  • PictBridge
  • 302x145x36mm
  • 4.9kg

OUR VERDICT

The Canon Pixma iP3500 hits the sweet spot among inkjet printers, offering a fair number of features and performance for the price. It's one of the better low-cost printers we've seen.

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