A 3.5in colour LCD dominates the top of the £170 Canon Pixma iP6600D. The display, the largest we've seen on an inkjet printer, flips upward, making it easy to preview images and navigate the menus, including options for touching up photos. A door on the front of the printer conceals two media card slots that are capable of reading the most common formats, but you'll need an optional adapter to use other ones (Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro Duo, miniSD Card and xD-Picture card).
Transferring images from media cards to your PC is relatively fast, thanks to the USB 2.0 connection between the printer and your PC. A Direct Print port lets you work straight from a PictBridge-compatible digicam via a USB cable. Unlike competing models from Epson and HP, though, the Pixma iP6600D can't print images from USB flash drives plugged into its Direct Print port. It does have a built-in IrDA (infrared data port) interface that lets you print from cameraphones and PDAs with infrared transmitters, and an optional Bluetooth adapter is available.
The iP6600D can hold sheets of different sizes, and lots of them. A drawer in its base takes up to 150 sheets of letter-size paper, sticking out of the front to do so. When holding 4x6in or 5x7in 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 paper up to legal size. The iP6600D comes with a built-in duplexer for making double-sided prints and before printing on the second side it waits a few seconds so the ink on the first side can dry.
Each of the printer's six ink cartridges has a red LED that flashes slowly when the ink is running low, and then more quickly as the cartridge nears emptiness. This handy feature makes it obvious which cartridge needs to be changed. We were also impressed by the running costs: it works out at about 13p per page. Not the cheapest, but very good considering the quality of the output.
Photos looked bold, with plenty of contrast and fine detail, although skin tones looked more bronze than we would have liked. Greyscale images looked very attractive overall, although they had a slight magenta cast and highlights lacked some detail. The iP6600D printed text at 3.2ppm (pages per minute) and graphics at 1.5ppm, so it's not going to win any races.