With its angular profile and dark charcoal colour scheme, the understated Canon is a stylish number. And the inkjet has practicality on its side, with dimensions which allow it to squeeze into crevices other printers wouldn't be able to.
Canon has sensibly given the iP4300 individual ink cartridges - the standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black, plus a pigment black - which results in far less wastage. A row of LEDs flash when a cartridge is running out.
The Pixma doesn’t have any media card slots, or an LCD on which to view images, but it does have a PictBridge port and it can print directly to CDs or DVDs. A paper draw at the bottom of the printer, into which 6x4in sheets can be loaded, is an admirable addition. This keeps paper away from dust and makes it less fiddly to print to small sheets of paper. There's integrated duplex-printing for double-sided prints.
Canon bundles a selection of simple programs to get you printing shortly after unpacking. You can then enjoy brisk print times, with highest detailed A4 photographs sliding out in a little over two minutes. Smaller 6x4in prints are equally speedy, with finished prints appearing in just 50 seconds.
Print quality is extremely good, with bucket loads of crisp detail and bright punchy colours that are both accurate and richly saturated. Flesh tones are adeptly handled and the Pixma manages to capture subtle tonal variations. Our only minor gripe concerns a slight print texture, but this isn't enough to detract from the excellent detail.