The Canon PIXMA iX4000 supplies a neat feature set when it comes to the paper it can manage and the speed of the outcome, even though as we will discover it is not quite as quick as Canon make out.
The iX4000 has 4800x1200dpi printing with 2-picolitre (two billionth’s of litre) droplet sizes, meaning even though it uses just four inks, the end result is exceptional for images, text as well as photographs. The Canon FINE (Full-Photolithography Nozzle Engineering) used to produce very exacting nozzles for the ink droplets to pass through.
Add to this the usage of four ChromaLife100 dye-based individual ink tank inks and print permanence is about 30-years when a print is hung, say, framed on the wall or 100-years if perhaps kept in an album as outlined by Canon’s test methods. You get a high capacity black, then the “normal” cyan, magenta and yellow inks.
In terms of connectivity, the iX4000 provides PictBridge compatibility for all those digital camera models designed with it (and Canon cameras do) along with a USB2. interface, though disappointingly, the printer isn’t provided with a USB cable, which appears unusual but is possibly simply because the majority of buyers of this printer are going to be trading up from smaller (A4 e. g.) printers.
Installing the iX4000 is rather easy yet pretty slow, the drivers and complete software taking about 20-mins to load up, right after you have unpacked the printer from its many chuncks of polystyrene, plastic, sticky tape; installed the user replaceable print head and put the inks into their particular slots within the print head.
Nevertheless, when ready to go a fast print head alignment is needed to guarantee the device is printing at top precision and you are away. Canon claims print rates of around 18ppm and 14ppm for mono and colour documents along with an assortment of text, graphics and images respectively. Yet when you want to stretch the printers photo-printing legs things slow down.
However, you will find a couple of odd factors that will appear a little bit out of place. One is the mode in the print driver which “helps prevent paper scratching”. Exactly why might you want the paper to scuff? High-gloss papers may mark at the best of occasions thus this should be on certainly not off by default; or why not simply make the printer to ensure that it can not abrade the paper to begin with, ever?
And there is a bottom plate cleaning operation which needs to be done routinely to prevent ink from borderless output which in turn misses the paper from marking the reverse of your prints. It is specially crucial should you go from, say, borderless A4 printing up to larger A3 printing; you might get ink marks on the reverse of your prints if this is not completed sometimes.
When it comes to output, using Canon Photo Paper Pro along with the printers Super Fine print setting, a borderless A4 picture print requires approximately 10-minutes. Change to borderless A3 and yes it (almost) doubles.
However, the wait merits it. Given it’s a four ink cartridge printer and quite a few photo printers these days now utilize light inks for example light magenta and cyan, or perhaps utilize extra, colour-gamut broadening inks for example red or purple or extra blacks, the iX4000 creates superb high quality photo prints.
Detail is excellent and subtlety of tones in skin, highlights, and shadows is well rendered. Overall, it’s a flexible well-rounded package which will be at home printing graphics and text for “office” style tasks or printing high quality photographs.