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The iP1800 just ships with a few items, including the two ink cartridges, power cord, user’s manual, installation CD, and the Easy Setup Instructions.

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Setup (6.75)

With so few items included with the printer, unpacking takes no time at all. Including taking the packing tape off the printer and installing the ink cartridges, physical setup was just six minutes. Software installation took just over that amount of time, at seven minutes, for a total setup time of thirteen minutes.

Manual/Quick Start Guide (7.00)

The EasySetup Instructions are standard Canon fare—a nice, large sheet with simple instructions and explanatory drawings. The manual, called the Quick Start Guide, is an English-only guide (in keeping with Canon's policy of including instructions in the language of the purchasing country) with the basic information you need to get going. The more detailed and useful On-Screen Manual will help users with the questions that go beyond the printed guide.

Drivers and Administration (8.00)

Canon uses a common driver system for all of its inkjet printers. This is a very helpful resource, with many more options than are typically available from most other manufacturers. The design makes the controls very easy to navigate. The driver is divided into five tabs.

The Main tab provides users with the options to set the paper type and source, as well as make color adjustments with auto or manual settings. The manual option allows users to open an additional window where individual colors can be adjusted and color management can be set. Brightness and Contrast can also be adjusted here.

Driver_Main.jpg

Users can select the page size, orientation, and layout in the Page Setup tab. A checkbox for duplex printing allows the user to print on both sides of a page. However, this is a manual process. The driver will prompt to user to flip the paper when the first page is complete, and it will indicate the correct orientation.

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The Effects tab gives users the option to manipulate the appearance of an image, including adding monochrome effects. This tool is much more advanced than the tools provided by other manufacturers. Four checkboxes allow users to quickly set the monochrome effect for often used colors. A slider bar is available for more nuanced choices. Most of the other effects tools are simple on or off selections; these include Vivid Photo (punches up background colors while maintaining flesh tones), Image Optimizer (smoothes out pixellated images), Photo Optimizer PRO (corrects color shifts and exposure problems), and Photo Noise Reduction (reduces digital noise).

Driver_Effects.jpg

Users can save settings they’ve made as a profile to be used later for similar images or documents, just by clicking on the Add to Profiles tab. This keeps a library of profiles that users can choose, including the default setting that came with the driver.

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Various cleaning and maintenance functions can be accessed via the Maintenance tab. Test prints can be run, quiet mode (slower printing) can be selected, power can be turned off remotely, and ink cartridges are selectable for printing.

Driver_Maintenance.jpg

Software (8.00)

The Pixma iP1800 installation CD comes with two very helpful software programs. Easy-PhotoPrint provides users with a simple, three-step process for printing images. Tab 1 is a file viewer which allows users to select images. Some image editing can be applied here by clicking on the Correct/Enhance button, including Red-Eye Correction, Face Brightener, and Face Sharpener.

Easy-PhotoPrint_1.jpg
Easy-PhotoPrint_Correct.jpg

Tab 2 gives the paper size and type options, with a couple of quick fixes in the form of checkboxes, namely Vivid Photo and Photo Noise Reduction, that are also seen in the printer driver.

Easy-PhotoPrint_2.jpg

Tab 3 provides the layout selections, and it also allows the user to perform some trimming, if needed. Most importantly, this is where users select print.

Easy-PhotoPrint_3.jpg

Easy-Layout Print allows users to create Albums, Calendars, Stickers, and easily set layouts for multiple prints on a page. Each task is a four-step process, with page setup, image selection, editing, and print settings. Layout options give the user templates to use for album and calendar pages, but fortunately there are also single color options since many of the templates are a bit too cutesy. All in all, this is an easy-to-use program with tasks people will use and options that make sense.

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Easy-LayoutPrint_Page_setup.jpg
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General Performance

Warm-up (5.14)

The iP1800 comes up to ready status in 22 seconds, which is a tad better than the other single-function inkjets we’ve tested, the Canon Pixma Pro9000 and the Epson Stylus Pro 2400. This is also certainly a respectable warm-up time for a low-end inkjet.

Power Usage (11.69)

The iP1800 performed amazingly in our power usage tests, maintaining ready status while using only one watt of power. Printing used only 6 watts, a feat not matched by any other printer tested. The Pro9000 used 13 watts and the Epson R2400 used 15 watts while printing. Both printers also burned more power when sitting idle, around 3 to 4 watts. This highlights the huge gulf in power consumption between inkjets and lasers or even dye sublimation printers, for that matter. Laser printers can consume 20 to 30 watts while just sitting idle. Dye subs are similarly conservative to inkjets when idle, but really suck up the juice when printing, using around 50 watts on average.

Document Speed/Timing (3.22)

We separate out document printing speeds from photo speeds because there is usually such a large gulf between the two times in our tests. We haven't yet tested any comparable printers in price to the iP1800, so in the chart below, we've listed this printer alongside three all-in-one photo inkjets (Canon MP600, HP C5180, and Kodak EasyShare 5300) and two pro photo printers (Epson R2400 and Canon Pro9000). We also threw a laser printer in there (HP 3600) to give a frame of reference.

The iP1800 was a little faster than the pro photo printers when printing black text documents, but much slower when printing color graphics. All of these times were exceeded by the all-in-one inkjets, especially the HP model. The laser printer put them all to shame, but high speeds are the nature of laser printers. For a low-end inkjet, the iP1800 had respectable document times, despite its low score in this category.

Document Quality

Text (4.50)

Text clarity was decent, but not as good as most other printers tested, notably the all-in-one inkjets and especially the lasers, which are know for printing crisp text.

Below in the center image you'll see a sample character printed with the iP800. When compared to the Lexmark X342n (on the right), a monochrome laser, it's clear that the edges of the iP1800's text is relatively soft, not crisp like the laser output. Another inkjet, the HP C5180 (on the left), an all-in-one photo printer, displays similar edge softness but less rich black than the iP1800. The iP1800's text quality was acceptable, but not something to be used for high-volume document output where clarity is critical. That said, that's not what this printer was made for. It's made for printing photos at home, and it can also print documents. For that use, it is serviceable.
Photo Speed/Timing (2.06)

The Canon iP1800 scored very low in our photo print speed tests. Inkjet photo printers are generally among the slowest of any class of printers. Of the three that we've tested, the iP1800 was the slowest, printing an average of one-third of a page per minute. The slower performance makes sense for a low-end printer, but this was well below all of the Canon printers that have been tested in our labs for 4" x 6" print scores. Larger sizes, such as 8.5" x 11" prints, printed even slower, taking about 5 minutes each.

We perform our speed tests using the highest quality setting, which is generally different than manufacturers' methods.

Color Accuracy (2.18)

The Pixma iP800 scored very low on our color accuracy test. This was disappointing for a Canon inkjet, but in the end, not surprising for a low-budget, two-cartridge, inkjet printer. Its delta E mean color error was quite high, at 9.86. Both Canon inkjet printers tested, the Canon Pixma MP600 all-in-one and the Canon Pixma Pro9000, yielded lower error values.

Color error is a measure of how far the printer’s representation of the color patches in the Gretag Macbeth Colorchecker chart strayed from the original values used to create the chart. The chart is a digital version which is then printed with the test printer, in this case, the iP800. We then calculate the average color error from all of the error from the sixteen color patches. A sample version (*not *one printed with the iP800) is shown below for reference.

Generally speaking, blues and greens had the most error, but skin tone color error values were high, too. Most colors were consistently lighter, or less saturated than the original chart.

Color Gamut (4.75)

Color gamut refers to the range of colors that a printer is capable of reproducing. We derived our scores for this test from a comparison with a known color space, Adobe RGB, which contains 1,225,088 colors. The number of colors our test printer reproduces is converted into a percentage of the Adobe RGB space. Most printers come within the 40th and 50th percentiles, and a printer achieving upwards of 70 percent is excellent, seen only in high-end photo printers.

The stock Canon printer profile for the iP1800 achieved a respectable score, representing 55 percent of the Adobe RGB space, a total of 676,268 colors. Aside from the high-end photo printers we've tested, namely the Epson R2400 and Canon Pro9500, this percentage was among the highest of the other printers to come thorough our labs. Most of the other Canon printers, aside from the compact dye sublimation models, scored in this range. The chart below displays the iP1800 profile as a three-dimensional color field within the Adobe RGB wire frame. The colors notably missing are the blues and greens along the edge of the frame. Although this was a very good gamut score, the poor color accuracy score means these colors might not be reproduced faithfully.

Gamut_map.jpg

Dmax (3.57)

A good judge of both the ink quality and a printer's ability to print a wide tonal range is the density of the blackest tone in a print. This value is known as dmax and is measured using a spectrophotometer, like the EyeOne Pro model from Gretag Macbeth that we use in our tests. The maximum value a printer can achieve is 2.50, and most high-end photo printers can typically achieve between 2.25 and 2.30.

Frankly, the iP1800 produced a very disappointing black, only registering a density of 1.78. This was achieved using the custom profile for Canon Photo Paper Pro Semi-gloss that we created in the lab using the Gretag Macbeth EyeOne Match software. The standard profile that Canon includes with the drivers produced a nearly identical value, at 1.77.

Black and White / Monochrome (4.00)

Our black and white test image printed with the iP1800 prominently revealed the weak black tones. Overall, the print was acceptable, but it was clearly deficient when placed alongside the original or a print from a better quality printer. Highlights and light tones had decent definition. Contrast was good, but shadows were blocked.
Tour

Front

The Canon Pixma iP1800 is the little black box of single-function photo printers The front of the printer is a simple black rectangle of the same shiny black plastic as the rest of the unit. Attached to the top, the front is also the door to access the paper path and ink cartridges. The most prominent, by virtue of being the only, feature on the front is the Canon logo dead center. The side edges of the printer's front are stylish curved and constructed of a matte-finish black plastic. The base of the printer, also made of matte black plastic can be seen below the main chassis, with the output roller along the middle. This empties the printed paper out onto the tabletop. There is no output paper tray, which I'm sure is a cost-saving measure on Canon's part, but it's still pretty cheap.

Below the output roller, in the middle of the bottom of the printer, lies the paper thickness lever—a dark gray, thumb-operated switch used to widen the paper path for thicker stock, such as envelopes and t-shirt transfers.

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Back

The only connection on the black, plastic back of the iP18000 is the port for the power cord, inset just to the right of center.

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Left Side

Mostly featureless, the left side is primarily the same black shiny plastic as the rest of the printer, with the plainer black base below. The back of the printer, constructed of the same matte, black plastic as the bottom, can also be seen. This contains the input paper path. The USB B port is embedded into this back portion. The hinges for the front door are connected to the back and can be seen from this side at the top of the printer.

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Right Side

The right side is a mirror image of the left, without any functional features.

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Top

The iP1800's rectangular top is softened by the rounded corners. The Pixma iP1800 logo sits in the center toward the front. The input paper tray door, when closed, is inset into the top so it lies flush with the rest of the top. Canon has made this just a bit smaller than the inset space, leaving a narrow slot along the front of the door to act as a finger-hold for raising the door into its upright position. When open, the tray serves as the back support for letter-sized paper. To the left of the door lie the printer’s only controls, the Power button and the Resume/Cancel button. LED lights inset into the buttons indicate the status of the control.

iP1800_Top.jpg

Interior

The guts of the Pixma iP1800 can be viewed from two locations. The input paper path is a trough at the top beneath the tray door. The paper guide can be slid along the back to the proper paper size.

iP1800_Interior.jpg

The iP1800's front / top opens to reveal the rollers, paper path, ink cartridge cradle on the right, and the access position on the far left where the cartridges report to when summoned by opening the door (with the power on).

Components

Display (0)

The Pixma iP1800, like many other single-function, photo inkjet printers, low- and high-end alike, do not feature displays.

Paper Trays (5.00)

The input paper tray for the iP1800 is accessed by opening the door / tray in the top of the printer. The door serves as the back support for taller paper. The paper thickness lever below the output roller needs to be adjusted depending on paper thickness. Most papers require that it be kept in the left position. For Canon papers, the only media that require the lever to be in the right position are envelopes and t-shirt transfers. Canon recommends switching the lever to the right (wider) position if the edges of prints come out smudged. (Higher end printers make this adjustment automatically.)

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Power Supply

The AC adapter is connected to the bottom of the printer, into which plugs the separate power cord.

Battery (0)

Although its very light in weight, the iP1800 is not meant to be an on-the-go printer, so there is no optional battery for travel purposes, like with some compact photo printers.

CD Burner (0)

Users won’t be able to save images to CDs with this printer. This is a function only found on a few compact printers at this time.

Internal Memory (5.00)

The iP1800 has just 96 kb or RAM onboard, enough to store enough information to get the job done.

Multi-Tasking (2.00)

Print jobs can be queued, but a single-function printer, as the group name implies, performs only one function.

Hard Drive (0)

Not that such a low-end printer would have one, but most photo printers seem to lack this, short of a few standouts, such as some HP models. A few compact printers from Lexmark also have them.

Accessories (5.00)

The only accessories offered for this basic printer are ink and paper, in various sizes, types, and combinations. Two sizes of ink cartridges are available for the iP1800. The PG-30 pigment black cartridge sells for $15.99, while the tri-color CL-31 cartridge sells for $19.99. The larger sizes, the PG-40 and CL-41 cartridges, sell for $19.99 and $24.99, respectively.

A combo pack with the two larger cartridges and 50-sheet package of 4" x 6" paper costs $44.99, so it’s like getting the paper for free. A 50-sheet package of 4" x 8" greeting cards (PR-101; $14.99) and a 100-sheet package of credit-card-sized photo paper (GP-401; $8.49) can also be purchased. Other products available include photo stickers, album pages (double-sided) and various surfaces of 4-by-6-inch, 5-by-7-inch, and 8.5-by-11-inch paper.
Controls / Buttons/Dials (5.00)

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Keeping with the simple design of the iP1800, the number of buttons on the printer is minimal, and they are simple to operate. The only two buttons, the Power button and the Resume/Cancel button, sit to the upper left of the printer top, alongside the left side of the input paper tray door. This is somewhat problematic, as the adjustment for the paper guide, the gray sliding tab that the user sets to the paper size, sits just on the inside of the paper path when set for letter-sized paper. We found that adjusting this to or from this position can cause the fingers of the left hand to inadvertently press one of the buttons. If printing is in progress, this can cancel the print. The buttons would be better situated at the upper right side of the top.

In the center of each of the buttons sits a small LED indicator light. The light set within the Power button is solid green when the power is on and flashing green when the iP1800 is preparing to print or in the process of printing. When the orange Alarm lamp is flashing, it indicates that an error has occurred, and Canon provides a list of errors in the User Manual, for which the lamp flashes a corresponding number of times. This is a decent system for a simple printer, yet waiting to count the difference between 14, 15, or 16 flashes could get old quickly.

Menus (0)

No display, no menus. Setup and editing selections are conducted through the printer driver, included software, or third-party software.

Size / Footprint (5.05)

The Pixma iP1800 measures 17.4 inches wide by 10.25 inches high by 10.5 inches deep, with the input tray opened and accounting for the length of a letter-sized sheet exiting the printer, despite the lack of an output tray. The printer's feather-light weight of only 7.3 pounds makes it seem as if a stiff wind would blow it off the table. On the scale of printers tested, including small compact and large pro photo printers, bulky all-in-ones, multi-functions, and lasers, the iP1800 received a midland score.
Configuration (5.00)

Two ink cartridges serve the Canon Pixma iP1800. A pigment black ink cartridge, which contains 320 nozzles, prints documents. Canon claims that this results in crisper text that is more resistant to fading. The color cartridge is composed of four inks—dye-based cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Each color, minus the black, has 384 nozzles each, for a total of 1,152 nozzles. These inks are used by the printer specifically for printing photos. The cartridges are simple to install and replace.

iP1800_cartridges.jpg

Value (6.00)

Canon inks generally have good value over the competition. Text and graphics page yields from the smaller PG30 and CL31 cartridges are calculated by Canon at 220 pages for the black cartridge and 205 pages for the color. The page yield for 4-by-6-inch color photos reaches 1,390 photos from the black cartridge and 82 photos from the color cartridge. (The black cartridge number is so high because the color cartridge has a dedicated black for printing photos. The pigment is not usually used for photos.) Consumers can also use the larger PG40 and CL41 cartridges with page yields of 355 pages and 308 pages, respectively, for documents, and 2,165 photos and 120 photos, respectively, for color photos.

Ink Management (7.00)

Canon gives the user plenty of warning when the ink is getting low on the iP1800. The low ink warning occurs when the user prints. A dialog box is displayed that shows printer status, and if the ink is low, the notice shown below will appear.

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Clicking on Ink Status brings up two windows, one which tells you which cartridge is empty or low and another that shows all the cartridges the printer uses.
Print Quality Settings (7.00)

Quality settings for the iP1800 are accessed through the printer driver. Users can select High, Standard, Fast, or Custom. Custom allows users to set the Halftone printing method. The printer is set to Auto and assigns the method based on the print quality and paper selections. Users can override this in the Custom Quality window. Dither is best used for printing graphics, while Diffusion is best for photos.

Driver_Main.jpg

Internal Editing (7.00)

All editing is done through the printer driver or third party software applications. The selections are useful, especially for those users who may not have photo editing software. Users have a range of choices including color adjustments, as well as settings for brightness and contrast. These are accessed through the Main tab of the driver window under "Manual" in the Color/Intensity section.

Several other image correction or enhancement tools can be found on the Effects tab. Simulate Illustration gives the photo an overall cartoon-like look. It bumps up the contrast and makes the colors more vivid. Image Optimizer smoothes out jagged edges formed by digital cropping. Photo Optimizer PRO sets automatic adjustments for exposure. Photo Noise Reduction corrects for digital image artifacts, such as streaks in skies and highlight halos.

All of these selections can be previewed within this tab, but only on a stock image of a child. A live preview of the image being printed would be preferable.

Driver_Effects.jpg

Dedicated B&W Settings / Effects (7.00)

Grayscale printing can be selected in the printer driver’s Main tab. Monochrome effects are selected on the Effects page. Monochrome options allow users to adjust their photo to a single color, such as sepia, green, blue, or pink as standard options. The custom option activates a slider tool which allows more fine tuning of the color selection.

Media Types (8.00)

Canon offers a wide variety of media for the iP1800. For documents, any plain inkjet or multi-purpose paper will do. Choices for photos are vast, including the commonly used glossy paper in various sizes (only up to 8.5-by-11-inch for the iP1800), high resolution paper, 4-by-8-inch greeting cards, credit-card-sized paper, photo stickers, and double-sided album pages.

Users can also use non-Canon photo paper. Other Photo Paper is the media type choice to select in the driver, but users should experiment with the other settings. Creating customized profiles for other papers is an option, but probably not something users of this printer would be interested in.
Formats / Compatibility (0)

As one of Canon's low-end printers, the iP1800 can not be connected to any cameras, so PictBridge or other direct print formats are not usable.

Media Slots (0)

The iP1800 features no media slots, so all printing has to be conducted with the computer connection. For a printer billing itself as a photo printer, it's shameful that there are no media card slots or direct print options, even at this price. Users have to upgrade to the iP330 for $79.99 to get a direct print port; media cards don't become an option until you reach the $99.99 mark, with the iP6310D. HP's lowest cost photo printer, the Photosmart D5160 at $89.99, does feature media card slots and a direct print port.

Wireless Interface (0)

Wireless connection to cell phones or other mobile devices is not possible with the iP1800. Stepping up a model or two in the Canon roster, to the Pixma iP6310D, or up and over to the HP Photosmart D5160, will get the consumer this feature with the purchase of additional hardware—a Bluetooth adapter.

Network (0)

No networking options are available with this stripped-down printer. This is on par with other printers in this price class. In this price range, only the Lexmark Z845 offers Ethernet connectivity as an option.
Ease of Use (7.50)

With such a simple printer, the iP1800 had better not be difficult to use. Fortunately, it utilizes Canon’s very user-friendly printer driver and software programs. Only two buttons on the printer make operation simple. However, their placement on the unit’s top alongside the paper guide caused us to inadvertently turn the printer off while adjusting the guide size. Also, if there's a problem, the user has to decipher the multiple flashes from the lamps embedded in the button. Not a big deal, but, as I mentioned, counting 15 flashes is tedious.

iP1800_vanity_open.jpg

Although this $50 printer does not have a cartridge for each color and the high quality output that can attend that configuration, having only two cartridges certainly makes replacement easier. The Paper Thickness Lever is a feature that only purchasers of this lower-end model need to contend with. Adjusting for paper thickness is a function performed automatically by more expensive printers. It's not a difficult task at all, but one more thing for users to think about if they’re using multiple paper surfaces.

Value (7.00)

If consumers are on a tight enough budget that anything over $50 is undoable, then the Pixma iP1800 is a pretty good option. It provides decent Canon image quality, but it won’t win any prizes for quality or speed. The supporting drivers and software, which is the same as for most other Canon inkjets, makes it a more useful tool than it would be with a stripped down version, especially for users without any editing software of their own. Ink cartridges are comparably priced to the competition.

Comparisons

Other Canon Printers

As Canon's most inexpensive photo printer, the Pixma iP1800 only has the most basic features. Consumers wanting to stick with Canon products and interested in camera and media card compatibility will have to shell out a few more bucks for those features.

The Canon Pixma iP3300 retails for $79.99 and adds direct printing from PictBridge cameras for the extra $30. The only other improvement is a dedicated output tray.

iP6310D.jpg

For $99.99, the Canon Pixma iP6310D features both a direct print port and media card slots. It also features an input and an output tray, additional improvements over the iP1800. A 2-line LCD screen displays basic printer info. An optional Bluetooth adapter allows wireless printing. Like the iP1800, the iP6310D also uses a two-cartridge, ChromaLife 100 ink system, but this printer uses six inks, as opposed to four inks with the iP1800. The additional inks are a Photo Cyan and a Photo Magenta.

Comparable HP Models

HP_D2360.jpg

The HP Deskjet D2360 printer is not considered a photo printer, but it does have optional photo cartridges available. Like the Canon Pixma iP1800, the D2360 retails for $49.99, and doesn't have memory card or direct print support. It weighs a little less, at 5.5 pounds as opposed to the iP1800's 7.3 lbs., and it doesn't feature HP's usual combination input/output paper tray.

HP_D5160.jpg

The HP Photosmart D5160 retails for $89.99 and includes memory card slots and direct printing from compatible cameras. This unit is billed as a photo printer and features an automated, dedicated photo tray. It also has a one-line LCD display. Two cartridges are standard, but the color cartridge can be switched with a greater capacity photo cartridge and a separate gray for improved photo quality. It can also print on CDs and DVDs. All this comes with an additional 4.5 pounds, bringing its weight up to 11.8 pounds.

Comparable Epson Models

Epson_StylusPhoto_R260.jpg

The Epson Stylus Photo R260 sells for $89.99 and features a Claria dye-based, six-ink system with independent cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan, and light magenta). This has the benefit of only having to replace the color that's depleted. With a multi-color cartridge, one color may run out while the other colors are still usable. The Epson R260, unlike the Canon iP1800, has direct print compatibility, and it can print on CDs/DVDs. The unit also meets Energy Star standards for power usage.

Epson_C88.jpg

The Epson Stylus C88+ sells for $79.99, and it's billed more as a document printer that can also print photos. It uses DURABrite Ultra pigment inks in four individual cartridges. The printer also comes bundled with software for creating calendars, books, etc., like the Pixma iP1800. It features a parallel port in addition to the now-standard USB port, and users can also purchase optional equipment for network connectivity.

Other Companies*Lexmark makes several very inexpensive inkjet printers that are not considered photo printers, but users do have the option of purchasing expanded color cartridges for printing photos. The $50 model, the Lexmark Z845, has one advantage over the Canon iP1800—optional Ethernet connectivity.
The Canon Pixma iP1800 is Canon's least expensive photo inkjet printer, with two ink cartridges. Its simple design, small size, light weight, and easy operation will make it an appealing printer for those who just want something to print snapshots or the occasional enlargement at home.

The iP1800 is simple to setup and operate. The attendant drivers and software programs are the same ones that come bundled with other Canon inkjets, so the budget minded will get some decent software for their money. The Easy-PhotoPrint program makes printing a snap, and the Easy-PhotoLayout program is an easy-to-follow 4 step program for creating calendars, albums, and other materials. Also, the drivers give ample warning when ink is running low. The software section of the Setup / Drivers and Software page gives details on the driver's and software's functions and options, while the Print Settings / Options page gives specific details about editing operations possible with the drivers.

One benefit of a stripped down model is that power usage is quite low; in fact, it's the lowest of any printer we've tested.

Print speeds on the iP1800 were not world class by and means, but you won't be waiting all day either. We expected better quality results, but, while the color gamut of the printer is quite good (testament to the standard profiles for Canon's papers more than the printer), color accuracy—how closely the printer matched standard colors—and dmax, the density of the deepest black, both scored low. The testing sections on the Photo Performance page provide details on the iP1800's scores.

Functionally an easy printer to operate, the Pixma iP1800 has no confusing buttons or displays to distract the user, but this also means that printing can only occur via computer. There are no memory card slots or direct print connections to be had. There are two buttons on the printer, the Power button and the Resume/Cancel button. Their position on the printer is questionable, as manipulating the paper guide within the input tray can inadvertently cause the user’s hand to hit the power button, turning the printer off, sometimes in the middle of a print job.

Users can hardly go wrong with a $50 photo printer from Canon, despite the print quality drawbacks we've highlighted. The decent quality, good software and driver interface, and simple operation should make it appealing for the budget conscious. The relatively cheap unit price does not mean cheap consumables, but the ink cartridges and paper are on par with other manufacturers. That said, for a few dollars more (okay, more like $30 or $40), a lot more options open up while keeping the base printer cost under $100. Consumers can get better connectivity—direct print, media card slots, sometimes optional wireless—and in some cases, a greater number of colors and separate ink cartridges. Check out the Comparisons section on the Overall Impressions / Ease of Use page for details.

As with everything in this world, what you get all depends on how much you want to spend.

Specs/Ratings****

Meet the tester

Tom Warhol

Tom Warhol

Editor

Tom Warhol is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

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We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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