Canon Pixma iP4600, our new A-list inkjet

Canon Pixma iP4600, our new A-list inkjet

A slight speed boost and a new curvaceous shape keep Canon on top of the inkjet pile.

Features & Design:
Value for money:
Price: $145
> Pricing info
Price 145
Printing method Inkjet
Max printing resolution 9600 x 2400dpi
The old Pixma iP4500 has been our A List inkjet of choice for more than a year now, but Canon has finally got round to giving it an upgrade.

But while it could be forgiven for just fine-tuning and churning it out, this is more of a full reworking than the minor changes of the MP630. The Pixma iP4600, in fact, blends the best bits from both its predecessor and the budget iP2600, while adding improved performance as well.

The boxy design of the iP4500 has been discarded in favour of the glossy black curves of the iP2600, albeit on a slightly larger scale. The rear flap opens out to comfortably hold 150 sheets, while there’s also a cassette in the base with the same capacity.

The front paper catcher is the usual design, with a secondary arm that folds out for A4 documents. You won’t find luxuries such as touchscreens or LCD panels here, just power and paper-feed buttons on the right-hand front, above a lone PictBridge port.

The iP4600 retains the same five-ink setup from its predecessor, albeit with slightly different part numbers for the cartridges – an all-new engine, perhaps?

We examined the output carefully to find out: you get the gloriously thick black text from the pigment-based tank without sacrificing the shadows and detail from your dye-based photos. Our test text document was crisp and exhibited no spidering, while draft-quality text – although thinner and more frayed – remained perfectly legible.

Colour documents were equally sharp, with just a slightly orangey-red to keep the iP4600 from top marks – something we didn’t find in the old iP4500. Solid areas of colour showed no unevenness, and boundaries between dark and light tones exhibited no bleeding at all.

Photos were just as impressive for the price. While not quite up to the standard of the old Canon Pixma MP610 all-in-one – still our favourite photo device – our test images showed plenty of detail, good colour blending and accurate tones.

And they come out at quite a rate, too. A 6 x 4in print took just 46 seconds to appear, a two-second improvement over the iP4500. Our A4 photomontage finished in 1min 33secs, seven seconds quicker than its predecessor.

Text showed no similar boost, coming at an identical 10ppm in standard mode, but colour documents emerged at a rate of 4.4ppm, up from the iP4500’s 3.9ppm.
So the printer itself is marginally quicker than the iP4500, but the flipside is that the price has risen a little, too.

At $145 it’s still a very affordable printer, although when you consider that the colour ink tanks are currently around $20 each, it suffers from a similar issue to the MP630 – it isn’t quite as stunningly cheap to run as its predecessor.

That aside, it’s an excellent device. The presence of an integrated duplexer and a CD/DVD printing tray is merely the cherry on top of the best affordable home inkjet available today.

This Review appeared in the February, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing

See more about:  canon  |  pixma  |  ip4600  |  printer  |  inkjet

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Comments: 2
16 January 2009
The inks for the MP610 (the 5 and 8's) are more expensive, around $25 each, so this new printer is better.

Also, the new inks are meant to make your photos last even longer than the old ones (up to 300 years, depending on what photo paper and how you store it).

Comment made about the PC Authority article:
Canon Pixma iP4600, our new A-list inkjet?
A slight speed boost and a new curvaceous shape keep Canon on top of the inkjet pile.

What do you think? Join the discussion.
18 January 2009
hey guys...i have been a canon repair technician in my career. [just to big note myself :)]

and ill say make quality equipment, but they are the biggest pain in the 'A' to disassemble and assemble! my knowledge is only up to mp830's, 780's 600's, 610's all except the new 'mx' range. i saw literally 100's of 830's and 780's.

i personally own an 830 and a 610. i refuse to use genuine ink due to the price.
i do this at my own risk though...after market inks can potentially damage the purge unit to the point it needs to be replaced.

i buy 'chipped' compatible inks off of ebay. biggest thing with aftermarket inks is that you do get streaks in prints. you can clean and deep clean as many times as u like, but the design of the Aftmark inks (im guessing) fails to allow the ink to flow freely to the print head. other possibility is that my print heads are dying slowly.

i read the review of the new IP4600 and it sounds like its the shiznit! print quality to rival the 610 and speeds that are on par. it prints dvd's and cd's to boot! priced at $145 its got the market cornered.

poor brother has nothing on canon as far as photo ink jet printers. the whole brother range is basically based on the same engine and whether u get top of the line or a $99 special the quality is flawed.

canon For The Win!!!
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