This inkjet group test wouldn't be complete without Canon's Pixma iP4700. The family has topped our A-List since the iP4500 nearly three years ago, and in the intervening time few printers have threatened to dethrone it.
Its unbeatable blend of speed, quality and value just gets better with each generation. It produces a top-quality 6 x 4in photo in just 46 seconds, and spits out documents at 8.8ppm in mono and 5.8ppm in colour. And those documents are nearly flawless, with thick black text, vibrant charts and beautifully detailed images. The only A4 inkjet to run it close is the HP Officejet Pro 8000, but in terms of colour accuracy there's no contest.
It manages all this thanks to a print engine comprising separate pigmented and dye-based black inks and three individual colours. Installation and replacement couldn't be simpler, and the relatively cheap tanks mean the Canon will cost you 13c for a colour page and 21c for a 6 x 4in photo. That isn't as cheap as the HP, but of the more home-focused printers it's the most frugal. With a low initial purchase price of just $123, the iP4700 is clearly a good deal.
It's built to a high standard, with a gloss black finish and both rear and internal paper trays holding 150 sheets each. It can print two-sided and directly on to CDs, and it's the only standalone device here to boast a direct-printing PictBridge port. It's reasonably quiet, too, as printers go, leaving few real reasons not to opt for it as the perfect printer for the home and it retains the spot on the A-List.