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More great stuff from Canon
on September 8, 2011
I should qualify this by saying up front that I like Canon products. I have a Canon S5is camera and a Canon 9000F scanner, both of which have served me marvelously. I also had a Canon ip4500 printer which I loved but which was reaching the end of it's life (on/off button not functioning properly among other things. But, hey, four years is pretty good these days.
The new Pixma ip4920 (and it's so new that I couldn't register it online because Canon hasn't listed it on the site)is nearly identical to the Pixma ip4820 except that now it includes built-in CD/DVD label printing. This was available on the ip4500 in Europe, but for some reason not in the U.S. I used to have an Epson that printed CD labels (remember to buy blank CD/DVD's that are inkjet printable) but it was incredible slow and always having problems. On the ip4920 this feature is a gem! Just click on the appropriate setting in Easy Photo Ex, design your label (or use a pre-formatted one), click print, open the door and insert the CD/DVD holder. Takes about a minute to print.
Also, like the ip4500 and the ip4820, this is a full-duplex printer. Just select Duplex and the printer does one side of the paper, then re-inserts it and prints the other. This function does take a bit more time, but it's sure easy and if you have a 20 page document, much less tiring than taking papers in and out.
Oh. You probably want to know about print quality. Really, really, good. No, make that great. I was already very happy with the print quality of my ip4500, but after printing a photo on the ip4920 without making any adjustments (you can make manual adjustments to the color balance and intensity) I compared with an old print from the ip4500 and was impressed with the richness and detail and on a Greyscale photo, the blacks seemed richer with much less of the unwanted magenta overcast of the old prints.
If you are worried about longevity, go to the Canon website and select "Accessories" when you bring up the ip4920. Canon offers a three year warranty for $50. On the other hand, if a new printer cost less than $100 and comes with $80 worth of ink, it might just be simpler to junk it when it starts to malfunction and get a new one.
Complaints? Yes. This printer uses Chromalife CLI-226 inks. The ip4500 used CLI-8 cartridges. The difference? CLI-2 cartridges are hold about 20% less ink. This is a bummer although it's possible that the ip4920 is more economical in it's use of ink. That said, smaller ink cartridges are becoming standard in all new printers and I otherwise love this thing. Hmmm? No, there are currently no generic refill cartridges available but I'm sure that by the tyime I run out of ink, someone will have them for sale.
ADDENDUM: I just looked and Amazon now lists a third-party ink supplier for CLI-226 cartridges if you are so inclined (i'll stay with the OEM stuff.)