Customer Reviews: Canon PIXMA iP1600 Photo Printer (White)
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on October 4, 2005
My reason for buying this was simple. I'd tried bargain inks for my old HP printer and they messed it up. I decided if I could get a new printer for cheaper than two brand-name HP ink cartridges, I would do it, and upgrade my home printing operation altogether.

This Canon is a budget model that sacrifices a few features: there's no serial port, no photo monitor or way to connect your camera without a computer. There's also no paper tray. The paper stacks up in the back and shoots out the front, upside down, onto the table or desk itself.

That said, the paper feed slot is adaptable to legal-size paper and smaller, and even (it swears) to t-shirt thickness surfaces. The pages shoot out fairly quickly, and the ink wells are easily accessible for refill. Initial ink sets are included with the box, in both color and B&W.

I was able to carry this item home by hand with the handles on the box, and had it up and running (with the inclosed install disk) in no time at all. My text pages are legible again, and the photos (if you use the right paper) look as good as having them printed at a shop. While not the cheapest Canon inks, the 40 and 41 cartridges are cheaper than HP's comparable items.

I also really appreciate the computer toolbox for the printer; it has clear features that let you know when ink is low, and how to adjust the controls for differing projects, head cleaning, ink alignment, etc. For $49, this was a very good bargain.
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on September 15, 2005
This is a speedy little printer. I could prints sheets of wallet size photos in minutes verses hours with old HP. This printer is so new to the market that ink refills are only available online (9/05). This is bad because this printer also eats ink. The color cartridge lasted about 128 (2x3) photos (30 pages of 8 photos each) In 3 weeks, I've used 4 cartridges at $20@. Best to look at the more efficient Canon printers.
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on December 31, 2005
This is NOT a fancy printer.

There's no tray for catching paper at the front.

There's no card slots, no camera-to-USB interface, no cute l'il monitor, no fancy wheels, no on-screen menu.

No whistles, no bells.

What it is is the guts of evey other Canon Pixma in a pared-down chassis.

That means amazing color printing, absolutely GORGEOUS.

It means software that'll walk you through duplex (two-sided) printing.

That means easy installation.

You get prints as good as a more expensive Pixma printer, but for about $50.

If you want great color and great printing at a bare-bones price, this is an awesome little printer.
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on July 31, 2006
Although this budget printer prints well enough, I can not recommend it, primarily because it lacks cross-platform compatiblity. We have a Linux/Mac home network (No Windows!) and this printer does not play nice with either OS. I can not get it to work at all under Linux, and with the MacBook, much of the advanced functionality is crippled (grey-out in the menus). I expect much more in the way of cross-platform support, especially from a major vendor like Canon. If I had known in advance, I would not have purchased.

Add to this the fact that a set of ink refills cost $45. Does Canon really expect people to spend $45 on refills for a $50 printer?

Go with Espon. They have much better support for other OS's.
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on January 30, 2007
When it was time to buy a new printer, I used to buy a bit higher quality than I really needed - and then I never used those extra features, I didn't make color pics nearly as often as I imagined I would, and b&w text didn't look any better just cause I spent an extra two hundred bucks on the printer.

So when I went to buy a few months ago, money was tight and I figured I'd try out my new theory. I purchased the very cheapest printer I could find: the Pixma ip1600. Yes it goes through ink quickly, but since the ink is cheaper than some other brands I didn't worry about it. What has bothered me is the relatively poor quality of the printer itself. Paper feed is clumsy - sometimes it takes a couple of minutes to grab a sheet, or it grabs more than one, or feeds it through crooked. The finised printed sheet exits from the bottom front of the printer. If there is the *slightest* resistance against the exiting paper (eg. you take hold of the paper as it is going through) the print quality is flawed. I've had pages ruined simply because the top edge of the paper hit the desk, rather than sliding smoothly over it. I'm a college professor, so my students don't complain if my exams have a stripe at the top, or what-not, but I can imagine the frustration trying to use this printer for an important proposal where perfection mattered.

So I think I went too far the other way. This is a printer that is too cheap even for my simple needs.
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on June 20, 2006
I have used it for over 4 months. It's an inexpensive unit, but it serves well. I have not experience any problem thus far. The printing quality is pretty good either on plain or photo papers in b/w or color.

At this price I'm happy with it.
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on September 14, 2006
I bought this printer because I wanted high quality photo printing and I didn't need any of the bells and whistles that come with more expensive printers. It's a Canon, so I figured I could count on the photo quality. I was terribly disappointed though. I generally buy Staples brand photo paper for general photo printing, and it always worked fine with my Epson printer. But my first prints on this printer looked dull and muddy -- like I was looking at the images though a mild but annoying grey/brown haze. So I went out and bought Canon paper instead. The quality was somewhat improved, but still not what I had expected. So yes, I got a printer for under $30, but now to get even passably OK prints, I need to spend a fortune on Canon brand inks and paper. Not much of a bargain.
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on March 19, 2006
My Epson printer stopped working and I promptly placed it in the trash. I struggled for years with clogged print heads on that thing, so I was actually glad to shop for a new (non-Epson) printer.

I read through many reviews here on Amazon and was surprised at the number of Canon printers with positive reviews. I debated between the MP500 and this printer, the PIXMA iP1600. However, I was skeptical of the print quaility. Can such a low-priced printer deliver sharp pictures and text? I didn't believe it, so I went to my local electronics store and asked for some sample prints. The "high quality" black text print on regular paper was so sharp it looked like a laser printed document. A photo printed on glossy photo paper looked remarkable as well. The colors were beautiful and the pixellation was minimal. I picked one up right away (because I'm usually not home to receive UPS shipments), but the price on Amazon was about $6 less.

I decided against a multi-function machine because I'm an "occasional printer". I have a fax machine and copier at work. I use my printer about twice a week, mainly printing on-line directions, a few pages from e-mails, word documents, photoshop sketches, and address labels.

Cost of the refills was an issue as well. To me, it doesn't make sense to buy a printer for $50, then to pay more than that for the refills. I plan on buying a DIY refill kit, since generic refill cartridges are not available for this printer yet. From my on-line research, the DIY kits which contain ink specifically formulated for this printer are about $15 and contain enough for many refills. They come with a simple hand-powered device that you use to drill a little hole on the top of the cartridge. Then, you use a syringe to squirt the ink inside and seal the hole with a piece of tape. Doesn't sound too difficult. =)

Set-up was also very easy. The directions are straight-forward and worked perfectly on my Windows XP system. I had the whole thing running in about 15 minutes. I performed some test runs and the regular printing speed was fairly quick. The high quality print speed was much slower, but the text was crisper. Also, as other people mentioned, the color balance does tend to run toward yellow/magenta. You can actually correct for this right before you print in the printer utility. The noise level isn't bad either and it usually sits quietly when not printing.

I'm very satisfied with my purchase, considering that it was only $50, it provides great "bang for the buck".
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on August 1, 2006
I've had the Canon Pixma iP1600 Photo Printer for 3 months and have had no problems printing 5-10 pages (on average) daily of mixed color and black and white content. I can't recall of it ever jamming, either, even when printing muti-page documents.

This is a decent, basic printer that's economical to operate but only if you refill the ink cartridges (there are no generic cartridges available yet). Be sure to buy refill ink that's designed for this printer - don't use universal refill kits. Google to find instructions that include a diagram showing where the filling hole locations need to be made. I've refilled the original ink tanks twice and am very pleased with the results. You may also be fortunate to live near an ink filling station, which is another money saving option.

The print quality and speed are surprising for such an inexpensive 4 color printer. I also have a more expensive 6 color Canon S800 Photo Printer and the photo output quality of the iP1600 nearly rivals it!

I had no set-up/installation problems connecting it to a Windows XP PC. However, I only installed the printer driver because I already had a good image editor and saw no need to install the rest of the Canon software.

For under $30 shipped this has been a heck of a deal!
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on January 27, 2006
I've always owned fairly advanced photo printers ever since HP introduced their first PhotoSmart. But these days you can slap together a photo album on your computer and send it out to be perfect bound for a very reasonable price. Who wants to print individual photos and build old-fashioned albums when you have this available? I found that I sure didn't. I just need a printer to spit out maps and a few contact sheets or 4x6 prints a month.

Don't let the price fool you. The output looks great. It's a little slow and loud compared to an expensive printer but it seems solid enough. Also, keep in mind that there's no output tray. Bad if you are used to leaving things in that tray but great if you value your desk space like I do.

If you print a lot of photos you'll want to look at something else. Mainly for more speed. But if you're sending most of your photos out and just need something simple for your house this is a good choice.

Linux/Darwin users: It appears there are no CUPS or GIMP Print drivers for this printer. OSX uses a driver that only works over USB. EDIT: it's working over Bonjour just fine now.
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