Canon Pixma iX7000 performance

November 12, 2009 by Jerry Jackson Reads (20,392)


Pixma iX7000 set up
Once you find a desk or room to store the massive iX7000, set up is pretty easy. Hook up your USB connection, install whatever combination of Canon’s supplied software and drivers suits your fancy, and you’re basically ready to print. In fact, installing the print head and five individually wrapped color ink tanks and one massive clear ink tank into place will probably take longer than installingg the printer drivers to get your PIXMA iX7000 working. Total time from cutting open the box to sending the first print? Assuming you’ve installed ink tanks before and don’t need to fumble around to find Canon’s quick-start guide, is less than ten minutes.

Ease of use
As a single-function inkjet, usability is pretty straightforward with the iX7000. After a quick driver install, we put our review unit to the test, sending test prints from several common applications – Photoshop, Microsoft Power Point, Adobe Lightroom, and even Microsoft Word. Not surprisingly, we had no problems getting the output, in terms of size and quality, we were looking for regardless of what application we chose.

The only two things we found “difficult” about the iX7000 were locating and downloading the business templates on Canon’s Creative Park website. Canon’s marketing materials for the PIXMA iX7000 talk about using the downloadable templates from Creative Park, but the Creative Park website is really focused on consumer crafts and projects, and it’s not easy to locate business templates on that website. The other minor annoyance we ran into with the iX7000 is the size of the front-loading paper tray. Yes, the iX7000 uses a huge auto-feeding paper cassette that holds up to 250 sheets of plain paper, but the front paper tray (the one you’re likely to use when making posters or signs for your business is limited to 10 sheets. If you need to print a bunch of 13″ x 19″ signs or posters then prepare to use the rear paper tray.

Speed and quality tests
One thing we’ve come to expect with wide-format printers is not to expect extremely fast print speeds. That said, the iX7000 is pretty slow. The printer spends well over a minute prepping the ink tanks and print head before printing a photo on the high quality setting, and thanks to the PgR technology which involves using clear ink in addition to regular ink, the iX7000 will pause between printing pages on standard paper (presumably to allow the ink to dry). Printing an 11×17 print on 13×19 paper using Photoshop CS3 at high quality, the iX7000 took more than 10 minutes from a “cold” startup and prepping the ink tanks to final output the color image on semi-gloss photo paper.

Text quality looks nearly as good as what you expect to find from low-cost laser printers, and image quality rivals cheaper wide-format photo printers. I will say that 11×17 and 13×19 photos look less detailed than what we see from printers like the Epson Stylus Photo R1900, but that’s likely because the Canon is limited to only 4800 x 1200 dpi (good for a standard office printer, but lower resolution than most wide-format photo printers). I also noticed that the iX7000 tends to print colors a little bit “cooler” (more blue) than what comes from Epson printers.

Ink Control Tests
Ink consumption was surprisingly modest considering that most wide format printers burn through ink like a 1978 Camaro burns through gasoline. In our tests, we exhaust (printing until the color runs out) a new set of cartridges; exhaustion meaning the printer will not print another “quality” document without a replacement.  We print at a ratio of three 8.5×11 inch pages of black and white text to one full page of color.  We decided on the 3:1 ratio because we felt that the average user is printing more text than color.

At the ratio of 3:1 in Canon’s Standard Printing mode, the PIXMA iX7000 printed 477 pages before the magenta ink cartridge expired (ran out of ink)!  The printer software does give several warnings before the cartridge expires completely. Since the iX7000 is intended for business use and creating attractive presentations, I also decided to perform a “worst case scenario” test on the iX7000. I put another set of fresh ink tanks into the printer and decided to print a 53-page PowerPoint document that contained a mostly black background … exactly the type of document you don’t want to print if you’re concerned about ink. I successfully printed 3 and 2/3 documents (199 pages) before the black ink expired and print quality was visibly reduced. Again, this isn’t something you’d want to do in the business world, but if you need to print some colorful handouts for a client presentation it’s nice to know this printer can handle it.



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