Pros Fast initialization and printing, decent print quality, good looking, inexpensive
Cons VERY ink thirsty, fingerprint/dust magnet, no tray to store printouts
Summary This is a nice, inexpensive USB inkjet printer for both text and photos. It can even handle the duties of a small office printing flyers but because of its ink guzzling usage, SOHO use can get expensive. I recommend getting Ink Saver (inksaver.com) to cut back on ink usage without sacrificing quality. Overall I recommend it for home users but try to stay away from it if you consistently print over 100 pages a week.
Pros Good print quality, nice looks, east set up
Cons IT'S BIG - need lots of desk room, no output tray
Summary I purchased this printer to go with my new Vista PC and I like it a lot. It was a breeze to set up (even in Vista) and text looks really sharp on the prints. It is also very fast - black and white prints take less than a second and color is speedy too. Print quality looks realy good to me - I owuld not rely on it for photos but for normal printing needs it is more than ready.
Ink looks to be pretty affordable and is easy to install. You also get some bundled scrapbook and photo software - but I left it off my system.
The printer is large and needs a lot of desk space. It also has it own power button - which may be a good thing to some people - but I prefer a printer that is one when the PC is on and off when the PC is off. The lack of an output tray is not a big deal for me since I would not have the desk space for the printer if it were any larger.
Overall, I think under $50 is a good deal on a nice looking and nice featured printer. Set up is easy and prints look good - what more could you want for the money?
NOTE: Mine is the "special edition" one from Wal-Mart. I can find no difference in the product but there may be some minor changes from the model I use and the one reviewed by CNet.
Pros Very fast compared to my previous printer (an HP 3600), also more silent and has good print quality
Cons No paper output tray, shiny plastic will get scratched if you wipe it hard with tissue paper in an attempt to remove the dust it magically attracts (I speak from experience)!
Summary I really like this printer, I leave it on fast mode all the time and the quality is good enough for printing school assignments. It prints quickly, I've never had a paper jam, and when doing manual duplexing it hardly ever sucks up two papers at once (as compared to my previous printer, an HP 3600 that used to suck up two pages every time I duplex, thus ruining the entire document every time...). What I don't like is that it takes it a while to print the very first page right after you turn it on (it spends a lot of time cleaning and turning the rollers and I don't know what else), and I've noticed that if you're trying to print a document with both colour and black and white text, while in normal quality mode, it uses the colour cartridge for the entire page, so the black text comes out dark brown not black. Obviously this also wastes the colour cartridge unnecessarily. This problem is easily solved - if you switch the quality to "fast", it uses the black cartridge for black and the colour cartridge for colour (ironic, the document actually ends up looking better in "fast" mode than in "normal" mode because of this).
Pros Inexpensive, good software, decent quality photos
Cons No output tray, no direct camera support
Summary Inexpensive photo printers have come a LONG way from my old Epson Stylus 980. Much better quality, much improved pricing. Ink is still expensive particularly compared to the $43 I paid for the printer with cartridges at Wal*Mart.
A simple output tray would be nice so that output isn't simply shoved across the desk or onto the floor.
The included setup program made it easy to set head alignment for best output. And photo output on gloss photo paper is quite good to my untrained eyes. A friend said, looking at a photo I printed, "Thats from a printer???!!!!". A pretty good compliment for an inexpensive printer.
Printer status monitoring software works well except when I use the printer on my low-end print server. The printer works fine but monitoring apparently works only through one print server that Canon has approved. Canon tech support pointed at the print server maker and the print server tech support pointed at Canon's software. Sometimes you get what you pay for!
Direct camera support would be nice but see the last sentence in the paragraph above.
Pros Fast text printing, beautiful exterior, light weight
Cons The iP1700 is 2ppm faster, no scanner/copier
Summary I work computer sales, so I do have some sense of how this product measures up to other printers on the market today. The resolution, 1200 x 4800 dpi, is more or less standard for most photo printers. PPM (pages per minute) can range from 16ppm to 26ppm for black and white text for photo printers, to upwards of 35 ppm for office jets. Personally, I never print photos... my colored ink usually dries up before I get the chance to use it all, so I can't say much about that sort of thing. It's the same resolution as the iP1700 (which got good reviews on photo printing). I wouldn't say it would do a sad job, but for those serious about making nice-looking photo prints, I would go for something with six or more cartridges in general to get better color resolution. Also there are other similarly-priced models, like the Lexmark X1270, that include a scanner/copier which comes in handy sometimes, but then that would have made the product bigger and heavier- the size and light wieght is a plus for this model. There's really nothing exceptional about its performance, and with printers under $50, you can't expect a lot of features like PC-free printing, etc. But, all that aside, I really am a fan of its dimensions/appearance. Apart from the fact it gets fingerprints easy, the shiny black exterior is really attractive compared to the humdrum grey or white color most printers have. I also love how compact it is. The paper feeder folds down so it becomes a box shape. Its great for storage, and you can set stuff on top of it when you're not using it. It's also light wieght so you can easily take it with you places if you need to, and the fact it doest have a paper tray jutting out awkwardly gives you, again, better storage, and more desk space when youre not using it. Also, the paper feeds nicely -- not a huge paper capacity, but the paper stacks in on top, so its easy to put more in. All in all, its a really ideal purchase if you are a) just looking for "a printer" and nothing fancy, b) don't have a lot of room and want something you can store and/or uses as little desk space as possible or c) want a cheap printer that makes decent photos.