A great portable printing solution
For those in need of a quality portable printer, the PIXMA iP100 is an excellent solution. Replacing the Pixma iP90, the iP100 provides a significant improvement on its predecessor's speed and quality.
- Good print quality, fast speeds, decent consumable costs
- No media card slot, awkward battery pack, a little pricey
We would have liked some better connection options and the battery’s bulk may be annoying for some, but the iP100 is an excellent travel companion. The iP100 is a competitive option for meeting your portable printing needs.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
The initial outlay for the iP100 is less than for the HP Officejet H470b. However, the iP100's retail package doesn't have a battery, which means users will have to pay an extra $129 to make the printer truly portable. When you add in the cost of the battery and a Bluetooth adapter, the iP100 is ultimately more expensive.
At 2.25kg, the iP100 is about the same weight as a small laptop. It's also slightly smaller than the H470b, making it more portable overall. However, the iP100's battery pack adds some bulk to the printer. Rather than simply a simple clip for the battery, Canon has oddly designed the battery pack to screw in, making it less easy to swap than we would like. Battery life is rated at 290 sheets, which is significantly less than the H470b but reasonable enough for a day's worth of printing.
Just like the iP90, the iP100 has no media card slot. Nevertheless, its connectivity is still acceptable, with a standard USB connection, PictBridge port, infrared, and Bluetooth capability via USB dongle. Unfortunately, the dongle is an optional extra and costs $69. We would have preferred in-built Wi-Fi connectivity over the almost obsolete infrared.
While the iP100 can cost close to $600 without switching it on, ongoing costs are reasonable. Printing costs 19.8c per page, making it more efficient than most desktop printers and on par with the H470b. As the cartridges are smaller than those found in desktop printers, page yields aren't fantastic, so expect to carry a few extra inks just in case.
This unit will print draft quality text documents at 10.3 pages per minute, slowing only slightly to 9.2ppm when the quality is increased to normal. Text documents with highlighted backgrounds and graphical elements slow the printer a little; to 6.19ppm and 4.8ppm at draft and normal quality, respectively. The iP100 is also a highly capable photo printer, managing to produce a standard 4x6in photo in 42.7sec and an A4 photo in less than two minutes. These speeds are a dramatic improvement over previous Canon portable printers and nearly double those of the H470b.
The print quality of the iP100 is excellent. Text is clear at all quality settings, with particularly intense colour when printed at normal or best quality. Unlike the Officejet H470b, we found no messiness in the iP100's text, even after adding background highlights and graphics. Colour is consistent in graphical elements, although it can be a little dark at times.
Photo printing is a strong point, but 4x6in photos are slightly under-saturated, leading to unnatural flesh tones. This is largely fixed in A4 photos, but we noticed some vertical banding in these. The iP100 manages to almost reproduce the vibrant yellows common in Canon's high-end multifunctions, a surprising result given that the printer doesn't use an individual ink system. The printer serves well as a basic photo printer, but will be better for printing in-house marketing materials and presentation documents.
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