How to buy the best Canon printer

Canon's inkjet and laser printers explained: how to buy the best

Canon's PIXMA MG5150 inkjet multifunction printer.

Canon's PIXMA MG5150 inkjet multifunction printer.

Canon offers printers for almost all users — from budget-conscious individuals, to small businesses, to medium-size enterprises. Canon's PIXMA printers are designed for homes, home offices and small businesses, LASER SHOT single-function printers target small and medium businesses, and imageCLASS multifunction devices suit small to medium businesses. Canon also makes larger printers for big businesses.

Canon PIXMA inkjet printers

If you're buying a printer for your home or small business, you'd be well advised to consider a model from Canon's PIXMA inkjet printer range. Whether your budget is less than $100 or more than $500, there is a PIXMA printer aimed at your needs.

Canon PIXMA printers start at $79, for the Canon PIXMA MP280. Lower-end models are very basic, lacking colour screens and using tri-colour ink cartridges which don't offer outstanding quality. Other entry-level Canon PIXMA printers include the Canon PIXMA MG5150 and Canon PIXMA MP495.

The Canon PIXMA range includes a number of dedicated office printers as well. These models, like the Canon PIXMA MX350, generally focus on fast printing speeds over outright quality, and are multifunction models that may have fax capability or an automatic document feeder, as well as the ability to scan and copy documents. Higher-end models also have automatic duplexing (double-sided printing). Other office Canon PIXMA printers include the Canon PIXMA MX870 and Canon PIXMA iX7000.

Advanced Canon PIXMA printers, like the Canon PIXMA MP560, are models that have good image quality — thanks to individual colour ink tanks and high quality print heads — but they're still affordable and have all the multifunction features you'd expect. You can use an advanced Canon PIXMA printer for occasional photo printing as well. Other Canon PIXMA printers in this vein include the Canon PIXMA MG8150, Canon PIXMA iP4850 and Canon PIXMA MP990.

Canon PIXMA Pro printers are designed for photography professionals and anyone else concerned with getting great quality when printing images. The two models — the Canon PIXMA Pro 9000 Mark II and the Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 Mark II — use pigment inks, extremely fine quality ink heads, and can accept oversized and thick stock paper.

Canon SELPHY portable photo printers

Canon's cute SELPHY range of portable photo printers, like the Canon SELPHY ES3 and Canon SELPHY CP780, offer high quality 6x4in photo prints without the need for a photo lab. These printers use special dye-sublimation paper though, so you won't be able to use cheap photo paper. Another Canon SELPHY printer is the Canon SELPHY CP770.

Canon LASER SHOT laser printers

Canon's LASER SHOT printers are aimed squarely at the business market. They're very simple — all they do is print, with no faxing or scanning capabilities. Cheaper models can only produce A4 black and white documents size, while more expensive models are colour and can print A3 pages. Print speed and quality increases as you move up the range, as does the number of included features like automatic duplexing and large-capacity toner cartridges.

Canon imageCLASS multifunction laser printers

Canon's imageCLASS printers expand on the LASER SHOT line by adding multifunction features like scanning, faxing and copying. These are the most expensive and largest Canon printers you can buy for a small or medium business, and they're the most robust, with high printing yields per month. Models range from under $400 to almost $3000.

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World
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