Gone are the days when I used to call the PIXMA iP series of printers eyesores, as the new range is anything but. The new piano black finish looks spiffy, at least you touch it and fill it up with your fingerprints. But then again, the new design mantra for gadgets these days seems to be "You can look but you can't touch", so there's little we can do about that. Still — much better than the gray and blue monstrosities.
Staying true to the series, this one too comes without an output tray, making it essential for you to have ample desk space in front of your printer or you'll have to pick the scattered sheets off the floor.
There are two buttons on top, keeping things simple for any average home user. In fact, the whole printer design seems to be heading towards keeping things simple. No complaints there, simple is good.
As nice as it may look, the iP1880 is still pretty bulky for a standard A4 sized printer. While HP seems to be shrinking their base model printers to pint size, Canon seems to be pretty content with their bigger-sized printers. This one will occupy 442 x 237 x 152 mm of your desk space and weighs 3.3kg.
The iP1880 prints at a color resolution of 4800x1200 and black and white resolution of 600x600. It only supports USB connectivity, which I guess is ok, considering it's a base model right now.
In our speed tests it shot out 20 prints of black and white documents in one minute fifty-six seconds, which is the second fastest result we've had from an inkjet. The fastest result we received from an inkjet printer was from Canon's very own PIXMA iP2580 with just a second's difference from this one. Either ways, this makes it an ideal printer to have around the house, especially when you're printing documents at the last minute before bolting for work.
Full A4-sized high quality color prints took an average of four minutes sixteen seconds. Not the best I've gotten from a PIXMA iP series printer, but still pretty good by all standards.
In our color tests, the iP1880 fared pretty well for its category. Red is a little predominant on all the color photo print tests we took. It's not such a big deal as it's noticeable only on comparison with other manufacturer's printers. There was also a slight amount of visible grain in the high quality prints. Other detail levels were as good as one can expect from a budget printer.
131 pages of print is a very average output and surprising for a PIXMA iP series printer, considering that most other printers in this category average between 160 to 250 prints. In fact the iP1700 gave us an output of 256 pages before it showed any signs of the ink running out. Considering that the cartridges cost Rs. 988 and Rs. 827 for color and black respectively, I personally find the print output a bit too low. The good news is that the printer itself costs a mere Rs. 2,250 (street price) with the black and color cartridges.
On one hand the PIXMA iP1880 has an excellent buying price, and on the other the cartridges combined cost quite a bit and don't output as much. In the end, there are better models in the PIXMA range itself that will give you a bigger bang for your buck. The quality is great for a printer of this price range, so there's not much to complain on that front. It's just that when we review a budget printer, the 'budget' aspect has to play a bigger role. So unless you're looking at a one time use, disposable printer, I'd advise you to check out the other printers in this category first.
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