There are so many options for photo printers these days no matter what budget you have. Though personally, I feel that those 4x6 sized photo printers are the best options for personal photo albums, the larger ones (that can accept A4-sized paper), are definitely more practical with the lower running costs and acceptable picture quality. We check out the Canon PIXMA iP2580 and see how well does it set itself apart from the already impressive document printer range in Canon's own PIXMA series.
The first impression I got from this one was way better than what I got from the older models, primarily because Canon is finally doing something about the way their inkjet printers look. The previous models were downright ugly with their bulky design, dull gray color scheme and the lack of a front paper-out tray.
The PIXMA iP2580 still doesn't have the paper-out tray, but it does sport a sleek and classy piano finish (mind those finger-prints), and a curvaceous design. This time round, it looked absolutely stunning on my desktop, with just about everyone around me asking me about the 'snazzy new printer' I'm reviewing.
With a design like that and the simple two button hard interface, the printer sets off on a good vibe. If it outperforms its predecessors, then we may just have a winner here. Let's see...
The first thing I'd say about the iP2580 is that this thing is fast. I mean, not only as a photo printer; this one out performed all the document printers we've tested so far in the speed test.
It printed out full A4-sized photos at the highest quality settings at an average of 3 minutes 38 seconds. Surprisingly it was the fastest in documents too taking around 5 and a half seconds to print out a single page and a total of 1 minute 55.6 seconds in our 20 page speed test. Frankly I would have forgiven this one to take a little extra time than average, considering it is a photo printer, but this performance surely earned it an extra credit.
But the speed came at a price in regular document printing. Though the overall quality of the document prints (text) was pretty good, on closer look, I could notice some amount of spillage around the fonts. It isn't such a big deal and you probably wont even notice this in your everyday usage, but since I'm testing it, it's something I can't ignore.
The photo printing was quite clear overall, with good amount of detailing at the minor parts of the tests. But as with the older Canon printers there still was a slight reddish tone over all the images. Even the pure black color had a slightly reddish overtone to it. Once again it probably sounds a lot worse that it looks. Rest assured, all the colors came out looking bright and crisp.
In our color gradient test, which checks how well the printer can handle the minutest of color details, the iP2580 came out shining, with absolutely no color banding as can be seen in most other printers.
Our total print output from the printer, before we saw color fading (due to lack of ink in the cartridges) was 160 pages. This is not bad, considering it's a photo printer, but looking at the prior models it seems comparatively lower.
The best part about the Canon PIXMA iP2580 is its excellent street price of Rs. 3,250 (Rs. 1,050 for black cartridge and Rs. 1,300 for color). For that price, it's an excellent printer for a home user who's looking for something that will print his documents fast when he needs it and also print out photos in good quality without costing him a lot. Highly recommended.
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