Canon – i320 review

low-price photo printer
Photo of Canon – i320
£59 + VAT

The latest addition to Canon’s lineup of bubble-jet printers is the i320, a 2400dpi USB 2.0 printer that offers good quality prints and reasonable performance at an amazingly low cost.

The first thing that strikes you about the i320 is how flimsy it appears to be, especially the paper feed and the output tray. The whole unit weighs a mere 2.4kg. Also noticeable is its small size; just 385 x 195 x 165mm (w x d x h). It’s immediately apparent where the corners have been cut to keep the price down, although the printer is still robust enough for low-volume use.

Canon has made the i320 very easy to set up. It’s just a question of installing the single colour and black ink cartridges and the software and way you go. Performance wise it’s not too much of a slouch, despite its tiny 32KB data buffer. Ten pages per minute for monochrome prints at up to 600 by 600 dpi is the maximum, while colour output emerges at a maximum of seven pages per minute. Top colour resolution is 2,400 by 1,200 dpi, but full pages printed at this resolution take a while to emerge.

The i320 also produces borderless 4-inch by 6-inch colour prints, which it achieves by having a sponge built into the platen of the printer that absorbs any excess ink when printing edge-to-edge. These prints have a claimed colour-fastness of 25 years if printed on Canon’s own specialist Photo Paper.

You can use all the usual media with the i320, including envelopes and t-shirt transfers, with the paper feed holding up to 100 sheets of A4 size paper in weights from 64g/m2 up to 105g/m2, although the i320 can also handle 270g/m2 Canon media.

All the usual operating systems are supported, including Microsoft Windows 98/2000/Me/XP, MacOS 8.6/9.x and MacOS X. The i320 comes with a driver and utility CD which contains PhotoRecord, ZoomBrowser EX, PhotoStitch, ImageBrowser and Easy-PhotoPrint. The latter makes borderless printing simple and easy.

The i320 incorporates Exif Print, also via Easy-PhotoPrint. Exif is an open standard supported by many digital camera and printer manufacturers, meaning that compatible digital cameras record the camera setting data to the image file when the image is captured. By using this information when the image is printed, photo print quality is greatly improved.

Company: Canon

Contact: 0870 608 8833


Verdict
The Canon i320 may be small in stature but it produces accurate colour and monochrome images quickly and without fuss. Added to this is its remarkable price tag, which makes it well worth looking at, although you should check the price of replacement ink cartridges from your preferred supplier before deciding if this, or any inkjet printer, is as cheap as it first appears.