PIXMA iP2702 printer review

PIXMA iP2702 printerWhen I read that Canon came out with a photo printer for under $50 U.S. it piqued my curiosity. What especially caught my eye is that the PIXMA iP2702 is more compact than most photo printers currently on the market.

It certainly isn’t as small, portable…or expensive…as mobile printers, but its low-profile design takes up a lot less real estate than other printers I’ve owned.

Mediocre build quality

As soon as the printer was delivered to my door, I set it up. My first impression as I lifted it out of the box is that the build quality of the iP2702  is kind of cheap. But then, so is the price.

Canon’s instructions and packing materials make unpacking the printer easy. Set-up, including installation of the two included ink cartridges, is quick and requires little effort.

Does the iP2702 produce photo lab quality?

Digital camera & printsCanon claims the printer produces photo lab quality. I confess that I haven’t had photos printed by a lab in a very long time, so I can’t dispute the claim. However, I’ve owned several other consumer photo printers and know they are capable of better photo quality.

I suppose the photo quality isn’t really that bad. But tonal gradation, the range of light and dark tones in an image, is not as smooth as photos printed with more colors.

As a result, when looking close-up, prints have a somewhat flat look. This is no doubt because the iP2702 uses only two ink cartridges, one black and one with three colors. Prints are less dynamic than prints produced by photo printers that have more cartridges and colors, such as my PIXMA ip4600.

PIXMA iP2702 Ink Cartridges

iP 2702 ink cartridgesThe ink cartridges contain specially formulated inks: a black cartridge for laser-like text and a three-color cartridge for photos. When using select Canon photo papers and inks, photos are said to be fade-resistant and last up to 300 years when stored in an archival-quality photo album.

As of this writing, the two ink cartridges for the iP2702 will set you back about $38 if you can’t find them at a discount. However, you can save a little money and get a better ink yield by buying “Extra Large” cartridges. The cartridges aren’t physically larger, but simply pack in more ink.

The Standard color cartridge contains 9 ml of ink; buy the Extra Large color cartridge and you’ll get 13 ml. The Standard black ink cartridge contains 9 ml; the Extra Large black cartridge yields 15 ml.

Who should buy the PIXMA iP2702?

The PIXMA iP2702 is a plain vanilla, entry-level photo printer with limited functions. It doesn’t even have a paper output tray. Image quality, while not stellar, is good. Many will find the image quality good enough.

If you have limited funds or space for a printer, if you don’t require a lot of printer functions, and if don’t mind photos looking a bit flat, the iP2702 should be adequate for your needs. I’ll stick to making small to mid-sized prints with this printer.

Photo-enthusiasts and others expecting more quality should definitely look elsewhere.

For high-quality inkjet photos at home or in the office, a printer with more color ink cartridges is the way to go. Also look for one with more ink nozzles and smaller ink droplet size. Better printers have better build quality and offer more versatility such as automatic duplexing and dual paper cartridges. You’ll have to pay more but the money it will be well spent.

The main features of the iP2702 include:

  • Prints a 4X6″ borderless photo in approximately 55 seconds
  • Borderless photos up to 8.5” x 11″
  • 4800 X 1200 dpi; ink droplets as small as 2pl
  • ChromaLife 100+ ink for long lasting photos
  • Auto Photo Fix software to adjust and correct photos

Pros:

  • Inexpensive, but eats up color ink fast so it may not be inexpensive in the long run if you make a lot of prints
  • Easy to set-up; very easy installation of ink cartridges
  • Space-saving, compact design
  • Prints 4×6″ at a decent speed
  • Black text prints well
  • Excellent printing software, intuitive and easy to use

Cons:

  • Print quality, while acceptable, looks a bit flat
  • Canon should have used at least a four color cartridge rather than three
  • Feels cheap despite its good looks
  • Noise level is acceptable but the iP2702 does not as quiet as more expensive printers
  • Because three colors are in one cartridge, you must replace the whole cartridge when one color runs out even if other color remains.
  • USB cable not included

NOTE: If you need to purchase a USB cable for the printer, make sure it is a USB Type-A to Type-B cable. Get USB 2.0 if your computer has compatible USB ports.

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