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Canon Pixma iP5200R

At a Glance
  • Canon PIXMA iP5200R

    PCWorld Rating

    Very good print quality and fast printing make the iP5200R versatile. It has Wi-Fi, though no media card slots or LCD.

Canon Pixma iP5200R
Photograph: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

The $229 Canon Pixma iP5200R comes with a built-in 802.11g connection, letting you print wirelessly from Wi-Fi equipped PCs and laptops (and a growing number of digital cameras with Wi-Fi). If you'd prefer to connect the old-fashioned way, the iP5200R also has USB ports, as well as an ethernet port for putting the printer on your network. You can even print from one PC via USB while using Wi-Fi or ethernet to print from a networked PC. However, Canon advises against accessing the printer by Wi-Fi and ethernet simultaneously.

In contrast to its connectivity, the iP5200R lacks media slots and an LCD monitor, though it does have a direct-print port for printing straight from PictBridge-compatible digital cameras.

The iP5200R has two paper feeders--a bottom drawer in its base and an upright feeder at the back--each capable of holding 150 sheets of plain paper. The function buttons on the front panel are few: One selects the paper source, and a second resumes or cancels print jobs. The built-in duplexer enables two-sided printing; there's a short pause for the first side to dry before printing begins on the other.

The printer uses five individual ink cartridges, employing just three primary colors, fewer than usual for a photo printer. There are two black inks: one dye-based for photos, the other a pigment-based for printing text. Nonetheless, the iP5200R printed very attractive, vividly colored photos that impressed us as much as those from models using more inks. Our grayscale test had a slight sepia cast, but showed good contrast and shadow detail.

Using the black pigment ink, the iP5200R produced strong, dark text, with well-formed characters--at least, for an inkjet printer. We saw just a few fuzzy edges. Our line art sample exhibited a few wobbles and suffered from some banding that resembled a watermark. Color graphics printed on plain paper showed good contrast and detail, though black ink superimposed on some colors created a posterized effect in a few areas.

The iP5200R is a great all-around performer. It turned in the quickest text and graphics speeds we've seen from an inkjet. The PC World Test Center clocked it printing text at a speedy 8.4 pages per minute and color graphics at 2.9 ppm. Our best-quality photo emerged in just 36 seconds, only a little slower than the HP Photosmart 8250, which turned in the fastest time of 29 seconds.

Ethernet and wireless connectivity make the fast iP5200R easy to share, and high quality text and photo printing make it versatile.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Very good print quality and fast printing make the iP5200R versatile. It has Wi-Fi, though no media card slots or LCD.

    Pros

    • Built-in Wi-Fi and ethernet networking
    • High quality text and photo prints

    Cons

    • Lacks media card slots and LCD display
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