Review: Canon PIXMA iP4600

1.What’s in the Box

Canon PIXMA iP4600 (Top)
Canon PIXMA iP4600 (Top)

Power Lead
Manual / Quick Start Leaflet
Installation CD
5 Canon Ink Tanks
Print Head / Alignment Paper
Canon Glossy Photo Paper 4”x6” (Sample Pack)
No USB cable!

2. Appearance

The printer has a sleek black mirror finish, with silver surround. At the front of the unit there is the power button and resume print button, and underneath a solitary USB jack, which is slightly hidden so not to detract from the overall look of the unit.

Canon PIXMA iP4600 (Front)
Canon PIXMA iP4600 (Front)

The printer feels sturdy and initial build quality impressions are good. The print tray slides out from underneath the front of the printer (easily missed if you don’t read the manual *cough), when loaded with A4 paper it slightly protrudes from the front of the unit by a couple of inches, this does not spoil the overall appearance of the unit as the print tray has a semi-transparent lid. In order to print you must pull down the front panel to expose the paper output tray. Once open this hides the print tray altogether.

All things considered a very tidy looking inkjet printer.

3. Setup

Setup was a breeze, taking less than 5 minutes. After powering on the unit for the 1st time you install the print head, and the five separate print tanks. To my disappointment there was no USB cable supplied with the printer, luckily however i had one lying around. It takes the standard USB printer cable widely available from most computer stores.

Once connected to the PC i ran the driver installation process from the CD, you’re given the option to install addition applications such as the ‘CD-LabelPrint’ utility and ‘Easy-PhotoPrintEX’ application or alternatively opt for ‘Easy Install’ which installs everything.

Before the software install completes you’re prompted to align the print head and print a test page.

4. Compatibility

I successfully managed to print via my Netgear USB mini print-server (PS121v2) and also via my Synology DS-408 NAS box. Getting the iP4600 to successfully print via the PS121 was the usual struggle, but through no fault of the Printer.

I tested the printer on my Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 machine, and my Windows XP Professional SP3 machine. I also tested the printer functionality on a Windows 7 VM and Ubuntu 8.10 VM. The printer worked flawlessly on the Windows platform, and worked well enough with Ubuntu after some fiddling.

5. Test

I tested the iP4600’s photo printing using the bundled glossy photo paper, the results were superb, matching anything you would get from having your snaps developed at a professional photo outlet, the image was vey crisp, and the colours were bright and vivid, the blacks were dark.

The iP4600 is reasonably quiet in operation, although i did find the start-up sequence quite loud.

General printing is speedy, the unit boasts 12.8ppm, however in reality its closer to 6ppm – and that is delayed further if using double sided prints as the unit pauses in-between sides to allow for the ink to dry. Printing 15×10 photos are done in just under a minute, which is respectable.

I noted when duplex printing the quality is reduced, less ink is used and text appears grey, it resembles draft quality, which is not ideal. This combined with the slow duplex print times unfortunately makes duplex printing less desirable.

During testing the iP4600 had a few problems finding the paper in the paper tray, especially when the paper was low; it managed to find the paper much easier when the paper tray was full. Although not a major issue it did become irritating after a while as it requires you to physically walk to the Printer and press the resume pint button. I also encountered very occasional paper jams when using the paper tray.

6. Conclusion

Canon PIXMA iP4600 (Open)
Canon PIXMA iP4600 (Open)


–          Excellent quality prints

–          Overall good build quality

–          Single Inks

–          Paper Tray is a good idea

–          Prints Duplex

–          Value for money / Cost effective

–          Looks good


–          Odd Paper Jam

–          Does not always find paper from the paper tray

–          No USB cable included


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