Which Canon Pixma printer is best?
Far from a relic of bygone days, a printer is an incredibly useful tool in your home or small office. But there is a wide selection out there, all competing for your dollars with fancy functions, eye-catching names and colorful logos.
All of that doesn’t make the decision easier, especially if you want to print text-based documents and vibrant, high-quality photos. You might even want to do it all on the same page.
That is the niche that Canon’s Pixma printers fill by giving you a printer that uses the best technology from both worlds. If that’s the case, the Canon Pixma G640 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One Printer is an excellent choice.
What to know before you buy a Canon Pixma printer
It’s more than a document printer
You might be looking at a Pixma printer for all your office or working-from-home projects, but it’s much more than that. Certain Pixma models do everything you need but go one step further by being compatible with Canon’s re-stickable photo paper and magnetic photo paper.
The Canon mobile app lets you create designs from photos or through Canon’s templates and transfer them to re-stickable photo paper. This creates stickers that you can use over and over again. There is even a tutorial on how to make the perfect sticker that goes over your mobile phone’s case. Magnetic photo paper is a great way to create photo magnets that stick to most metal objects.
Some models are portable
A printer is usually a bulky gadget relegated to one spot on a desk and never moved around. But what do you do if you need to print documents during a meeting or while you wait for your next appointment?
Well, some Pixma models are small and thin enough to carry around and don’t weigh much more than a laptop. These might not be as feature-packed as a multi-function printer, but they will certainly get the job done.
Depending on the model, it either has a built-in battery that you must recharge, or it comes with a USB cable that supplies power and data from the connected device.
Consider what you want to print
A significant factor in deciding on a printer comes down to primarily what you’ll use it for. If it is more for documents, spreadsheets and presentations, then a laser printer is your best option.
But if you want to reproduce high-quality photos, then an inkjet printer will give you the best results. That’s because the technology in inkjet printers deposits tiny drops of ink onto the page. With a higher dots per inch ratio than laser printers, it creates vivid and striking color shades rich in detail.
What to look for in a quality Canon Pixma printer
Printing through the cloud, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Printers must be connected to the source material, but using an old-fashioned cable isn’t the best choice. A good-quality Pixma printer is capable of connecting to a variety of devices through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Some models also let you print directly from social media applications or cloud services such as DropBox, OneNote or Google Drive.
Compatible with extra-large ink cartridges
Most printer makers will include some ink with your purchase to get you going straight out of the box. But sooner or later, you’ll have to buy more ink. Of course, you can buy the regular cartridges, but it works out cheaper in the long run if your Pixma printer can take the larger cartridges, often marked as “XL” or “XXL.” These hold much more ink and are more economical than the default ones.
How much you can expect to spend on a Canon Pixma printer
The average cost of a Pixma printer largely depends on the gadget’s functions. An entry-level single-function printer that can handle most office tasks costs $70-$100.
A complete multifunction printer that’s great with photos costs $200-$300. Unfortunately, you’ll have to fork out $400-$500 for a portable printer. But that’s not where the cost of having a printer stops.
You’ll occasionally need to buy ink cartridges to keep it going. The price can vary widely depending on the size of the cartridge and the color. A single color such as yellow costs $15-$20, and you’ll probably also need to buy magenta and cyan. For more affordable Pixma printers, a double pack of extra-large black and tri-color ink costs $50-$60.
But having a printer can quickly turn into an expensive endeavor. If you buy two double packs, you’ve spent more on ink than on the printer itself.
Canon Pixma printer FAQ
How do I know which cartridges fit in my printer?
A. This can be tricky, but each cartridge type and color has a number printed on the box. Specific printers use the corresponding number. For example, the Pixma iP110 uses 35BK for black or CLI36 for color. Likewise, the Pixma G640 uses the dye bottles marked as GI-43. As long as you know the number code, you won’t have a problem.
How many photos can you print with a Pixma?
A. This will largely depend on the model, the technology used and the size of the photos. But as a rough guideline, Canon says that one bottle of dye for the G640 can produce 3,800 photos on 4-by-6-inch photo paper.
What’s the best Canon Pixma printer to buy?
Top Canon Pixma printer
What you need to know: The extra-large tanks can hold up to 30 times more ink than Canon’s regular tanks.
What you’ll love: This multi-function printer connects to mobile devices and computers through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It is equally capable of printing striking photos and crisp text.
What you should consider: Some users have indicated that refilling the ink tanks can get messy.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Canon Pixma printer for the money
What you need to know: This affordable gadget lets you print documents from cloud services or through Apple’s AirPrint.
What you’ll love: The inkjet printer can scan and copy, has two-sided printing, and can deliver 9.9 black and white pages per minute.
What you should consider: A small number of users had difficulties connecting to the printer through Bluetooth.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you ever needed a portable printer, this is an excellent option.
What you’ll love: The printer connects to mobile devices and cloud services for quick on-the-go print jobs. It has a relatively high color printing resolution of 9600-by-2400 dots per inch or DPI and prints documents up to 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
What you should consider: The rechargeable battery for the printer is sold separately. If you don’t have it, the printer requires a wall socket or a cigarette lighter adapter.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.