Almost anyone who’s ever used an inkjet printer would have encountered that unenviable moment of waiting to print a 300-page report due for submission in the next 20 minutes with the printer deciding to die out just then. There is hope, though, because the inkjet printer has come a long way since its ink-spattering and paper-jamming days.
Even though laser printers are usually faster, inkjet printers are much in demand for their superb colour prints—and are used mostly for printing photos, craft projects, invitations/greetings, etc. We reviewed three inkjet printers across different brands for home and home-office users on the following criteria: print speed, colour output, size, noise and price point. To measure the speed, we printed 10 pages with a black and white cartridge and 10 pages with a colour cartridge, and used a stopwatch to time the speed of the prints.
Canon Pixma iP2770
Refill cartridges: CL-811 (Rs1,355), CL-811XL (Rs1,565), PG-810 (Rs995) and PG-810XL (Rs1,295)
This home printer supports paper sizes such as A4, A5 and B5. That it can use multiple cartridges makes it a very convenient printer because if one cartridge type is not available in the market, you can pick another. Its three-colour dye ink cartridge give sharp colour prints and uses the “Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering” technology, which produces hybrid ink systems and gives prints a sharper look. Hybrid inks are a recent concept and give glossier prints. The Canon Pixma gives prints at the speed of 5.8 pages per minute (ppm). This is a bulky printer (3.7kg) and a negative is that it is extremely noisy.
HP Officejet 6000 series
Refill cartridges: XL black cartridge (Rs1,500) and three-colour cartridge (Rs750)
Sporting its traditional design, the printer has a grey and black body and weighs approximately 5.7kg. The paper tray can load up to 250 sheets, unlike most home-office printers that can take only 100 sheets.
The printer gives around 7.4 ppm of plain text and 5.5 ppm of colour prints. The quality of both the text and photo prints is good.
Its detachable external paper tray allows the prints to be collected in the tray once done. HP doesn’t provide a USB cable with the printer, so that’s an extra cost if you opt for this printer.
Epson PictureMate PM310
Refill cartridges: Only has a colour cartridge (Rs2,550)
Epson’s inkjet boasts of a mini photo printer and a digital photo-frame LCD display. It can even feature slideshows on the LCD. The printer also lets you customize and personalize images through its software template, which is built into the system. The PM310 scores well with its portability feature; at 3.2kg, it can be carried around easily. Interestingly, the printer also comes with a remote, which helps control the speed of the slideshows and other print options. A huge plus is that it comes with an SD card and a USB slot.
But the printing process takes quite a while, i.e., around 40 seconds to print a 4x6 photograph. The picture slideshow on the screen can be extremely slow if many pictures run on it and the timing of the slideshow can’t be predefined.