The S600 from Canon is a high performance color inkjet printer for professionals who need quality and speed in printing. The printer offers a maximum printing resolution of 2,400x1200dpi, which is sufficient for any type of work—brochures, presentations or even photos, apart from regular text printing. It has a rated speed of 15 ppm black and 10 ppm color. The printer offers dual-connectivity options and gives you the choice of a parallel and USB port. However it does not come with the required cables, so you’ll have to hunt for your own. The driver CD we got with it had the drivers for Win 95/Me/NT 4.0/2000 and the Mac OS 8.1 or later. If you use XP, you can download the drivers from their website (www.canon-asia.com/ downloads /drivers/ S600v150.exe).
Another good feature of this printer is that it has separate ink tanks for different colors. This will no doubt save money because you won’t have to replace the entire cartridge if a single color runs out. Another interesting feature of this printer is something called relay feeding, in which the next sheet starts to be fed in even while the previous sheet is being printed. This is a pretty good feature and should definitely save time for multi-page documents.
To check out how well the printer performs, we installed it on machine with a PIII 800 MHz, 128 MB RAM, a 7,200 rpm drive running Win 2000 Pro. For our tests we used the USB port. The printer offers four basic printing modes called, High, Standard, Draft and Custom. Custom mode has five levels of print quality. It also has a grayscale printing option, which you can use while taking monochrome printouts. The first test we did was for the quality of text prints, which it managed with ease. Text quality in all printing modes was good, being readable right down to 2 pt font size and without any jaggedness even at the larger font sizes. Our next test focused on printing speeds for which we printed a five-page word document in draft mode. Its time, however, was a little disappointing taking 33 secs, which gave it an average speed of only 7.5 ppm, against a rated 15 ppm. This is not an uncommon occurrence for inkjet printers, since different vendors use their own means for specifying the print speeds. Qualitywise the printer managed to pull one back. The quality of its line-art, monochrome images and color images was very good. It was also able to reproduce a grayscale on paper without banding. For better results you can always use special media like photo paper or glossy paper.
The Bottom Line. Quality and features do come at a price, and this printer is priced around Rs 19,000. However, what adds to its attractiveness is that its running costs are pretty low, with each monochrome print costing only Rs 0.41 and color around Rs 3.5 per page.
Sachin Makhija at PCQLabs