Those looking to print in color cheaply can consider the Canon Pixma G570. It's an ink tank printer, designed to output around 3,700 color prints before it runs out of ink. With 6 ink tanks, and an ink bottle costing just S$21, that works out to be around 3 cents a page. Of course this doesn't factor in the paper, as well as replacement of the maintenance cartridge. It's still pretty cheap, compared to your normal ink-jet printers.
- Ink bottle GI-73 (Black, gray, cyan, magenta, yellow, and red), and MC-G02 maintenance cartridge
- Max printing resolution of 4,800 (horizontal) x 1,200 (vertical) dpi
- Supports Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and AirPrint
Unlike your usual all-in-one printers, the G570 doesn't come with a scanner, nor can it send a fax. But it does have Wi-Fi and a LAN port, and it's smart enough to download new firmware automatically. The G570 can also print from the cloud once it's hooked up. I also tested Apple AirPrint, though you should use the Canon printer app if you want to print on photo paper to maximize the quality and resolution. Note that you need to be on the same Wi-Fi node if you're using a mesh network for the app to work, or you will get communication error messages.
Setting up the printer is pretty simple, but will take a while. You will need to insert the print heads, then manually top up the ink tanks. You have six different bottles, and you have to make sure they go into the right tanks. Thankfully, the bottle heads are designed to only match the right tanks, so you can't go wrong. Impressively, the bottles will fill the tank right up without spilling any ink, and without any excess left over. Once done, you turn on the printer and use a smartphone to set up the printer's Wi-Fi. Canon rates the color inks to last around 8,000 pages, but black will run out at around 3,700 pages. So you'll probably need to get another black before buying a whole new set of bottles.
Print quality is pretty good, especially if you're using Canon's photo glossy papers. I do recommend testing a print on normal paper first to make sure it's printing correctly. That's because the Canon app doesn't quite show you if your print will fill up the entire sheet of paper. The available settings also don't seem to indicate if it will stretch the image to fit the whole page. On glossy paper, a color print takes slightly over two minutes, while on normal paper, slightly under a minute. You can also print to stickers or magnetic paper — be sure to set the printer paper settings correctly on the app or the printer.
Retailing at S$399 officially, the Canon Pixma G570 is a pretty good buy if you want to print colors. The ink tanks will last you thousands of pages, though you may have to swap out the $20-ish maintenance cartridge out once in a while. Canon doesn't quite state how long a cartridge will last on its website, but I will update this review once I find out. You can get the printer from Shopee or Lazada. Refills are available from Canon's official site, or slightly cheaper at Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Canon.
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