The Canon Pixma IP4200, like the rest of its series, is a good full-featured photo and text printer. Although it is large, and occupies a large amount of real estate on your desk, it prints text quickly, photos well, and is even capable of automatically printing double-sided. It’s two paper trays, one a regular paper tray and one a top loading tray make it convenient to switch back and forth between printing text and photos. It uses five separate ink cartridges, which, while extremely expensive, are easy to refill. Its is inexpensive, selling for around $100, and its only real problem is the fact that its ink head is not replaceable.
This printer, like the rest of its series, was originally designed as a photo printer. It is capable of connecting directly to PictBridge enabled cameras, via a USB cord, to print photos directly, although it lacks an LCD screen and a card reader. It makes a much better photo printer when it is hooked up to a computer. Its resolution, clarity, and color accuracy are really quite wonderful. Although the version of this printer sold in Europe is capable of printing strait to CDs and DVDs, the US version is not. However, with a simple modification, whose directions are available online, you can enable this feature. The Pixma IP4200 also excels printing text, capable of realistically printing around 12 ppm (a figure not to be confused with the official statistic, which is probably twice that and entirely made up).
Like all printers, the Pixma IP4200 is available so cheaply because of the ridiculous price of ink cartridges. Each of the five cartridges will sell for around $13, and, because they are chipped, generic cartridges won’t work. However, the cartridges are easy to refill. Just search online for a refill kit, specifying the Pixma IP4200 specifically. For $50, you will be able to get enough ink to print over a thousand photos and ten thousand pages of text. Although Canon warns you that refilling will result in crummy quality, the quality is really just as good. Refilling does void the warranty, though. If you don’t plan to use the Pixma IP4200 to print photos, and don’t want to refill, the price per page is not bad. A $15 cartridge will print about 500 pages, at an average price of three cents per page.
I am slightly scared by the fact that the print head is not replacable. Although this printer has given me a good year of service so far, I have never had a printer whose print head has gone for more than two years. This printer may prove to be fairly short-lived.
Depending on exactly what you are looking for, look at the rest of the Pixma series before settling on this one. For very reasonable prices, there are printers that also double as scanners and copiers, and printers with screens and memory card slots, suitable for printing pictures without a computer.