In this digitally enhanced era we live in, printing scads of business or personal documents is no longer as big a part of everyday life as it was a short decade ago. With the advent of electronic banking, electronic tax filing, electronic mail…well, electronic everything, the personally printed page is becoming increasingly passe and inefficient.
In fact, the “paperless office” (where nobody prints, making the world safe for trees) predicted by last century’s pundits is becoming—for some homes and small businesses, anyway—at least a partial reality. Still, even though many people have much reduced how many documents they print, nearly everybody enjoys having printed photos on hand. And that’s where old-school, single-function photo printers, such as the $99.99-list Canon Pixma iP7220 Wireless Color Photo Printer we’re reviewing today, come in.
Though it’s a device primarily optimized for printing photos, the Pixma iP7220 is not a “dedicated” photo printer. It will also print documents, and it supports duplex printing (automatic two-sided output), which means you can print double-sided letters, business documents, or flyers as needed. And, like Canon’s other midrange and higher-end photo-centric Pixmas, such as the Pixma MG5420, this one performs its intended tasks—printing exceptional-quality photos and the occasional good-looking document—quite well.
In that regard, much like a few other Pixmas we’ve tested that use Canon’s five-ink imaging system (such as the Pixma MG5420), the iP7220 delivers printed output that looks exceptional, especially photos. However, as with the MG5420, the iP7220’s ongoing per-page cost of its ink, is also exceptional—exceptionally high, that is. (We’ll talk more about the five-ink system and this model’s cost per page, or CPP, in the Setup & Paper Handling section a little later in this review.)
Usually, we ding printers hard if they have high CPPs, especially if they are all-in-one (AIO) models geared toward business-document output. In the case of single-function photo printers, though, where the prime reason for buying one is high-quality image printing, we can accept a higher CPP, so long as the image quality justifies the extra pennies per photo. The Pixma iP7220 certainly meets these criteria. In fact, the only consumer-level printers we know of that print photographs better than Canon’s five-ink machines are Canon’s own Pixmas that use six inks, such as the multifunction Pixma MG6320 and Pixma MG8220.
As a document printer, the Pixma iP7220 delivers output quality that’s about average, and it churns out document pages a little slower than several other competing devices. If you print documents more than “now and then,” many, many other printers out there will serve you better than this one. But if you’re looking for consistently vibrant, colorful, developer-quality images, we can recommend the Pixma iP7220.
See the full review at Computer Shopper.