One of the first things you'll notice about Canon's budget Pixma iP2702 inkjet printer is that it's been designed to do nothing but print. It's as if Canon wanted to see how much printer functionality it could strip away from the iP2702 while still getting it to work. It's available now for around £40.
Missing a trick?
The iP2702 has a distinct lack of physical features, with no control panel for adjusting settings, and no storage-card slots to let you print without using a PC. The iP2702 has only a power and cancel-print button on its top, on the right-hand side.
Canon has left out Bluetooth support, Wi-Fi connectivity and networking options, but we can forgive their exclusion at this price point. To Canon's credit, it has also omitted to include a fat power brick, leaving only a power cord to connect to the mains.
There's no paper tray on the bottom of the iP2702 to collect its output. With some printers, this can lead to printouts being vomited all over the floor. It's a mixed blessing, but the iP2702 avoids this problem by being slow to produce its printouts -- even when you're printing in draft mode. When you're doing plenty of printing, the pile of printouts can still get messy, though.
The iP2702 has a lid on top that opens to provide instant access to the mono and tri-colour cartridges inside. This makes installation a breeze, and we had no issues with the set-up process or paper jams during testing. Even if paper jams had occurred, the paper path is easy to get to, so it would be a simple issue to resolve.
No speed demon
Most printer manufacturers make grandiose claims about print speeds, but Canon's more realistic, saying the iP2702 will produce a respectable 7 pages per minute in black and white, and 4.8 pages per minute in colour.
This is what you'd expect from a budget inkjet printer, although we still couldn't replicate Canon's claim. We managed 6.1 pages per minute in mono mode under the draft setting, and 2.9 pages per minute when printing a document containing both text and graphics.
Draft-mode printing isn't really a viable option with the iP2702 because the prints show too much ghosting. But bump the resolution up and the results are infinitely better. The edges of black text are neatly defined, and colour accuracy is very consistent.
We nearly achieved Canon's claimed 55 seconds for printing borderless photos under the standard setting. But what's the point of printing a photo in standard mode? Upping the settings to 'photo' mode and using the photo paper provided by Canon pushed the speed down to 1.25 pages per minute. It's worth the extra seconds, though, as the iP2702 delivered fantastic and vibrant colour, with sharp detail.
Running costs are high with the standard-issue low-yield cartridges bundled with the printer. The average cost of replacement low-yield black cartridges is around £11, which works out at about 4.9 pence per page. The average cost of replacement low-yield colour cartridges is around £21, working out to about 8.6 pence per page. If you opt for the iP2702, shop around for a good deal on the higher-capacity cartridges to bring the price down.
The Canon Pixma iP2702 is capable of good-quality prints. It's hard to complain about its flaws when it's so cheap, but the running costs will mount up in the end. Spend another £30 or so, and you can snap up a printer with a fuller feature set, such as the Lexmark Impact S305.
Edited by Charles Kloet