Setting up the printer is simple because it only connects to a host computer through USB. The installation disc provides onscreen instructions to guide you, but most of the drivers install automatically with little user interaction aside from the physical act of plugging in the USB cable, after you purchase it, that is--Canon inconveniently leaves it out of the package.
The lid of the iP4820 lifts to reveal the five-ink cartridge bay for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink tanks, and there's another high-capacity black cartridge in there that only draws ink when you toggle the "monochrome" mode within the driver preferences. This convenient feature saves you money in the long term by extending the longevity of the smaller black cartridge, since it only gets depleted in color print mode.
We're surprised by the disparity between the iP4820's average black-and-white document print speeds and its sluggish snapshot color photo output. It kept up with the competition in the presentation speed test in which we timed how long it took to print a 10-page Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, but finished last in the color graphics speed test. The $80 Canon Pixma MP495 completed all the tests significantly faster than the more expensive model, and the MP495 provides the benefit of Wi-Fi and copy/scan functionality to boot.
|Presentation speed (PPM)||Photo speed (1 sheet)||Color graphics speed (PPM)||Text speed (PPM)|
Unlike in the speed tests, the Pixma iP4820 performed well in our quality examination, printing solid, dense text with fully formed characters down to five-point font size. The color graphics test emerged solid and evenly distributed, but we did notice small portions with more neutral tones than the original, specifically in areas with gradual color gradients. To confirm, we repeated the test in three iterations and the imperfections were consistent throughout, although likely unnoticeable to most eyes. In most cases, snapshot photos came out with vivid coloration and even tone.
Service and support
The Pixma iP4820 is backed by Canon's standard one-year limited warranty program that includes InstantExchange and a year of toll-free phone support. In addition, the product page for the printer features frequently asked questions, registration, recycling information, driver downloads, and other information.
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