Canon Pixma iP90 review: Canon Pixma iP90

Like the i80 before it, the Canon Pixma iP90 dangles several optional features to tempt you to enhance its mobility and plump up its price. A Portable Kit, basically a lithium-ion battery, costs $100 and attaches at the back of the printer. Or for $140 you can get the same battery with a desktop charging cradle. If you want to charge your new battery from the cigarette lighter in your rental car, you can tack on the $90 Automobile Power Unit. The battery is estimated to last 450 pages for every two hours of charging.

If you're into remote wireless printing, Canon sells an $80 Bluetooth adapter. But without buying anything extra, you can send cord-free print jobs to the iP90 from your IrDA 1.1 (Infrared Data Association protocol)-enabled portable phone, PDA, or laptop from eight inches away or closer.

Speed
On CNET Labs' inkjet racetrack, the Canon iP90 bested the portable HP Deskjet 450wbt's lackadaisical 1.5 pages per minute (ppm). An 8x10-inch photo on photo paper took the iP90 slightly more than a minute, almost three times as fast as its predecessor's 2.81 minutes and nearly four times faster than the HP Deskjet 450wbt's 4.07 minutes to print one photo.

Quality
Like the HP 450wbt, the Canon Pixma iP90's text on inkjet paper was only fair: legible but fuzzy around the edges. The iP90 printed color graphics better; it reproduced our text document with a pale tone but nice details, smooth gradients, and fair color matching. This printer did a similarly good job with our test photo, rendering nearly accurate flesh tones and preserving much of the detail. But we also saw some worse-than-average color shifts in what should have been neutral grays, and the overall low-contrast rendering resulted in washed-out, desaturated colors.

CNET Labs' portable inkjet speed (in ppm)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Photo  
Text  
Canon Pixma iP90
1.05 
6.24 
HP Deskjet 450wbt
 
 0.25
1.48 

CNET Labs' portable inkjet quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Photo  
Graphics  
Text  
Canon Pixma iP90
Good 
Good 
Fair 
HP Deskjet 450wbt
Good 
Fair 
Fair 

Click here to learn more about how CNET Labs tests printers.

The Canon iP90 comes with a typical one-year limited warranty and toll-free technical support, which you can extend by two more years for a fair $95. But if you call for postwarranty support, beware of the $10 fee per call. Support hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. 8 p.m. ET, except on holidays. An exceedingly friendly, upbeat voicemail recording received our test call, which within two minutes led us to a live person who answered our question promptly and correctly.

Canon's Web site offers product-specific help pages that provide answers to FAQs, along with links to e-mail support and supplies, setup instructions, manuals, drivers, and the phone number for tech support. Should your iP90 prove defective, Canon will replace it within one business day during the warranty period.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Canon Pixma iP90

Part Number: 9466A001 Released: Jan. 5, 2005

MSRP: $249.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan. 5, 2005
  • Interface Infrared
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Printer Type Photo printer - ink-jet - color
  • Max Resolution ( Color ) 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Max Speed 16 ppm
    12.7 ppm
    12 ppm
    7.2 ppm
    1.2 ppm
    0.6 ppm
    0.8 min/page