The Canon Pixma iP4500 is a moderately expensive single-function printer designed for general home use. Unlike Canon's more photo-oriented single functions like the Pixma iP6700d, the $130 iP4500 lacks memory card slots and a preview LCD. The iP4500 is a step up from the recently reviewed iP3500; it offers faster print speed, slightly better print quality, and more features, including an auto duplexer. If your printing needs are minimal, however, we think you should save your money and stick to a less expensive model like the $80 iP3500, but if you print enough to justify the price, the iP4500 is a great option for general printing.
The Pixma iP4500's design is simple and straightforward--the body is mainly black, with silver accents. It measures 17.5 inches wide, 11.9 inches deep, and 6.3 inches tall, and weighs 15.2 pounds. The only features in the printer's control panel are a PictBridge USB port, power and cancel/feed buttons, and an input source button that switches between paper trays.
You get two paper input options on this model: the rear input folds open from the top/back edge of the printer, and the cassette pulls out from the bottom/front. Both can hold up to 150 pages of plain paper. Canon recommends putting stiffer media such as photo paper in the rear input, as paper in the cassette is forced to bend around a roller. Both inputs have adjustable paper guides, so both can handle a wide range of paper sizes. A panel in the front of the printer folds out to serve as the output tray.
The iP4500 uses a five-ink system: pigment black for better text prints, and dye-based black, yellow, cyan, and magenta for better graphics and color blending. The pigment black costs $16.25 to replace and each of the dye-based inks costs $14.25 to replace. Canon estimates that a page of text costs about 3 cents, and a full-color page costs 4 cents to print. Both numbers are reasonable.