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Canon Pixma iP1700 review: Canon Pixma iP1700

The Canon Pixma iP1700 is a bargain of a printer, especially considering its impressive print quality.

Felisa Yang

Former CNET Editor

See full bio
4 min read

The Pixma iP1700 has a compact body that measures just 17.2 inches wide, 10 inches deep, and 6.5 inches tall. This small footprint comes at a high price, though: the printer lacks an output tray, so your prints will drop directly on your tabletop. Or, if the printer's front edge is too close to the edge of the table, your prints will go sailing to the ground; you may need to babysit your print jobs. The input tray is simply a flap that folds back from the rear of the printer. The autofeeder can hold about 100 sheets of plain paper and roughly 20 sheets of 4x6 photo paper. An adjustable paper guides lets you keep all the sheets together. A lever housed in the bowels of the output area lets you adjust the distance between the print head and the paper: keep the lever to the left for most media types (including photo paper) and switch it to the right for T-shirt transfers and envelopes.

6.6

Canon Pixma iP1700

The Good

Very inexpensive; great print quality for the price; helpful software; small form factor.

The Bad

Lacks output tray; must print directly from your PC.

The Bottom Line

The Canon Pixma iP1700 is a bargain of a printer, especially considering its impressive print quality.
The Canon Pixma iP1700 is the entry-level member of Canon's line of single-function photo inkjet printers. At $50, it's a bargain for a printer that puts out high-quality photos, but its lack of features will leave photo hobbyists hankering for more. If your photo printing needs are basic and you don't mind printing exclusively from your PC, the Pixma iP1700 is a steal. We haven't reviewed other printers in this price range recently, so we can't make direct comparisons, but we did like the Pixma iP1700's print quality better than the $80 . For $80, you can also get a basic all-in-one that prints, scans, and copies (such as the HP Deskjet F380), but again, you'll get better print quality with the Pixma iP1700.

Other than the paper handling, the Pixma iP1700 has nothing of note on its body. A power button and a cancel button are the only objects that adorn the printer. Noticeably lacking are some photocentric features that many users will miss: a PictBridge port, media card readers, and an LCD. We don't expect all of these features on a $50 printer, but you should know that your only option will be to print directly from a PC. The printer supports both Windows and Mac OSs via USB connection.

The iP1700 uses a two-tank ink system: one black and one tricolor. The black tank costs $20 to replace, and the color tank costs $25. Canon estimates the per page costs to be 6 cents for a black-and-white document and 8 cents for a color document. These costs are relatively inexpensive and right in line with the rest of Canon's low-end to midrange printers.

The bundled software helps you through the various steps of printing photos, from selecting photos on your PC to choosing paper. The Easy-PhotoPrint software uses the Windows file tree to help you locate images. From there, you get a photo index-style window of all the shots in that folder. You can designate how many prints of each photo you want and make enhancements such as reducing red-eye or brightening and sharpening faces. The next step is to select the size and type of paper, and finally, you can select the layout you want to use (borderless, image repeat, and so on). If you're feeling creative, the PhotoRecord software will let you add text and illustrations to photos or create an album. Both programs are fairly basic (you can't do advanced photo doctoring), but they're simple to use and are great tools for people just starting out in digital imaging.

In our Labs' test, the Pixma iP1700 was pretty speedy for being so inexpensive. It cranked out text pages at 5.8 pages per minute (ppm), on a par with some of Canon's low-end to midrange photo all-in-ones such as the MP460 and the MP160. It was a little slower at photos: 0.49ppm for 4x6 prints. Most of Canon's photo all-in-ones generate an average of 1.5ppm for 4x6 photos.

CNET Labs inkjet printer performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Photo speed  
Text speed  
Canon Pixma iP1700
0.49 
5.8 
HP Deskjet F380
0.38 
3.94 
Note: The Epson Stylus C88's photo speed is for 8x10 prints. The Canon and HP printers were tested using 4x6 photo prints.

We were quite pleased with the Pixma iP1700's print quality. The text looked good to the naked eye, though closer inspection revealed jaggedness and imperfections. The color graphics print showed smooth curves and color blocks (no graininess) and excellent photo elements. We saw some banding in the color gradients, and the colors were a bit washed out, but overall, we were impressed. The same goes for the photo prints. Again, the colors were a bit washed out and didn't pop, but the details were sharp and we didn't see any graininess. For the price, the quality of the prints more than suffices.

CNET Labs inkjet printer quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Photo  
Graphics on inkjet paper  
Text on inkjet paper  
Canon Pixma iP1700
Good 
Good 
Good 
HP Deskjet F380
Fair 
Fair 
Good 
Epson Stylus C88
Fair 
Fair 
Fair 

Canon provides a one-year limited warranty for the Pixma MP160, as well as a year of free, toll-free phone support, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. You can extend the warranty to three years for $95. You can also get tech support via e-mail, and Canon says it will respond within 24 hours. Canon's site has FAQs, a troubleshooting tool, downloadable drivers and software, and PDFs of product and software manuals.

6.6

Canon Pixma iP1700

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 6Performance 7Support 7
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