Weighing 16.5 pounds and measuring 16.9 by 7.2 by 12 inches, the Canon Pixma iP6700D is not compact. With the front paper tray extended, you can add about another 8 inches to its depth. Still, it's a good-looking design with smooth curves and a full set of controls on a top panel that, when used with the built-in card reader that's hidden behind a panel on the front panel's right side, lets you print photos from a memory card without a computer. Below the card reader is an IrDA sensor for printing photos from a cell phone or other IrDA-compatible device, and a USB port for Pictbridge direct printing as well as printing from a USB flash-memory device.
Like other Pixmas, the iP6700D includes two paper sources: one flip-up autofeeder tray on the top back, and one cassette that slides into the bottom of the printer. Each of the paper sources can hold as much as 150 sheets of paper. Since you can set the printer to automatically switch between the two sources, you can execute print jobs as large as 300 pages without reloading. Of course, the dual sources also let you keep one special paper type, such as photo paper, in the cassette, while loading plain paper as needed in the autofeeder.
Features are almost identical to the iP6600D's. According to Canon, the biggest difference is that photo contact sheets can now accommodate as many as 35 images. The company has also added a few more editing options when printing without a computer.
Of course, Canon also says that it has updated the print engine to provide faster performance. In our informal tests, we saw results similar to those we got with the iP6600D. Text speed was slow, cranking out approximately 2.9 pages per minute. That's nowhere near what you'd get from a laser printer and less than half as fast as Canon's own MP830 all-in-one. However, photos printed quickly, yielding an average of 1.35 color 4x6 prints per minute.
Photo quality was impressive for a six-color printer. The gamut isn't quite as wide as you'd get from an eight-ink (or more) printer--we noticed that some blues in our photos turned slightly purplish when printed on the iP6700D--but most casual photographers won't complain. Plus, the printer was able to reproduce tons of detail with our photos; even fine, complex details such as the subtle textures of flower petals. Text didn't fare quite as well. As we saw with the iP6600D, black text suffered from bleeding ink, which exacerbated the jaggy look of diagonal lines. Text was still plenty readable, but not as crisp as you'd get from a laser printer.
While it wouldn't be a first choice for home or small offices, which typically have heavy text printing needs, Canon's Pixma iP6700D would make a nice all-purpose printer for most homes, especially if photo printing is a priority.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)