Canon i860 Desktop Photo Printer
At a Glance
Canon's i860 uses five inks: cyan, magenta, yellow, and two kinds of black--a photo black for graphics and a pigment-based black mostly for text. The dual blacks pay off: Letters look dark but very clean at big and small type sizes. And because the i860 holds all five tanks at once, you don't have to switch inks to print fine-looking glossy photos. Gray-scale prints showed sharp detail and realistic shading, and color photos accurately reproduced colors and textures. Color graphics on plain paper, however, were less impressive: They had a dotty texture, some colors looked slightly oversaturated, and dark shadows had a posterized appearance. The $150 i860 is quick: It printed text at 6.8 ppm and color graphics on plain paper at 2.3 ppm.
Like Canon's slightly more expensive i960 Photo Printer, the i860 has a cartridge that locks onto the main paper tray and holds snapshot-size paper. Canon offers an $80 duplexer option, too. Like other recent Canon printers, the i860 forgoes media card slots in favor of a PictBridge port on the front; and the back has USB 1.1 and parallel ports. On top of everything else, the printer's ink costs were low: 2.7 cents per page of black, and 8.3 cents per page of color plus black.
The i860 generates high-quality prints, but it lacks media-card slots.