Canon Pixma iP6700D
At a Glance
Canon's new Pixma iP6700D photo printer is the successor to the company's iP6600D, one of our 100 Best Products of 2006. I was eager to see what Canon added to our midrange favorite, but found it largely a case of evolution, not revolution.
The $200 iP6700D is first and foremost a photo printer, and in our tests it produced high-quality prints, worth a Very Good score, on photo paper. However, although the images looked vibrant, our jury noted that skin tones often appeared a little too bronzed.
The device is less adept at printing text. Unlike the $230 Canon Pixma iP5200R photo printer, it doesn't use pigment black ink; as a result, its text output wasn't as dark, and we also noted fuzzy edges on some characters.
Like its predecessor, the iP6700D printed 3.2 full text pages per minute and generated graphics at 1.5 ppm--no challenge to the iP5200R's marks of 8.7 and 2.9 ppm. The iP6700D produced a 5-by-7-inch photo in 45 seconds, a little sluggish next to the $150 HP Photosmart 8250, which does the job in 29 seconds.
The iP6700D retains Canon's stunning 3.5-inch color pop-up display that makes light work of menu navigation, image previews, and basic photo touch-ups without the need for a computer. To that end, the iP6700D has a variety of means of communicating with devices, beyond its USB 2.0 computer connection. Its infrared interface can receive images from supported phones, and an $80 add-on provides wireless Bluetooth printing from suitably equipped camera phones, PDAs, laptops, and desktop PCs.
A direct-print port also lets you use a USB cable to print from a PictBridge-compatible digital camera.
One notable new feature: The iP6700D incorporates what the company dubs the "Canon-to-Canon Direct Advantage." When you use the printer with select Canon cameras, you can touch up photos, print a contact sheet, and more, all from the camera's controls. Unlike some competing models, though, the iP6700D still won't let you print images from a portable USB drive plugged into the direct-print port. The printer's two media card slots read most common card formats, but you'll need an optional adapter to use Memory Stick Duo, miniSD Card and xD-Picture Card.
The iP6700D adds support for several new paper sizes and Canon's Fine Art Photo Rag paper. The printer uses an underside cassette drawer and an upright sheet feeder that both hold up to 150 sheets of plain paper. An automatic-duplexer setting allows for double-sided prints. Canon rounds out the package with its self-branded software, including Easy-PhotoPrint (basic photo editing/printing), Easy-WebPrint (an Internet Explorer toolbar that scales Web pages for print), and PhotoRecord (photo album creation).
The iP6700D is a good-quality six-ink photo printer with a nice LCD and connectivity options for printing without a PC. However, text isn't its strongest point, and iP6600D owners don't really need to upgrade unless the new model's improved paper support or Canon-to-Canon feature is on their wish list.