I bought this printer a few months ago. I have printed hundreds and hundreds of pages with it.
I have had many printers. I always have looked into how much it would cost to run such a printer before I buy one. Usually, a brand-new model would not have any generic inks that I can buy and I avoid those.
I have always been interested in an inkjet printer that has a continuous tank feed for virtually unlimited amount of ink. Most of them are third-party and usually are not reliable. It often clog and leak inks everywhere. Brothers® came out with a model that works similarly to this one but for some reasons, it wasn't that popular. Epson and Canon came out just about the same time with these models.
**** I settled with Canon because it has better software. ****
It came in a nicely packed box. The instructions were on a folded poster. I need to tell you that you must not skip anything when you set it up. Furthermore, pay strict attention to which button to press when you prime the printhead. I wasn't paying strict attention and I pressed the wrong button and wasted about 15 minutes and who knows how much ink.
There is no LCD screen for the status. There are many buttons – the power button, Wi-Fi button, stop button and start button one in black, and one in color. There are two others LED lights for the status and you actually would have to look up the manual (which will be installed when you install the software) to see what it means. One particular light may blink three times or six times, and each one has different meanings.
Be very careful about filling the inks. Pouring in the wrong bottle (into the wrong color) will forever ruin the printer since there is no way to clean out the contamination of the wrong color ink.
The printheads comes in a sealed container. And just like any printhead, the moment you unpack it, you must install it so it will not dry out on you. Since it appears to be interchangeable, I was hoping that it could be bought separately in case it clogs up (or simply broken) but I am unable to find it on Canon website or any third party website.
The printer weighs about 14 pounds, I believe, the paper goes in the back standing up. I have not had any jammed paper (letter-size paper or four by six photo paper) at all. There is no duplex function but you can print manual duplex and the pop-up screen will tell you to turn the paper over and repeat them. It really is not a big deal to me.
If you have to move the printer, there is a way to (go beyond) normal shut down. Otherwise, the ink will spill and leak. You have to press a button a few times (I think seven?). It's explained in the manual ("on line") that is installed along the software.
The windows in the front will show you the amount of ink you have.
If you need to use this as a copier, there is no easy way to choose, for example, to make 10 copies. You simply have to press either black and white or color button 10 times. To cancel, of course, you press stop.
Through the software you can set up many things – you get set up to have the printer go to sleep automatically, and to wake up also automatically. While it sleeps, no LCD lights are on at all - but somehow, it draws little power, ready to come alive. ** DO NOT ** unplug the printer unless you shut down the printer with the power button. The printheads will dry out (and the computer will display a pop-up message to tell you about this.) If you plug your computer into a power strip, for example, and this printer also is connected to it, again, don't forget to press the power button to shut it down. It's best to connect it to its own plug/power source.
The software included is quite extensive. While I use Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter for my heavy-duty editing, I began to embrace Canon's program immediately because of the ease of use. You can choose how many prints you make, and so on. It even does some automatic enhancement, and you can print small pictures on a large sheet of paper or even stickers. Another program controls the scanner which can merge more than one scans together. The suite of software can easily be accessed with the little menu that is installed and get out of the way when you don't need it.
Just like many other inkjet printers, you actually have the control of how fast you want the printer to print versus how slowly you wanted to print (and obviously it looks much better. I set mine to "best" quality and the speed is acceptable to me.) But if I were in a hurry to print something like 20 pages, I could easily set it to the default setting and it prints a little faster. The fastest setting is the draft mode and unless it is something you don't have to turn in order to give to someone else, it looks clear enough and comes out of the printer quite quickly.
It prints quite loudly. You can put it in quiet mode and it will print a little slower. If you take this to your library (I have seen some people do this), it will be noticed.
At first I set up the printer with the USB connection. My brother who lives with me from time to time needs to print something and his little laser printer died on him. I thought if I switch this model to network, I wonder how well it would work. I have read some comments about how difficult it was to set up this printer to work through the network and I don't disagree with that.
The problem is there is no way to know if the printer is connected to the network because there is no LCD screen to show. However, the software guided me and I know enough about a computer to realize that it also gave me a choice to do the initial setting for the network through the USB connection. I followed that and my main computer linked to this printer. Once that is done, I was able to disconnect the USB cable and my main computer worked nicely with it as if it were connected with the cable.
When I tried to install the driver (suite of software) on my brother's computer, it took only a minute for the computer to locate the printer wirelessly. Same thing with my extra laptop computers.
I also tried to add this printer to my brother-in-law's computers which is in another room (we use the same Wi-Fi network) but without installing the Canon software. Windows 10 was able to download the basic driver and his computer was able to print regular document straight to my printer which is located the other side of the house without any problem. Each computer, once the "print" button is clicked, takes about half a minute for the data to transmit.
I'm sure other printers can work as easily as this and I was very pleased that I am able to share this printer with two other people in this house because we have two cases of paper and I bought extra inks. I will have to admit that I got the generic inks (you would have to do a search on the Internet to find them – they are everywhere.) And it works fine with this printer. I didn't wait until the ink that came with the printer ran completely dry before I added more ink. I simply added the generic Inc. topping it off until the reservoirs were full. (The inks that I bought were three dollars a bottle and basically, it was USD12 for the set!)
The first set of ink is used (about 1/3 of it?) to prime the lines. So it will not last you that long. But even if I could only use cannons Inc., the whole set is about USD45 and believe me, it is quite reasonable.
Now let's talk about how I feel about the printer itself the workmanship, etc. It's acceptable for home use, and I think it is perfect for a college student. Because the inks cost so little, a student will not have any problem printing a lot and many of them do when they do study guide, etc. Just having one set of generic inks may end up lasting him or her the entire year.
When I printed on four by six Canon photo paper, they came out fine. It was a joy to be able to print photos and not having to worry about going broke having to pay for the inks.
This printer, I have heard, is virtually identical to a model that they sell for perhaps USD70 but that one uses expensive ink cartridges. It is an initial investment for a family, or for a college student but I think it is very reasonable.
The scanner works fine for occasional copying and scanning. If you have more than a few pages to do, it's better to get the higher model which has the auto feed for that purpose.
I also looked into installing an app on my android phone to see if I can print from the phone. It is possible! It wasn't easy and I have to say that the instructions online were a little confusing. I was able to use the home network, print the pictures from my telephone. It took me a couple days to figure it out how to print remotely using the cloud account. It can be done you just have to sign up with the Canon cloud account, which is free, and enter your printers serial number (on the back of the printer) and once it is linked to that, I was able to go visit my aunt, took a couple pictures of us and press print. Two prints were waiting for me at home (for testing purposes, I just left my letter plain paper in, and they looked fine.) I was quite impressed with the way this works and I wish the instructions were a little easier. For someone who has little experience with a computer, it will be rather difficult and you may have to call Canon for help. Fortunately, other reviewers have said that their support team is competent and helpful.
To sum it up, I am very happy with this printer and it has replaced my color LaserJet (although I could get generic inks for that model) since this one costs less!