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By Hanleigh Daniels 4 May 2011

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Canon’s PIXMA iX6540 printer brings bigger sized printing credentials within reach of the pro-sumer photographer who needs high quality print jobs to be completed in larger formats than the standard A4.

Design

It sure looks the part of a well designed tool, with the iX6540 outfitted with an elegant, all black exterior. Measuring in at 549 × 299 × 159 mm, its similar in size to the more dated, 150 x 446 x 385 mm rectangular frame of Epson’s Stylus Photo TX700W. The printer does annex a fair amount of desk real estate, but the Canon is an A3 photo printer after all.

Interestingly enough it does not contain an on-printer LCD screen, but we suppose the more discerning photographer would check his/her images on the PC/Mac before printing. Still, there’s no USB port nor SD card slot present to quickly print photos from, something that we would have preferred to have had access to. That said, Canon has included its Easy-PhotoPrint EX software, one of the easier printing packages to use and a great improvement over the usual Windows setup.

The Canon boasts a gargantuan output tray, capable of easily catching A3 pages as they leave the unit. It can be neatly folded back to fit snugly inside the printer’s interior. 

Canon PIXMA iX6540 printer

Printing performance

Print quality (up to 9600 x 2400 dpi) was excellent, enabling a really good level of detail on printouts. The iX6540 is capable of printing borderless A3 photos which came out vivid, well saturated and very close to the colour of the original.

Printing speed is also good, managing a borderless A3 picture on matte photo paper at the highest setting at about four minutes per print. Unfortunately automatic duplex printing isn’t offered when printing regular documents. 

Users in possession of a Canon digital camera or camcorders can capture the best movie frames and send these to be printed thanks to Full HD Movie functionality. You simply play your movie via your PC (using Canon’s software) and capture the frames.  

Canon PIXMA iX6540

Conclusion

Canon’s PIXMA iX6540 is a very impressive printer, able to handle larger sized documents and delivering impressive printing quality. It doesn’t boast any all-in-one functionality, but if you only need an A3 printer, this one will do nicely at an RRP of R2180.

Pro: Very good printing quality and pace, handles A3 sized docs with ease and boast nice big input and output trays.

Con: No automatic duplex, no SD/MMC cards input slots or PictBridge support, long warmup procedure, takes up a bit of desk real estate. 

PROS
Very good printing quality and pace, handles A3 sized docs with ease and boast nice big input and output trays.
CONS
No automatic duplex, no SD/MMC cards input slots or PictBridge support, takes up a bit of desk space.
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