Canon Breaths Fire Into Specialty Print Systems

By Patricia Fusco
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Canon USA debuts a trio of specialty print products designed to print pictures or documents on the road, reproduce large-size pictures, or print up super-sized documents for in-store signage and displays. Real estate and insurance agents, professional photographers, smaller printing fimrs and graphic designers never had it so good.

Print On The Go
Now you can print on the fly with Canon's new i80 mobile printer. Professional photographers on assignment, educators traveling from one classroom to another, real estate agents, insurance agents and others, will enjoy the quality and flexibility of Canon's new portable printing device — with or without a computer.

Photo printing is a snap for nearly anyone because of PictBridge technology featured in the new i80 mobile printer. PictBridge is an industry standard for digital printers, digital cameras and digital camcorders that allows the direct printing of images from PictBridge compatible digital cameras and camcorders to a PictBridge compatible printer, regardless of brand or manufacturer, with or without a PC.

The i80 mobile printer also features a newly designed print head, optional Bluetooth 1.1 connectivity (compatible with Windows XP only), and an optional Automobile Power Unit. The i80 mobile printer will be available in mid-February for a suggested list price of $249.99.

The i80 is the successor to Canon's popular i70 portable printer. The i80 model expands upon its predecessor's flexibility by providing enhanced wireless printing capabilities. Users can print all types of data from their PCs — the i80 can even print photos, schedules and address book lists from select PDAs, laptops or cell phones.

Canon has dramatically improved the photographic quality of the i80 mobile printer with an all-new print head. This new print head combines microscopic 2 picoliter nozzles that significantly reduce the size of the dots on the page for better photo quality with 5 picoliter nozzles for fast print speeds.

Canon i80 Mobile PrinterThe i80 mobile printer offers a maximum resolution of up to 4800x1200 color dots per inch (dpi). Ink droplets can be placed with a pitch of 1/4800 inch at minimum. Resolution may vary based on printer driver setting. Utilizing the benefits of Canon's advanced MicroFine Droplet Technology, the print head ejects consistent prescribed-volume ink droplets for smooth gradations, delivering accurate skin tones and rich, vibrant colors. To match the look of mini-lab prints, the printer supports edge-to-edge borderless printing in 4x6, 5x7 and 8.5x11 inch sizes.

The new print head found on the i80 mobile printer increases print speeds up to 14 pages per minute (ppm) in black and up to 10 ppm in color. The maximum 14 ppm black speed ensures Canon has the fastest mobile printer on the market with black text speeds approximately 50 percent faster than the nearest competitor. To achieve the fast printing speeds of photos and documents, the i80 mobile printer incorporates 1,088 total nozzles into its print head.

For wireless connectivity, Canon offers an optional Bluetooth Unit (BU-10), which has an estimated selling price of $79.99 and conceals nicely on the front of the printer under a smoke-gray cover. The optional Automobile Power Unit (PU-100U) allows mobile users who frequently work from their car to charge or power an i80 mobile printer directly through a car power socket, helping to ensure they can print virtually anywhere. The Automobile Power Unit also works with the Canon's i70 printer and will have an estimated selling price of $89.99.

The i80 printer comes with a power cable for desktop and AC power use. Users have the option of purchasing a Portable Kit (LK-51) that includes a Lithium Ion battery with a 450-page life per two-hour charge. The LK-51 plus battery holder is available for a suggested list price of $99.99. Extra Lithium Ion battery inserts are available for a suggested list price of $89.99. A Cradle Kit (CK-51) that includes the Lithium Ion battery, the battery holder and a charging cradle is available for a suggested list price of $139.99.

Canon's i80 portable printer is compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms — specifically Windows XP, Windows 2000/ MillenniumEdition/98 and Mac OS 8.6 to 9.x and Mac OSX v 10.2.1 to 10.3.x. The i80 mobile printer also includes image management software — Zoom Browser EX for Windows and ImageBrowser for Mac — and PhotoStitch software that makes composite images from shots taken separately.

Big Picture, Small Price
Canon also debuted a top-of-the-line desktop photo printer this week. The i9900 empowers photo enthusiasts and working photographers to make their own professional quality borderless photo prints. The 13x19 inch inkjet printer features new red and green ink cartridges for rich, accurate color rendition, 4800x2400 dpi maximum color resolution, microscopic 2 picoliter ink droplets, as well as USB 2.0 Hi-speed and Firewire interfaces. The i9900 desktop photo printer will be available in May for a suggested list price $499.99.

The i9900 photo printer is the first in its class to offer eight individual ink tanks. Canon's exclusive ChromaPLUS 8-color ink system adds individual red and green ink tanks to the cyan, magenta, yellow, black, photo cyan and photo magenta inks that are commonly found on six-color printers. The red ink tank allows for an approximately 60 percent increase in the orange/red gamut over six-color printing and provides for previously unobtainable orange hues and well as richer reds. The green ink adds about a 30 percent increase in green gamut as compared to six-color printing and creates more accurate and deeper greens in grass and foliage. The resulting finished print more closely matches the color characteristics of positive photographic film.

Canon's latest dye inks produce higher levels of glossiness, more vivid colors, reduced graininess and better contrast photo quality when compared with tradition pigment-based inks used in conventional printers.

The i9900 Photo Printer allows users of higher megapixel digital cameras to expand beyond the small canvas of traditional desktop printers and print up to 13x19 inch borderless photos. In addition to the two new colors, Canon has further increased the printer's photo quality by doubling the maximum color resolution to 4800x2400 dpi from the earlier generation i9100 photo printer.

The i9900 photo printer features the world's longest and highest nozzle-density print head in a consumer product and has 6,144 nozzles, capable of ejecting a staggering 122 million droplets per second that are a mere two picoliters in size. The print head uses Canon's exclusive advanced MicroFine Droplet Technology, which ejects consistent prescribed-volume ink droplets for smooth gradations, accurate skin tones and rich, vibrant colors. To match the look of minilab prints, the i9900 photo printer supports edge-to-edge borderless printing in 4x6, 5x7, 8.5x11 and 13x19 inch sizes.

Photo printing speeds on the i9900 printer remain significantly faster than the competition. Users can print a 4x6 inch borderless photo in about 38 seconds, a 5x7 inch borderless photo in approximately 47 seconds, an 8.5x11 inch borderless photo in about 84 seconds and a full 13x19 inch borderless photograph in under three minutes. For printing text, Web sites and other documents, the i9900 model features print speeds of up to 16 pages ppm in black and up to 12 ppm in color printing.

Direct photo printing is once again made possible without using a computer via PictBridge technology. The i9900 comes with Canon's latest release of its Easy-PhotoPrint software version 2.1. Together with Canon's Digital Photo Professional software, Easy-PhotoPrint is now capable of identifying color-space information automatically and transferring it accurately to the Canon i9900 photo printer. This enables image data obtained in Adobe RGB with a broad color range to be realistically reproduced on the Canon i9900 photo printer.

Canon's i9990 printer is compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms — specifically Windows XP, Windows 2000/ MillenniumEdition/98 and Mac OS 8.6 to 9.x and Mac OSX v 10.2.1 to 10.3.x. — and comes with Canon's standard image management software bundle.

Go to Page 2: Poster Child for High Quality Prints >

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This article was originally published on February 10, 2004
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