Canon PIXMA Pro-200 Review
Pros: Low cost per print, many print mediums, competitively priced
Cons: Difficult to set up, no roll paper, big footprint
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Canon PIXMA Pro-200
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|Pros||Low cost per print, many print mediums, competitively priced||Consistent color, easy set-up, broad format options||Easy to use, decent resolution, prints common sizes||User-friendly, sharp images, affordable, playful||Convenient, simple, inexpensive, bluetooth connectivity|
|Cons||Difficult to set up, no roll paper, big footprint||Microbanding in grayscale, relatively low definition in dark areas||Microbanding in larger formats, off skin tones, over saturation||Limited print sizes, limited tray capacity||Relatively low resolution, single print dimension|
|Bottom Line||If you want a full-size printer but don't want a full-size price tag, this unit is worth checking out despite the set-up hassle||This low-cost, full-sized machine delivers high-end results||An easy to use mid-size printer at a good price||This portable printer kicks out quality 4" x 6" prints anytime, anywhere||This portable printer captures the fun of the old Polaroid cameras but with a fresh twist|
|Rating Categories||Canon PIXMA Pro-200||Epson Expression HD...||Canon PIXMA TR4520||Canon SELPHY CP1300||Canon IVY|
|Black And White (35%)|
|Print Capabilities (15%)|
|Operating Cost (10%)|
|Set Up (5%)|
|Specs||Canon PIXMA Pro-200||Epson Expression HD...||Canon PIXMA TR4520||Canon SELPHY CP1300||Canon IVY|
|Resolutioin (dots per inch)||4800 x 2400||5760 x 1440||4800 x 1200||300 x 300||314 x 400|
|Max photo deminsions (inches)||13" x 39"||13" x 44"||8" x 10"||4" x 6"||2" x 3"|
|Cost per print (4" x 6" or mini print)||$0.38||$0.45||$0.58||$0.43||$0.50|
|Machine deminsions (HxWxD inches)||25" x 14.63" x 7.75"||6.3" x 18.7" x 14.5"||7.5" x 17.2" x 11.7"||2.5" x 7.1" x 5.4"||0.7" x 3.2" x 4.7"|
|Printing technology||Inkjet (Theromal DOD)||Inkjet (Piezo DOD)||Inkjet (Theromal DOD)||Inkjet (Dye- sublimation)||In paper, thermal-activated dye|
|Print time per 4" x 6" (or mini print)||66 seconds||34 seconds||128 seconds||51 seconds||40 seconds|
|Color palette (ink cartridges)||Black, Gray, Light Gray, Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow||Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Gray, Red||Black plus color cartridge||N/A||N/A|
|Battery||No||No||No||Yes (sold separately)||Yes|
|Memory cards supported||N/A||N/A||N/A||SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, miniSDHC, microSD microSDHC and microSDXC||N/A|
|Ink type||Dye-based||Dye-based||Pigment (black) and dye-based (color)||Dye-based||N/A|
|Connectivity||Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet (10/100), Wireless1 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 2.5/5.0GHz), Wireless PictBridge||iPad, iPhone and Android tablets, Alexa and smartphones; Ethernet networking, andard Connectivity:
Hi-Speed USB, USB Host, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n5, Wi-Fi Direct 5, Ethernet 10/100
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n wireless networking, 2.4 GHz)
|Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN, 2.4 GHz, IEEE 802.11b/g)
Memory Card Slot
PictBridge (USB) & Wireless PictBridge (Wireless LAN)
Hi-Speed USB (Cable not included)
USB Flash Memory
|Operating system requirements||Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Mac OS X v10.11.6 - macOS v10.15, 14 iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile||Windows 10 8/8.1/Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
Windows Vista (32-bit , 64-bit)
Mac OS X 10.6.8 — macOS 10.12.x6
|Windows:20 Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Mac:21
Mac OS X v10.10.5 - macOS v10.13 (High Sierra)
Mobile Operating Systems:22 iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and Fire OS (Amazon Fire) devices
|Windows:12 Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1
Mac:13 Mac OS X v10.10.x - macOS v10.12 (Sierra)
Mobile Operating Systems:14 iOS, Android™, Windows 10 Mobile, Amazon Fire devices15
|Scanner||No||No||Yes (bed and feed)||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This photo printer's distinguishing characteristic is its price relative to other printers with comparable output quality. Few machines match this unit for color and grayscale as well as print dimensions, print medium, and cost per print. Of the printers that do meet these standards, this unit has more issues with set-up and limitations in print size and material. However, minor shortfalls of this kind are to be expected with the difference in cost.
Without a doubt, color photos are the most popular format for rendering images. As such, color analysis is one of the most important metrics in our assessment of printer performance. The Canon Pixma Pro-200 lives up to its name with color renderings that will please all but the most discerning professional.
Our assessment of color makes use of 7 stock images that cover landscapes, both urban and natural, as well as human subjects. With these images, we can make direct comparisons across the various printers under review. Using this method, details like resolution and color fidelity jump out for all to see. This printer does quite well without altering any of the settings, as contrast and saturation are tuned to make images "pop". Nonetheless, these settings are easy enough to change to meet the user's preferences, so long as the user is willing to experiment a bit.
Black and White
We weight the black and white analysis the same as color despite the overwhelming popularity of the latter. This is largely due to the demands that this format places on the printer and what the grayscale outcomes tell us about the technical capabilities of the printer. Aside from the technical difficulties, we are aesthetically drawn to black and white images. Given our tastes and the challenges posed by the format, we are happy to report that the Canon Pixma Pro-200 scored quite high in this assessment.
The black and white metric follows the same protocols as the color assessment. Specifically, we use a set of stock images that allow for direct comparisons amongst the printers in the class. Again, our focus is on resolution and overall impression, though border and tonal transitions are central to the analysis as well. The Pro-200 has crisp borders and smooth gradients through darks which is a challenge for most printers. However, the colors run a little warm, which was not to our liking.
The printer capabilities metric is an assessment of the Canon Pixma Pro-200's print speed, print dimensions, tray capacity, media diversity, and the number of ink cartridges in use. Given what we've discussed about this unit so far, it shouldn't be surprising that it is a leader in the class in this regard. The main gripe we have with the Pro-200 is that it doesn't accommodate a paper roll, so the print dimensions are limited to 13 x 39 inches. This won't be a deal-breaker for many readers as the max dimensions still give one a lot of room to express themselves.
While the paper roll issue is our main concern, the Pro-200's other printing limitations focus on what mediums it will accept. The unit certainly covers a wide range of paper types from matte to glossy, as well as fine art and card stock. What it lacks is the ability to print on canvas and similarly thick materials. Moreover, the tray will only hold 20 sheets of 4 x 6 inch photo paper. That said, this unit does print reasonably fast at just over a minute per 4 x 6 inch color photo. Also, it prints from 8 separate ink cartridges, which contribute mightily to the vibrant colors discussed above.
The long-term costs of a new purchase are often overlooked when shopping and thus are seen later as hidden costs. However, sometimes the long-term cost works in the consumer's favor. Such is the case with the Canon Pixma Pro-200. We have calculated that this printer produces 4 x 6 inch color prints for just $0.38 each. To put that into context, a national retail chain that we used for comparison produced the same size image for $0.33, and we found the quality to be noticeably lower.
While our cost per print estimate is a round one, it is based on extensive testing and proved to be on the conservative side across the various printers that we reviewed. We first used data from a commercial printer that provided us with the average amount of ink required to cover a square foot of paper with a color image. With that info, we simply calculated the cost of the ink needed for a 4 x 6 inch print and added it to the cost of the paper — simple but telling.
Some electronics are particularly difficult to set up. Unfortunately, we have found printers that fall into this category. While most offer no problems at all, the Canon printers we have tested over the years have consistently been unnecessarily difficult to get up and running. While we will say the cost sayings and performance of the operational Canon Pixma Pro-200 will mitigate the frustrations of the set-up process, it may be hard to keep that in mind while you're in the trenches.
We spent over an hour trying to get our computer to recognize the Pro-200 despite the printer receiving the wifi password through the laptop. You might be thinking, maybe it was your computer. Nope, we tried multiple computers with both PC and Mac operating systems, and the problem falls squarely on the printer. Finally, we gave up and reset everything, resorting to a manual set-up. After getting the printer connected, we were able to set the features on the printer that were supposed to be done via on-screen prompts. Ugh, so frustrating. Good thing it only has to be done once.
We calculate value as a ratio of cost to performance. In this light, the Canon Pixma Pro-200 offers consumers a good value. The unit performs at a very high level, yet it is significantly less expensive than competitive models.
This review of the Canon Pixma Pro-200 evaluates every aspect of this photo printer such that, having read the above work, one will feel confident whether this is the right machine for their needs and budget. Specifically, we made an in-depth analysis of both its color and grayscale renderings. We also looked at the set-up process, the long-term costs of operation, and the print capabilities. All told, we left no stone of importance unturned and provided you with actionable data to make an informed decision on an expensive device.
— Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer