Canon Pixma MG5550 | Review

Canon Pixma MG5550The Canon Pixma MG5550 has been around for 16 months now, but is still a top quality printer for the home user or small business. Made even better by the current price tag, the MG5550 can be had for as little as £49.99 if you don't mind White, or £69.99 for the more traditional Black version.

The Pixma MG5550 features a 6.2" TFT screen, A4 document print speeds of 12.2 pages/min Monochrome and 8.7 pages/min Colour, Quality 'XL' capacity 5 cartridge ink system and has Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint support, as well as being smartphone and tablet ready. The staple features are of course included too. Fully wireless enabled, scanner/copier and duplex printing functionality as standard these days.

This all-in-one has a single paper input tray at the bottom of the printer but unfortunately doesn't feature a rear feed. Not great if you like to have both photo and regular paper installed for different print jobs. The input tray is somewhat fiddly as it is partly hidden away and really needs to be pulled out to reload paper accurately. The input tray is also without a cover unlike older printers in the Pixma range, so dust could be an issue and the output tray is nothing more than a thin piece of pull out plastic, which isn't really substantial enough when printing large volumes.

The dimensions of the Pixma MG5550 are 455 x 369 x 148mm which is quite a large footprint for an A4 printer, although it does have quite a low profile.

Other than those minor quibbles, the MG5550 displays all the hallmarks we've come to expect from Canon, solidly built, excellent performance and very efficient, especially when using the optional XL inks. Canon state expected Page Yields of 500 (@ 5% coverage) from the pigment Black used especially for high quality text prints, which when using quality compatibles can provide more efficient Monochrome results than using a Laser Printer.

Overall, we give the Canon Pixma MG5550

8.5/10

Buy Ink Cartridges for the Canon MG5550 Printer:

Canon Pixma MG5550 Ink Cartridges

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Barry's Great North Run Challenge... COMPLETE!

Great North Run 2014Just a quick thank you to our customers here at INKredible!

As some of you may know, our Stock Manager Barry was taking on the challenge of running his first Half Marathon on behalf of the Arthritis Research UK charity by entering the Great North Run held last Sunday.

He has managed to raise £452 so far for his chosen charity, with a tremendous £180 coming from our very generous customer donations!

Barry managed to complete a very hot and hilly 13.1 mile course in a time of 1:58:52, beating his 2 hour target by 1 minute 8 seconds!



Once again, thanks for your support!

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What is 5% Coverage?

5% Coverage exampleInk Cartridge & Laser Toner page yields are estimated using an Industry Standard (ISO) test with 5% toner coverage on each page. The stated toner yield does not guarantee a specific amount of pages per cartridge, but estimates the suggested yield to be expected if printing at 5% coverage throughout the lifetime of each individual cartridge.

Q: What are the factors that will impact the user's yields the most?

A: The most important factor affecting yield is page coverage.  It is not unusual for office or home usage to run above or below that 5% average (for example, if you print a webpage with the Print Background Graphics option on, you could be printing 80%+ coverage).

In general, pages with significant dark, shaded, or colored areas (logos or pictures) or a large amount of fine print will generate area coverage much higher than 5%.

Other factors that can reduce cartridge yield include: higher temperature or higher humidity levels where the printer operates (in laser printers, high humidity can cause clinging or clumping of the toner, and in inkjet can cause evaporation or clogging of the print jets), and using a higher print resolution setting (which causes more dots to be printed per inch resulting in higher density).

Colour coverage varies by product class, but is generally much higher than black-and-white products. Letter/A4-size colour printers and MFPs can have average page coverages in the 7-15% range (depending on the application and mix between color and black-and-white documents).

Tabloid/A3-size colour printers and MFPs tend to drive higher colour page coverages in the range of 10-30% in office environments.

In graphic arts environments, average colour page coverages can increase to the 40-60% range.

In the home, coverage can be even higher since home users tend to be less aware of their options and use best quality regardless of need.

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Barry takes on GNR 2014 for charity!

Barry is running Great North Run 2014Last year it was our illustrious leader Darren running the Great North Run to raise money for the NSPCC, this year our Stock Operations Manager Barry takes over the charity baton!

Barry is raising money for Arthritis Research UK by running his first ever half marathon later this year at Great North Run 2014.

"I am aiming to beat Darren's time of 2hr 07m. Although 13.1 miles is unchartered territory for me, anything can happen on the day. Darren is running again this year and I'm sure he'll want to improve on last years' effort!"

To keep an eye on Barry's progress in the run up to the event you can follow him directly on twitter here @INKredibleBarry where he will be tweeting training run and sponsorship updates.

You can also donate to this fantastic cause by visiting Barry's Just Giving page or by texting 'BAZF50 £2' to 70070.

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Darren's running the Great North Run!

Our fearless leader Darren is donning his shorts and hitting the streets for a very worthy cause!

To raise money and awareness for The NSPCC Darren will be taking part in the BUPA Great North Run this September and putting himself to the test to help end cruelty to children here in the UK.

"Each wall I hit will be worth it. Because I know that my efforts and, most importantly, your support will help the NSPCC prevent more children suffering needlessly." We will keep you up to date with Darren's progress in the run up to the event (Pun intended!) here on INKredible or you can follow him directly on twitter, @darrenpegram for his latest training updates. You can also donate to this fantastic cause by visiting Darren's Just Giving page here. Darren's Running the Bupa Great North Run for The NSPCC.

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Printing your own Christmas cards

Printing your own Christmas cardsIt's almost that time of year again. Halloween has come and gone and things are starting to look festive. Starbucks has brought out the red cups, Tesco has selection boxes galore and C-list celebrities around the country are turning on Christmas lights.

Everybody knows that Christmas is an expensive time of year. From discounts for buying in bulk to money-saving coupons, we are all on the lookout for ways to save a few pennies here and there.

According to the Money Advice Service, the average family will spend £582 this Christmas – that's £46 more than last year, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of households are struggling financially. Well here at INKredible we have come up with a way of saving you some much needed Christmas cash!

It is around this time that people are dusting off their address books and desperately trying to remember the names of their second cousin's kids – it's Christmas card time.

This year, why not do something a little different with your Christmas cards and make them yourself. Woah there, don't worry we're not about to suggest you get out the glitter glue. All you need is your all-in-one printer, photo paper or pre-folded card and a load of coloured ink.
There are several ways you can go about this, mainly depending on how much time and effort you are willing to put in.


Photo Cards

One of the simplest and more personal Christmas cards is a photo card. Find a winter scene or family photo from last Christmas (sat around the Christmas tree, at a carol service, playing in the snow etc). Depending on your printer you can then scan this photo in or simply hit print from your computer. The easiest way to make one of these cards is to choose a landscape photo, rather than a portrait, and place it on the second half of a Word document page. This way, after printing, all you need to do it fold the page in half.

Print onto high quality photo paper for a glossy, professional look.


Hand Drawn Cards

This is a great option for those with kids or a creative streak.  Draw a festive picture on some paper and scan it, using your all-in-one. Once the photo has appeared on your computer screen, follow the steps above! This is a great way to gets your kids in the festive spirit (and keep them busy for an afternoon). Suggest that they make several different designs and that way you can have your very own Christmas card selection.


A Little Creative Help

If getting the colouring pencils or family photo album out doesn't appeal then head online. There are a wealth of websites dedicated to making your own cards, with images you can download. Hop on Google and find a Christmas picture you like, download it and print out.

If you want to draw your own but are struggling for inspiration, have a scout around a few websites until you find something that is just right.

Add an extra bit of personality to your cards this year and get stuck in with some DIY cards!

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Organising your household documents

Organising your household documentsYou may have a very organised office complete with an alphabetised filing cabinet, to do lists and a different colour pen for every client, but what state are your household documents in?

Keeping bills, pay slips, insurance documents, birth certificates and bank stuff equally as organised as your office is important.

Your all-in-one printer can play a big part in this organisation process.

Scanning your important documents to create a digital filing system is one way to go about doing this. Not only will this save physical space (goodbye unattractive bulky filing cabinet) but will also make it far easier to find specific documents quickly.

Storing your documents on your computer, and then backing them up on an external hard drive, will also give you an additional layer of security.

Begin the process by sorting through your domestic paperwork. This is also a great opportunity to have a clear out. It is recommended that you keep paperwork pertaining to insurance and banking for up to seven years, so get rid of any backlog predating that.

It is important that you shred these documents rather than just throwing them away.

Next, create a filing system on your computer with different folders for different areas – car insurance, home insurance, medical, banking, payslips etc. Within those folders you can then create dated files if necessary.

Scan in your essential documents. These may include medical records, mortgage documents or other contracts, insurance policies, National Insurance details, passports, birth, death and marriage certificates and tax returns.

File them into their own category and voila, your data is safely stored on your computer.

Make sure you keep any originals that are of particular importance, but you should be able to downsize your paper collection enormously.

When backing up your files, consider using an online backup storage system for an additional layer of protection.

Using a password to protect your computer is also a step worth taking and store your external hard drive away from your laptop

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Choosing the best printer as a student

Choosing the best printer as a studentWhen choosing a printer it is important to consider what you will be using it for most – Word documents, photos or photocopying for example.

It is also really important to consider the cost, particularly as a student, when money is tight.

Firstly, you need to pick whether you need an all-in-one (printer, scanner and copier) or a more simple machine.

Your university course may dictate what type and what quality printer you need. If all you will be printing out is essays and course notes then buying a printer with a touch screen, scanner and more buttons than your remote control may be somewhat unnecessary.

If you want to be able to use your printer to scan text books, email these scans to your university account and create a number of intricate, coloured pictograms and graphs then you should look for a slightly more advanced printer.

Regardless of what type of printer you need, ensure you look for the following attributes:

· A compact printer. Students don't tend to have a lot of space so keep it small. Whilst at university, students tend to have to keep all their possessions in one room so don't buy a printer the size of a small house as you won't have anywhere to put it.

· Wireless printing. Most printers come with wireless printing as standard these days but it is worth checking. Wireless printing will save you time and get rid of the hassle of finding the right cable from your bundle of wires under your desk. Wireless printing will also enable you to print from anywhere in your house so you can print off your lecture notes from the comfort of your living room so you don't miss any of Don't Tell The Bride.

· Double-sided printing. Choose a printer that offers double-sided printing as this will ultimately save you money. Using half the amount of paper when printing will greatly reduce your costs. By buying a printer that sorts all that double-sided stuff out for you will avoid the annoying 'which way up do I put the paper in now' dilemma which inevitably leads to wasting paper and ink.


Budget buys

If you're looking for a really basic printer then check out the Epson Stylus S22 and the even more compact Epson Stylus SX130, both priced at around £20. Both colour printers, these machines are great for students who just need to print out the odd essay.

Budget printers won't have the option to print double-sided and you won't be able to print wirelessly either.


Mid range

If you are looking to spend a little more to get a slightly better printer, the Epson Stylus SX425W Colour Inkjet all-in-one might suit you.

It costs a little more – around £60 - but has far more print options that the super cheap Epsons. It is WiFi compatible and can print some nice looking photos. You can also put a memory card straight into the printer and print photos instantaneously. Capable of printer around 35 pages per minute, this compact machine is also pretty speedy.


Top end

If you plan on using your printer for photos then consider a Canon PIXMA printer. The Canon PIXMA MG5250 is an economical 5 cartridge printer whereas the Canon PIXMA MG6150 is a 6 cartridge printer utilising a Grey cartridge for more accurate mono prints. Both are all-in-ones and are WiFi ready. Both models also offer double-sided duplex printing.

A black ink cartridge will print around 350 pages, making this printer great value for money. Prices start at around £80.

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Print your own promotional merchandise

Print your own promotional merchandise

There are many costs involved in running a business and here at INKredible, we are always looking for ways to help you cut costs and save money.

Printing your own promotional merchandise, rather than going through a third party company, could save you a fortune. It will also allow you to have complete creative control over the design of your product.

Whether you're giving out calendars at tradeshows or handing out branded tote bags and t-shirts, promotional products are one of the best ways to get your company's name, logo and slogan out there.

Whilst printing your own mugs and umbrellas is out of the question (although that may not be all too far away, the way 3D printing is advancing), there are several promotional items that you can make yourself.

Printing your own items is a great option for smaller, start-up businesses that may not have the funds to bulk buy several hundred calendars. The ability to print them yourself also means that no money is wasted as you can print on demand, rather than ordering too few or too many items.

When designing any promotional material, it is important to consider what it says about your company. Think carefully about logo placement, the images you want to use and where your contact information will appear on the product.


Print a promo calendar

Firstly, chose a theme. Naturescapes are perfect for a calendar as they appeal to everyone. If your company sells cars, a car-themed calendar is obviously more appropriate, but be creative.

There are loads of free calendar templates online and once you have your images, you're good to go.

Make sure your printer is up to the job. Load up on black and coloured ink and high quality photo paper, as this will make it look more professional than just using thin card.

Before clicking print, ensure you have chosen a front cover, that your company logo appears somewhere on every page and that your contact details can be found somewhere on the product.

Bind the calendar and voila! You now have a printed promotional, personalised product.

Display these in your office for clients to take home with them (make sure you have one on the wall of every room too!) and take them to meetings and tradeshows to give away.

You can even turn calendars into a charity fundraiser – team up with a local charity and have a donation box next to your products in your reception area.


Tote bags

Tote bags are another great promo item and are becoming more and more popular as supermarkets start to charge for carrier bags.

Buy a few blank bags online and stock up on image transfer paper. Choose a design and print it onto the special paper – make sure your colour ink cartridge is full!
Take the tote bag (or t-shirt, as the same technique applies) and iron onto your product.

Promotional products don't have to cost your company a fortune so why not have a go at making your own this autumn?

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Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD review

Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD review

When choosing a printer, you need to consider what you will be using it for predominantly.

If you are an avid amateur photographer, then the Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD could be for you.

Inexpensive, energy efficient and easy to us, this is a great photo printer.

It's a squat inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP) comprising printer, scanner and colour copier.

The touch-sensitive, colour screen control panel displays print options or the contents of your memory card for quick and easy photo selection.

Capable of printing a six by four inch photo (regular postcard size) in just 79 seconds this machine is not only speedy but produces high-quality prints.

The Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD can also print directly on to compatible CDs and DVDs.

The scanner is fast and boasts sharp images and vibrant colours.

Supporting both WiFi and Ethernet port, you have a choice of how to connect.

 

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