Vol. 5 Num 295 Sat. March 26, 2005  

Tech Review
The Pixma impact
Where does Canon's latest local market add-ons stand today!
Launched last month, Pixma, Canon's latest photo printers have already taken a good amount of market share as their price range starts at an unbelievable price of Taka 2800, which probably makes it the most affordable printer in the market.

To get a closer look into the Pixma technology and in-depth view over it's impact on the local market, Saad Hammadi of StarTech (ST) spoke to Abdullah H Kafi (AHK), managing director of JAN Associates, the sole distributor of Canon in Bangladesh and former president of Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS).

ST: Which Pixma model has become the local market favourite so far, and what is its sales position?

AHK: Bangladesh market is price conscious; so naturally Pixma iP1000 is the best selling model earning 90 percent of the total printer sales.

ST: According to CNET's editors' choice iP3000 was just at the edge of satisfactory level compared to iP2000, what does the local market feel about iP3000?

AHK: As of now, nobody termed ip3000 as just 'satisfactory'. It is an extremely good printer. Countries like Bangladesh and most of the Asia prefer iP1000 because of the price and quality. It would be irrelevant to compare iP2000 with iP3000, as they are two different segments. iP1000, 1500 and 2000 are low-end machines whereas iP3000 has a totally different segment. It has a four colour machine with separate ink tanks, a CD/DVD writing capacity, PictBridge and direct photo printing capacity. In terms of quality iP3000 is definitely better than iP2000 with a remarkable increase at dots per inch (DPI) and 2 Pico litres ink droplets being the best within the price range.

ST: Which Canon products are going to hit the local market next?

AHK: Pixma iP8500, a six colour high end printer, will be our next release. Pixma iP90, a totally portable printer will be another attraction. Apart from PictBridge, this one also has infrared and Bluetooth facilities. Within 100 yards radius one would be able to print without even connecting to the printer. These printers target a different market segment and are meant for the high end professionals.

ST: Could you please update us with Canon's present market position in comparison to its competitors?

AHK: After the introduction of Pixma, our market share went up to 70 percent in terms of inkjet printers till date, and this is based on self-monitoring of everyday sales in various computer markets. Even in terms of laser printers our market share is around 35 percent.

ST: Do you really expect a difference in the market with the entrance of the Pixma series?

AHK: Of course! We hardly anticipate any complaints from the Pixma users. Initially Pixma was made for the Japanese market. Within the Asian region Japanese people are very selective, not in terms of price but they are quality conscious and Pixma was that quality printer that came with a affordable price-tag.

The Pixma Tech
Pixma has the implementation of finer nozzles that matured the bubble-jet printing process into a quality excelling at photo printing. Pixma's iP1000 rules the local market at the lowest bargain quoted at Tk2800 with its newly enriched dpi uncompromised. The iP1000 places 5 picolitre ink droplets which formulate an exceptional print accuracy at a speed of approximately 55 seconds for a page. Occupying the least space in a tube shape the device with a handsome wear branded under Pixma has bagged a great appeal.

Eliminating the task of computer synchronisation, the iP3000 features a direct photo printing from cameras linked thru' USB. At 48001200 dpi equating the quality of iP1000 it has flexibility and further advancement in its technology. Its' auto duplex print empowerment allows both side print at once without requiring a manual shift to paper. The in-built paper feed cassette in addition to the conventional auto sheet feeder save the hassle of switching between different types of paper in one tray. Speeding up with printing ability, iP3000 also facilitates direct print over CD and DVD. This bubble-jet is available in the market at Tk10,000.

Now, the most acclaimed printer among the three released in Bangladesh is Pixma's iP5000 ranked at 9 according to CNET. It includes an advanced print head which is solely capable of producing microscopic 1 picolitre ink droplets leading into True Photo-Realism. Such minute droplet size makes possible a phenomenal 96002400 dpi resolution. Introducing the five tanker ink cartridge allows prevention of ink wastages and its' advanced ink detection system ensures the printer will not start on a print job if there is insufficient ink to complete it.

Not only superior at its ink mechanism but the multi-nozzle FINE print head can print in approximately 36 seconds. At Tk 20,000 this machine features a 4-motor independent-drive, high-speed paper feed mechanism and auto duplex printing system including direct photo print ability and is able to print 25 ppm monochrome and 17 ppm colour.