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Design & Features

With even a quick glance at the Pixma Pro-1, it's clear that Canon is aiming for the home printing enthusiast rather than the casual user looking to make the occasional 4 x 6 print. The printer weighs in at over 60 pounds, and although the metal chassis is encased in a plastic exterior, the construction and build offer a much more solid feel than we're accustomed to seeing in 13-inch model. Doors, hinges and paper supports feel as if they're designed for long term use.

The sleek, rounded corners and minimalist three-button design of the Pixma Pro-1 belie its massive footprint. With dimensions of 696 x 462 x 241 mm (27.4 x 18.2 x 9.5 inches) in its closed state, the Pixma Pro-1 requires substantially more desk space on which to sit than either the Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II or the Epson Stylus Photo R3000. One advantage of the Pro-1's greater depth dimension is that it allows for a flatter paper feed path, which we suspect is one of the reasons the printer handles thick, heavy fine art papers so easily. Those who like to print panoramas may miss the convenience of a roll paper holder, but including one would make the printer even bigger.

You can connect the Pro-1 to a single computer via a USB 2 connection or share the printer over a network via a built-in 10/100Ethernet port. Despite its size, the printer does not generate excessive vibration when printing and is reasonably quiet except when it performs its automated print head cleanings or primes the inks upon initial installation.

The Pixma Pro-1 has a USB 2.0 and an Ethernet port. A PictBridge port allows for direct printing from a compatible camera.
There are only three buttons on the printer. One to to open the ink compartment (top), a power button (right), and another to resume/cancel print jobs. The printer comes with a disc tray for direct printing on inkjet compatible CD/DVDs. A separate feed slot for the holder insures alignment of the disc.

The Pro-1 has the ability to print directly onto inkjet compatible CD/DVD disks. A holder is included with the printer which slides into a separate feed slot located behind a pull-down door sitting just above the paper output tray. Easy-PhotoPrint EX software comes bundled with the printer and includes pre-designed layout templates. Loading a disc is straightforward. In a design reminiscent of film scanners, the holder fits snugly into the feed slot, for consistent alignment. Arrows indicate just how far to insert the holder.

Paper feed

The Pro-1 offers two paper feed sources. Its standard rear paper feed consists of a two piece double-hinged design that opens up to reveal a feed slot cover which itself flips up to provide access to the paper guides. The feed slot cover, which prevents any objects from falling into the printer must be closed before the printer will begin printing. Yet you can open it without interrupting the printing process should you wish to load additional sheets in the rear tray. When not in use, the rear feed support folds down, laying flush with the top of the printer. A manual feed slot that extends from the back of the printer is meant for thicker papers which must be loaded one sheet at a time. It's worth noting that this slot can actually accommodate paper up to 14 inches (35.5cm) wide.

You can load up to 20 sheets of photo paper at a time in the printer's rear feed paper slot. Adjustable paper guides (in white) keep the sheets aligned. Heavier and thicker fine art papers are fed one at a time through the manual feed slot, which offers a less steeply angled print path.

Printer utility options

With only three buttons on the unit itself, most interactions with the printer must be done through the printer utility. It is here that you can perform nozzle checks and cleanings, configure settings and check ink levels. The Mac OS 10.6 version is shown below but the same options exist on a Windows machine.

There are three intensities of nozzle cleaning available as well as options to clean the bottom plate and paper rollers. Nozzle checks and print head alignment patterns can be printed as a first line of troubleshooting.
In addition to an onscreen power button, the printer utility allows you to configure the printer to automatically power off after a specified period of inactivity. With the printer powered on and all current print jobs completed, you can view estimates of current ink levels. Warning icons appear when ink levels get low.
A quiet mode for printing can be enabled, though this results in slower print times. You can adjust the wait time between consecutive prints and enable/disable a paper width check.
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