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 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.
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.
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.