Canon PIXMA iP3000 InkJet Photo Printer

Canon PIXMA iP3000 InkJet Photo Printer

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So Easy there must be a catch ... print head is dead after 18 months

Jan 28, 2005 (Updated Aug 6, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Paper Handling:

Pros:Quick and easy setup, fast and quiet high quality printing

Cons:No USB cable supplied. No tray to catch printed items.

The Bottom Line: Excellent quality printer. Individual colored ink cartridges cost less than $10. Easy set up and operation. Required USB cable needs to be in box.


This little printer worked flawlessly for approximately 18 months. We put about one and a half boxes of printing paper through it, printing photos and documents. All the print jobs were completed quickly and with top quality results. The printer gave us absolutely no problems until...the print head died.

The first clue of a problem came when I tried to print a map from the internet and it came out blank. I checked the printer and saw it was flashing five times which meant a problem with the print head. The manual says in the trouble shooting section to try this. Install the Print Head. If the Print Head is already installed, remove the Print Head and check the electrical contacts for foreign matter, then reinstall. After reinstalling the Print Head, you may need to realign it. If this error still remain, the print Head may be damaged. Contact the Customer Care Center.

The print head is a small plastic gadget that holds the ink cartridges and rides back and forth across the paper squirting drops of ink onto the paper. The printhead looks fairly simple but apparently it has an evil mechanical spirit inside the plastic under the many small metal contact points and the nozzles that actually squirt the ink on the paper. When that evil spirit decides it no longer wants to work, no amount of cleaning the contacts or ink jets will correct the problem. I always used good ink - no home refills in this printer.

After cleaning the entire print head with rubbing alcohol (not a recommended procedure - but one that some tried and left a note on the web that it worked) I reinstalled the print head and printed a test page. It worked and I was happy for about five minutes. When I tried to print a document I got a blank page again and the flashing light signalled an error. I also got an error message from the print menu that said my print head was defective.

What to do next? Micro Center says they will replace the print head for $85 - more than I paid for the thing new and more than a new Canon printer (but not the same model) in the on-line stores. New print heads cost about $50 on-line. I read that these print heads only last about one year so I guess I should be happy mine lasted 18 months under fairly heavy use. I just ordered a new print head on-line for $46.50 including shipping.

Original review follows:

When we bought our new Gateway 820GM PC in early January 2005 at the Micro Center in Fairfax VA, the store offered us this exceptional Canon Pixma iP3000 Photo Printer for $80 with a $50 rebate. We have a very reliable HP DeskJet 890C that worked fine so we really did not need a new printer but since they practically gave it to us we took it home. The main selling points if I were to buy it at the normal cheap price are individual cheap ink cartridges so you only have to replace what you actually use; two sided printing capability without you having to touch the paper; and multiple size paper handling in the bottom tray that can be switched instantly to standard paper in the top paper feeder.
Please read the other reviews to get all the technical data on this printer that you will ever need. I'll tell you as I was reading the instructions it was so easy to set up I kept wondering what I was missing. The missing part was the USB cable that hooks the printer to the PC which is not supplied in the box but fortunately we had an USB cable with the correct small end from an old external DVD burner. (Be sure you have a USB cable with one standard and one small end.) So we plugged in the cable, loaded the printer driver, and put some paper into the top feeder. This printer also has a bottom feeder tray that will take various sizes of photo paper. (By the way, unless it has changed, the printer in photograph of the iP3000 in this e-pinions review is not the iP3000 Photo Printer so don't let that fool you in the store. Look at the review for the iP4000 photo printer and you will see what the iP3000 photo printer really looks like.)
I selected a favorite photo from my files to test the quality and speed of the printer. Needless to say I was impressed when the photo popped out in just a few seconds and really looked good, even on standard bond paper. Documents go even faster. You hit the print and almost like a $1,000 laser printer at work there is a little hum and out pops a perfectly printed document, a little wet at first but it dries in a minute. None of the old humming and noisy sawing back and forth of the printer cartridge one expects from a inkjet printer. One feature I miss from my older printer is the tray that caught the printed documents. The iP3000 has a short fold down door in the front with two small curved plastic pieces on an extension that catches the printed document. But the following document tends to push its predecessor off this tray.
We have used this printer for four weeks without a paper jam or any other malfunction. You hit the print button and the document or picture pops out. What could be easier than that?


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 80
Operating System: Windows


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