Dropping in right at the bottom of the market, the Canon Pixma iP1900 inkjet is one of Canon's cheapest printing devices ever, with a list price of £35.
It's hardly surprising, then, that the Canon Pixma iP1900 has been pared down to the bone. Although it's not unattractive, the lack of extras is quite obvious. There's no sign of PictBridge, or memory card slots, or LCDs. The lack of a collection tray is perhaps less predictable though, so you'll need to make sure there's plenty of space in front of the printer to stop finished pages from falling to the floor.
Advances in inkjet technology haven't been copious in the past 12 months. This is a good thing from the point of the Canon Pixma iP1900, however, as it means there's no problem with it keeping up with the specifications of other printers.
Its 4800x1200dpi resolution is as much as you should need, while the 2-picolitre ink droplet specification is in keeping with the Canon Pixma iP1900's more expensive rivals.
Since it conforms to Canon's ChromaLife100 system, photo prints carry a long-life guarantee - 100 years if stored in an album, although we doubt too many customers will be around to complain should they fall 20 years short of this claim. There's little stinting on software, with Canon's Easy-PhotoPrint EX suite covering most situations with ease.
So what of the quality? Well, inkjets are rarely adept at producing good text, and you certainly shouldn't be expecting high-calibre reproduction from the Canon Pixma iP1900. Even in the finest mode (at about 1.9 pages per minute), text is rather fuzzy and poorly defined. However, the results are legible, and the middle mode (with a ppm of 6.3) produces readable results at a reasonable rate.
Colour graphics are never fast though. In the literature is quoted 17ppm, but we found you had to divide this figure by 10 - even in the fastest mode. What you make of these prints will depend on your subject. The Canon Pixma iP1900's palette is a touch light, and certain colours (blue shades in particular) lacked accuracy. The results aren't unattractive, but brooding intensity certainly isn't a strength of the Canon Pixma iP1900's output.
The Canon Pixma iP1900 may be cheap but you pay a price in other respects. Print quality and speed can be easily improved upon by spending a little more, and the lack of an output tray could prove inconvenient. Running costs are fairly high, with pages costing more than 3.5p to produce. Even for colour graphics (where you'd expect 2.5p-3p), this is a touch high. Our advice would be to pay a little more than the iP1900's asking price, as it will go a very long way.