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4 of the Best New Photo Printers for the 2011 Holiday Season   
With Christmas fast approaching, our passing thoughts of what to buy for those we care about begin to morph into serious contemplation. Photo printers are highly sought after by consumers this time of year, and the 2011 season will be no different. With this in mind, we will save you the trouble of wading through catalogs,online jibber-jabber, and hour long sales pitches by bringing you 4 of the best choices in photo printers for the holidays. Let's get to it, shall we?
Santa's Personal Favorite (We Think)
Personal inkjet photo printers are a dime a dozen these days. Only a select few manufacturers really dominate this category, and Canon is one of them. So what is so great about the Canon PIXMA iP4820 Premium Inkjet Photo Printer? Probably the fact that it delivers very high quality photo prints at amazing speeds for really cheap. It has not one, but two 150 page paper trays. This means you could load photo and standard printing paper, allowing you to put those 5 cartridges to work between the two without moving a muscle. Auto-duplexing is standard with the iP4820, allowing for easy two-sided printing as well. It prints at lightning speeds (tops in it's class, actually) without sacrificing output quality. Speaking of output, the photo print quality is probably on par with your standard lab prints, which is quite high for a personal inkjet at this price range. As a personal inkjet printer, it truly stands out above the competitors and does an amiable job as a dedicated photo printer. Sure, more expensive profesional units can outperform the iP4820, but as is typical with that class of dedicated photo printers, the price is a huge deterrent to your average shopper. The iP4820 would make a fine addition to any Christmas list this year.
Professional results without the "Professional" price tag
No doubt about it, Canon knows how to make an amazing photo printer for less. Perhaps you've perused some of the other previous posts here and become familiar with the sparkling history of Canon's Pixma Pro series. This year, they have done it again. Though the Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II Inkjet Photo Printer has only experienced modest improvements over the original Pixma Pro9500, they are improvements worth mentioning (and paying for). The most notable improvement is print speed. While still clocking in a little slow, the Mark II version of the Pro9500 is faster than it's predecessor, with NO loss in output quality. Few professionals lend much weight to print speed, but the increase is a pleasant addition for those of us just looking for a good photo printer for around the house. Moreover, the Pixma Pro9500 Mark II produces lush, spot on prints every time. Though it is an inkjet, gradients flow beautifully from it's 10 different cartridges and there is consistent throughout the print.
Even the most ardent Pofessionals will see this baby as a great investment with such premium output results. It is designed to work with a plethora of quality paper, but shines with the "fine art" papers. It can accommodate sizes up to 13 by 19 in this regard. It uses your standard USB connection with the option to print directly from your camera. On the downside (because you knew there would be one), the Mark II wont be fitting in anyone's stocking this year, as it is a bit on the large side (34 pounds), and will require plenty of surface space in order to properly feed it. Even so, the Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II is among the top tier of professional quality photo printers, for less.
Have a Multi-Functional Christmas
Perhaps the individual you're shopping for this year would really like to have a nice photo printer, but they really need something that does more than just print pretty pictures. Thankfully, Hewlett-Packard has a solution for them. Introducing the Photosmart Premium Fax eAIO (All-In-One) Printer. First, rest assured that simply because this is a MFP (Multi-Function Printer) is no reason to dismiss it's photo printing ability. On the contrary, the PPF eAIO can produce vivid, lab quality output and at a reasonable 3 ppm (page per minute) speed. It boasts above average photo quality for an inkjet, utilizing it's 5 ink cartridges pretty well. Only an occasional artifact may appear during heavy printing, barely noticeable if at all. It's additional features include scanning, copying,and faxing. You can even scan to a memory card or USB drive if you so desire. It's a bit on the heavy side, weighing in at around 23 pounds, and it can hold around 125 pages in the tray, 50 in the document feeder,and 20 in a separate photo tray.
It supports eprinting (e-mailing of photos for it to print directly) and wireless printing as well. All of the additional features provide for a very suitable multi-function machine for around the house or at the office, but the higher quality of the photo printing function really makes this a great choice for those who can't (or simply don't want to) settle for a photo printer only.
The Power of the "Cube"
This next device falls squarely in the camp of AWESOME! With millions of people all over the world living on a steady diet of mobile device candy, it was inevitable that the printer industry would capitalize on the craze. And thanks to the new VuPoint Solutions Photo Cube, the holidays will indeed be "Merry & Bright". So, what makes this little puppy such a great gift this season? Where to begin. For starters, it works with the latest and greatest mobile devices on the market. This includes the iPhone 4, Android, iPad, iPod, etc. More and more people are using mobile powerhouse devices as their "camera" of choice (as proven by the massive number of photos uploaded to sharing sites on the web from said devices), and the VuPoint Photo Cube makes it extremely easy to get those digital photos onto physical paper quickly. The "Cube" uses the latest thermal dye technology to print good quality 4 x 6 photos, simply by docking your device to it and starting the necessary app. It utilizes only one cartridge, which can print up to 36 images (it comes with a trial cartridge which can print 16 images).It prints at a brisk speed, and you have the option of grouping images at smaller resolutions onto one print in various patterns. Unfortunately, the VuPoint Photo Cube is exclusive to the previously mentioned mobile devices. You can't use it to print images from your computer, USB device, or memory card. However, for the mobile device junkie in your family, it is guaranteed to make their's a "Holly Jolly" Christmas.