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The maximum print resolution is 4800dpi horizontally and 1200dpi vertically. Print speed varies according to resolution, but for documents you’re talking about nearly nine pages per minute for black, and five for colour. A six by four colour photo on glossy paper takes around a minute.

About a hundred sheets of regular paper will stack in the paper feeder, and about fifty in the output tray. The auto document feeder will accept up to twenty regular documents to be copied.

The scanner supports 600 by 1200dpi resolution.

You can connect the printer via USB or WiFi (2.4GHz band, up to 802.11n supported) and both print and scan functions work via the network connection. There is no Ethernet socket.

I did not test the fax function. It took me years, but I eventually managed to convince everyone that I refuse to have anything to do with such ancient technology, and I have no intention of opening that door again, even a crack.

That said, if you do need fax facilities, the G4600 provides them. Its rated transmission speed is three seconds for black and white and one minute for colour. It has memories for a maximum of 19 locations, which the wag in me wants to say ought to cover all fax users in Australia. But I understand their use is common in various professional areas. If you’re dealing with lawyers a lot, you’ll likely find this extremely useful.

Setting up

I had some frustrating experiences with the G3600 when setting up. Ultimately I was successful, although I’m not quite certain how.

It wasn’t the physical setup. That was straightforward on both. Remove the ubiquitous bits of orange tape that stop things from flapping around in the carton, and follow the step by step instructions on installing the two print heads and filling the four tanks with their ink. This time I didn’t spill even a drop. It just takes a little care.

The problem last time was connecting to the network. I was hopeful that things would proceed more smoothly this time. There was a bump in the road, but it was soon overcome. Rule One of doing this: be patient. Once it was powered up the printer spent several minutes whirring things around inside it (I guess it was pumping ink through little pipes from the ink tanks to the print heads), showing “Setting Up for First Use” on the display. You can set it up via your smart device or a computer. I used the download method on my computer and followed its instructions. The default easy WiFi connection system instantly failed to work. I thought maybe that would scan for access points and ask for a password, but it didn’t seem to do that, so I’m not sure what it was going for.

Anyway, I followed the wizard and moved on to the WPS push button method – push the relevant button on my router and then accept the connection at the printer end – and that worked flawlessly.

It offered to do a test print to check head alignment, and that was fine, and it was done.

Then there was a bunch of software that the system wanted to install, beyond the basic drivers and control software. I decided not to let it go ahead with the software to index photos and make snapshots and whatnot. I’m a manual kind of guy and will use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for that kind of stuff. Neither did I install the fax software.

Canon’s quick start menu occupies space that it shouldn’t

I did allow the quick start menu to install. It plants itself in the bottom right of your Windows desktop and auto starts with Windows. A fiddle with its setting menu stops that, but I have to wonder why printer makers think their devices and software are so important they should default to using up a chunk of their users’ valuable computer screen real estate.