Copying and printing
The printing performance was identical to that of the G3600, which is to say very good indeed. I copied a bunch of documents and the colour was a respectable match for the original and, as usual, the built in software tended to clean things up a little, so that the copies could look better than the original.
Colour photo prints on glossy photo paper were superb and may as well have come out of a shop photo printer. Except that you have more control.
I installed the Canon Selphy app on my phone, and that enabled me to print photos directly to the printer (via the network). You can set up the prints, too, specifying paper size and type. I printed out a photo from my phone to high resolution ink jet paper (not glossy) and it looked very nice indeed. Then I copied it using the flat bed scanner to plain paper. At first glance, that mostly looked almost as impressive. On closer inspection some of the dot structure of the print was visible on the copy, and the blacks tended to be a bit mottled. Still, it was remarkable.
Have a look at the G3600 review for more on print quality.
The automatic document feeder worked well and reliably so long as I fed it fairly straight documents and gave them a fan before popping them in. You’re asking for trouble with paper which sticks.
Now you may ask: if the scanner is a flat bed, what kind of complex mechanism is needed to feed the paper onto it the sheet of glass, and then get it off again? In fact, there’s an additional line scanner as part of the auto feeder and it’s this which scans the incoming documents rather than the flat bed.
Finally, when reviewing the G3600 I noted that the printer switched itself off. At the time I thought there was no way to defeat this, but it turns out you can through the printer driver. The setting defaults to switching it off after four hours, and having auto on disabled. Not really wise choices, I would have thought. You can change the switch off time or completely disable it. Or have the printer wake up when data’s coming.
The Canon Pixma Endurance G4600 is a fine, economical and highly usable printer, scanner and copier. No doubt it does the job as a fax machine as well. The price premium over the G3600 is quite modest given the increased usability afforded by the control panel and LCD display, and the auto document feeder turns it into a real office-style copier. Very impressive.