by Sean Setters
Canon USA often offers excellent rebates on their PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printers. Not long ago, I took advantage of one of those rebates and received my PIXMA PRO-100 shortly afterward.
Aside from the great build quality of the printer itself, I was thoroughly impressed by the box that the printer was shipped in. I realize that reading that previous statement may invoke a quizzical look on many site visitors' faces, but hear me out. Not all cardboard is the same, and the cardboard used in the PIXMA PRO-100's packaging (it's likely the same for the PRO-10 as well) is extremely rigid and durable, a fact that was clearly evident when I attempted (and eventually succeeded) in cutting out the barcode for rebate claim purposes.
Why would someone care about the quality of cardboard? Well, if you're like me, you may have a decent amount of 8.5 x 11" photo paper lying around because you took advantage of a couple of great printer paper deals which tend pop up every now and then. However, 8.5 x 11" is rarely a requested print size; more often than not, an 8 x 10" print is desired. It's easy enough to produce an 8 x 10" print on an 8.5 x 11" piece of paper, but cutting is required to make that print fit in most 8 x 10" frames.
While scissors are certainly an option for accomplishing the task, if you're like me, you may have trouble cutting in a straight line. Even though a print with slightly not-so-straight edges will rarely be noticed once it's in the frame, handing such a print over to a customer is a bit embarrassing. We strive to produce the highest quality photos possible, so why would we hand over a print that gives the impression of a low quality product without exquisite attention to detail?
My solution for obtaining clean, straight cuts on my prints involves an X-ACTO knife (with plenty of spare blades), a stainless steel ruler and cardboard. Before the PIXMA PRO-100 arrived, I had been using whatever cardboard box was in the recycling pile waiting to be picked up (usually an Amazon box). But I often didn't have a large enough box on-hand to make the required cuts, and even if I did, a single project made the box unusable for future projects because the cardboard was too weak to endure multiple uses. A single PIXMA PRO-100 box top panel, on the other hand, has sustained multiple uses (I've created about a dozen prints with it) and shows no signs of imminent failure. And when (or possibly, "if") that panel ever becomes too worn to do its job, I've got another panel waiting to take its place.
Everyone who has received a hand-cut print from my Canon PIXMA PRO-100 printer has been extremely happy with the quality of the finished product. Of course, the quality of the photos and the quality of the printer deserve most of the credit for my clients' satisfaction, but the printer's box top also deserves some credit for helping me to produce those high quality 8 x 10" prints.