This comparision was made after the Summer'98 upgrade by printing the same full sheet color landscape photos and pictures of artists paintings. I have a HP 694c and I got the chance to use a brand new Canon BJC 4300 so I finally know the difference in print quality. I'll start with the text. They are both the same size but HP prints with a serif font style and Canon prints sans-serif just like you see on the screen. So the Canon text prints the letters closer together and the spacing between lines isn't as large as the HP. What HP prints in 9.25 inches of text the Canon prints in 7. The Canon text is as sharp, clear and black as the HP. Other than the font style both brands do text really well. The color carts are easier to install on the Canon than the HP but the paper is easier to load on the HP. The color printing is where the big difference is and I suppose it's a matter of taste. While the sharpness of both are equal, the color reproduction is not. I've always thought the HP color prints to be a little on the light side, a little washed out but still carried a lot of detail. The Canon is just the opposite, the colors are darker than they should be and there is a loss of detail. It's detail that you wouldn't notice when looking at just the Canon print alone, but is obvious when seen with the HP print. But like I said it does come down to taste. If you prefer darker more intense colors than you would like the Canon. If you like your colors not as intense and a little closer to what you see on the screen with more detail than I would suggest the HP. The Canon also has a narrower margin at the top of the page, it starts printng sooner. Print speeds for the HP ad Canon are about the same for both text and color. The noise level is also about the same but a different kind of noise. While the HP is more mechanical noise the Canon is more like, the closest I can think of is the noise a copy machine makes. But the decibel level is about the same with the Canon being just a little bit quieter. I will still recommend the HP over the Canon only because of the difference in color and detail reproduction.
->Note from caretaker of site Mr. Casey wanted me to indicate that this is his opinion and not mine, I do not have the knowledge to form an opinion on this subject.