Canon Pixma MX870 review

Price when reviewed

You’ll need plenty of space for Canon’s Pixma MX870, which isn’t surprising given the raft of features it packs in. It’s the successor to the equally massive MX860, and the additions are minimal but significant.

The vital new feature is Windows 7 support. When the OS first arrived many people found their scanners stopped working, and it took manufacturers – not just Canon – too long to make patched drivers available. The support is now there for older models, but it’s reassuring that the MX870 has it out of the box.

The rest of the physical specification is unchanged, with a 2.5in colour display on the busy front panel; automatic two-sided printing and a 35-sheet automatic document feeder; the choice of 802.11g Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB connections; full fax capability; and memory card slots for most formats except xD-Picture.

Canon Pixma MX870

Under the hood is where small improvements have been made. The five-ink engine remains intact, with both pigmented and dye-based blacks to ensure high-quality text and detailed images, but it’s been tweaked a little to increase output speeds.

In our tests we saw mono document print speeds hit 8.8ppm, with colour at 6.8ppm, up from the MX860’s 8ppm and 6.8ppm. It’s a small improvement on an already reasonably fast device, but not enough to justify an upgrade. The quality is beautiful, with perfect, thick text and photo prints that would rival those of the photo-specialist iP4700.

Running costs are reasonable. If you shop around you can get all five of the cartridges for less than £10 inc VAT each, meaning an A4 print will set you back around 2.9p in mono and 8p in colour (excluding paper). It isn’t up there with HP’s OfficeJets in this regard, but that’s the price you pay for a multifunction device that produces such flawless images.

So, if you work in a small office that rarely prints anything more advanced than documents with the odd image, the MX870 is overkill. If you need a device that’s capable of rising to the occasion for top-quality photo output, however, this Canon is worth paying for.

Basic Specifications

Resolution printer final9600 x 2400dpi
Ink-drop size1.0pl
Integrated TFT screen?yes
Maximum paper sizeA4
Duplex functionyes

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page2.9p
Cost per A4 colour page8.0p
Inkjet technologyThermal
Ink typeDye-based black & colour, pigment-based black

Power and noise

Peak noise level44.0dB(A)
Dimensions491 x 437 x 226mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption22W
Idle power consumption3W

Copier Specification

Fax speed33.6Kb/sec
Fax page memory250

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured)9ppm
Colour print speed7ppm

Media Handling

Borderless printing?yes
CD/DVD printing?no
Input tray capacity150 sheets


USB connection?yes
Ethernet connection?yes
Bluetooth connection?no
PictBridge port?yes

Flash media

SD card readeryes
Compact Flash readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
xD-card readerno
USB flash drive support?yes
Other memory media supportMD, MMC

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported?yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported?yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported?no
Other operating system supportMac OS X 10.4.11 or higher
Software suppliedCanon MP Navigator EX, Easy PhotoPrint EX

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