Canon Pixma MP180 review

Price when reviewed

When buying an all-in-one, not everyone wants or needs the plethora of extravagant features the higher-end models offer; one that does the job fuss-free and without breaking the bank is a better solution. At £41, the Canon Pixma MP180 certainly qualifies, and what it lacks in style and extras is compensated by surprisingly high quality.

Canon Pixma MP180 review

But let’s get the negatives out of the way first. It isn’t the most attractive device we’ve seen, and the old-fashioned two-line LCD is accompanied by an awful menu and control system that makes standalone use frustrating. Thus, printing from memory cards is long-winded and tricky, especially as what should have been a life-saver – the index sheet – is nothing more than a guide to the numbers of each photo; you still have to select them and your options manually.

It also takes up a lot of desk space, and the output tray is merely a flap that folds down. With just two cartridges – black and tricolour – and no photo cartridge to swap in and out you may not think quality would be a highlight, either, but you’d be wrong.

Admittedly, photos are a slight weakness – they lack the boldness of the MP600. However, they’re still perfectly acceptable, and in all other areas the Canon copes admirably, even matching the dearer MP600 in our colour document test. It also boasts a superior scanner to its big brother. Colours were slightly undersaturated, but there was a lot of detail in the grass and building of our test photo, and text documents were reproduced accurately.

And while the print speed can’t quite match the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pace of the MP600, the MP180’s scanner is the quickest overall of the whole group this month, even beating the four office models. This makes it an extremely attractive proposition as a cheap all-in-one for the whole family to take advantage of, especially as running costs of 5.2p per page aren’t too high.

Offering printing, scanning and copying for just £41, we wouldn’t expect miracles and, because of its poor ease of use and lack of features, you’d be forgiven for crossing the MP180 off your list. But if all you want are great results at minimum cost, the MP180 should be top of your list.

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