Canon Pixma MP600 review

£88
Price when reviewed

There are three distinct price bands within the consumer all-in-ones section of this Labs, and it’s no surprise that the best combination of features, quality and value falls right in the middle. The Canon Pixma MP600 costs £88 – not exactly cheap when the MP180 costs only £41, but it’s worth every penny when you consider how thoroughly it outclasses the competition.

It may not have fax or network capabilities like the office models, but it does straddle the divide by sporting an integrated duplexer as standard. And this isn’t the only addition to help justify the price: it can also print from infrared sources, has an intuitive scroll wheel and flip-up 2.5in screen, and offers the choice of using a paper tray or top-feeder for a maximum capacity of 300 sheets. It’s about as professional as a home all-in-one can get.

Then there’s the print engine. If you read our recent inkjet group test (web ID: 116244), you’ll be delighted to learn that the MP600 uses the same remarkable engine as the Labs-winning Pixma iP5300, which means stunningly vivid photos and bold, pin-sharp text. Prints or copies, the result is always top-class and – as long as you go into the driver and lower the unnecessarily high drying time between sheets – your pages will flow out at impressive speeds.

In our mono text test, we measured 15ppm in draft mode and 8.7ppm at normal quality. This rose to 9.2ppm for colour text and graphics. A best-quality 6 x 4in photo dropped onto the tray in just 49 seconds, and the MP600 even copied one in less than a minute without a noticeable reduction in quality.

The scanner is just as quick, with only the cheaper Canon proving faster, but scan quality is its one area of weakness. Next to the fantastic images of the Epson, the MP600’s photo scans were washed out, not to mention slightly out of focus. Fortunately, this doesn’t affect the quality of document copies, but if you’re buying an all-in-one primarily for its scanner you’ll want to look at the Epsons.

But if the scanner is a less frequently used companion to the print and copy functions, we can’t recommend the Pixma MP600 enough. It’s already held the A-List spot for over six months and, with low running costs bolstering the value for money, it’s staying put.

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