Canon's Pixma MP640 boasts picture perfect printing

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Canon's Pixma MP640 boasts picture perfect printing

Canon has toyed with its top-end all-in-ones over the past year, replacing the MP610 with the MP620 and MP630; both had a new print engine, one wireless networking, the other duplex. It makes sense, then, that the MP640 combines all these to finish the job.

So it features USB and 802.11bg WLAN, an Ethernet port and a duplex unit. But that's not all: the LCD has grown to 3in and the redesigned scrollwheel feels smoother and more durable than before.

The ports are recessed, so the printer fits against a back wall, and even with the duplex unit on the back it isn't an overly bulky device.

The rest is the same, with both rear tray and cassette holding 150 sheets, and we never tire of seeing the output tray glide open when a print job starts.

The five inks haven't changed either, which is no bad thing. In our test documents text was bold, while photos were every bit as vibrant and detailed as those from the iP4700 (below).

Speeds were similar too, with a 47-second 6 x 4in photo and 1min 37secs for A4; only documents slowed a little, at 7.3ppm in mono and 4.6ppm in colour.

We found the scanner lightning-fast - just 15 seconds for a 6 x 4in photo at 600ppi, for example - and the results were good. There wasn't the same detail as with the best HP devices, and colours were a little muted, but it's above average. Our photocopy was soft but colours were accurate, while charts were sharp, if faded.

And running costs remain reasonable. Photos are 25c before paper costs, and colour documents 15c. In fact, we can see only two stumbling blocks.

It will set you back about $80 more than the outgoing MP620, and an old-fashioned menu is looking increasingly clumsy as we see more touchscreen printers arrive.

That upgrade will hopefully come with Canon's next release, but for now it's a minor criticism of an otherwise fantastic device. If you want the best in quality and speed, with all the home connections you could possibly need, the MP640 is for you.

Canon Pixma Mp640
5 6
Verdict
The best Canon home all-in-one yet, with flawless quality and an impressive feature list.
Performance
Features & Design
Value for money
Overall
Recommended
Specs
$249
• Canon: www.lmc.com.au
• Price: 249 • Printing method: Inkjet • Max printing resolution: 9600 x 2400dpi • Dimensions (WDH mm): 450 x 368 x 176mm
This review appeared in the December, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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