Canon PIXMA MP780

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Canon PIXMA MP780

Pros

  • Dual paper trays, prints onto CD or DVD surfaces

Cons

  • No multi-card reader

Bottom Line

The PIXMA has features that are very useful in a small office environment, such as a relatively large paper handling capacity, an automatic duplex unit and an automatic document feeder. It's also fast and quiet.

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Printer, scanner, photocopier, PictBridge, fax machine, CD/DVD printer; physically and functionally, the PIXMA MP780 is a beast to be reckoned with, possessing many uncommon features.

It is a rare inkjet-based machine that has dual paper trays and two paper paths. The sheet feeder at the rear of the unit can hold up to 150 sheets of paper and pushes them through a straight paper path, while the paper tray at the front of the unit can hold an additional 150 sheets, which get pushed out through a curved paper path. These give the PIXMA MP780 a total paper capacity of 300 sheets.

Its paper-holding capacity combines well with its ability to print text documents at a rapid rate in normal quality, while draft quality outputs one black text page approximately every 10 seconds. Draft mode produced documents only slightly less dark than normal mode, with relatively crisp text that was very easy on the eyes. Its photo-quality output was highly detailed and clear, with accurate colour tones and barely noticeable banding in areas of colour gradation.

The printer driver also supports two-sided printing, which the PIXMA MP780 does automatically via its built-in duplex unit--another rare feature.

Likewise, it's one of the few printers capable of printing on CD and DVD disc surfaces, and it does so using a special disc tray.

A multi-card reader is conspicuously absent on this model, considering the vast amount of features it does have. This means that photos cannot be printed directly from memory cards. It does, however, have a PictBridge port, which can be used to print photos directly from a digital camera's interface, as long as it supports PictBridge.

Its scanning function is as versatile as its printing, and allows documents to be scanned either via the flatbed or the automatic document feeder (ADF). Scans can be initiated from the front panel of the unit or through the PC via the TWAIN driver.

Thick books are accommodated by the rising hinges of the flatbed lid, although the open end of the book being scanned may lean on the control panel and accidentally initiate unwanted functions. The MP780's greyscale scans, although a little pale, had excellent detail and clarity. Its colour scanning was also among the best we've seen. ScanSoft's OmniPage SE optical character recognition (OCR) software is supplied with this machine. This allows you to scan in documents to extract the text for editing.

The ADF allows for multi-page documents--up to 35 pages in length--to be scanned, faxed or copied without someone having to stand there and feed each sheet individually. Single-sheet photocopies or faxes can be sent using the flatbed, too.

Up to 99 photocopies can be made at a time, and photos can also be set up to be photocopied in borderless mode. Fine quality photocopies proved to be very fast--our full-colour, A4 photocopy test completed in just less than 2 minutes. It showed excellent clarity and was only slightly lighter in colour than our original print.

The PIXMA MP870 has a well-laid-out control panel and large, orange-backlit LCD that allows all settings and functions to be executed clearly and quickly.

Its individual ink system comprises five ink cartridges (two black, cyan, magenta and yellow) that can be replaced separately when an individual colour runs out, and high-yield black cartridges are also available.

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