Canon PIXMA MX870 inkjet multifunction

The well-balanced Canon PIXMA MX870 multifunction printer offers excellent output, good performance and low ink costs

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Canon PIXMA MX870
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • 300-sheet paper capacity, low ink costs, automatic duplexer

Cons

  • Scanner cover doesn't telescope

Bottom Line

The Canon PIXMA MX870 is a well-balanced inkjet MFPs. It delivers good performance and good features for the price. While the machine is best suited for a small or home office, its media slots and good colour output make it useful for a busy family as well.

Would you buy this?

For $299, the Canon Pixma MX870 colour inkjet multifunction printer offers a lot of features and performance for the money, especially for small-office or home-office users. Its ink prices are good, too.

One of several new inkjet MFPs introduced by Canon in recent months, the silver (with black accents) Pixma MX870 is both sporty and simple in design. Big buttons on the front control panel let you bring up its major functions (copying, faxing, scanning, and memory-card reading), and the menus appear on a 2.5-inch colour LCD. Augmenting the traditional four-way rocker navigation button is a scroll wheel around its edge if you prefer to twirl through options; an 'OK' button occupies the middle of the rocker nav.

The MX870's performance is more than adequate for a small office. On both our PC and Mac test platforms, plain-text pages emerged at a rate of 6.2 pages per minute. Colour pages averaged 1.8 ppm on the PC and just under 0.5 ppm on the Mac. Also on the Mac, scanning a 7.5-by-9.9-inch photo at 600 dots per inch averaged about 45 seconds, while scanning a 4-by-6-inch photo at 1200 dpi took about 90 seconds. Colour prints on both plain and photo paper had rich, smooth colour, and text pages looked black and sharp. Our only beef involved colour scans: At the default settings, they were excessively dark, giving the appearance of being shot on a rainy day.

Business-friendly features abound: You can connect via Ethernet, USB, or Wi-Fi. The bevelled scanner bed cover includes a foldout, 35-sheet automatic document feeder, an essential feature for any office. The Pixma MX870 also has an unusually generous paper capacity, with a 150-sheet undermounted drawer for plain paper only, plus a 150-sheet rear vertical tray for feeding all other kinds of media. The automatic duplexer helps you save money and trees. The unit will even lower the front output tray automatically before printing. ("Open the pod bay doors, HAL.") Card readers accommodate CF, MS, and SD formats; you'll need a third-party adapter for xD. There's also a PictBridge port. Canon sells a Bluetooth adapter (BU-30) for $50.

The Pixma MX870 has a separate ink cartridge for each color. The pigment black (PGI-520BK) costs $22.95 and is specced to last for 324 pages, or 7.08 cents per page. The cyan, magenta, and yellow CLI-521 cartridges cost $22.95 each and should last for 510 to 535 pages each, which works out to about 4.4 cents per color per page. The CLI-521 photo black will lasts for about 725 6x4in photos, by Canon's reckoning.

The Pixma MX870 is one of the best-balanced inkjet MFPs we've tested recently. It delivers good performance and good features for the price. While the machine is best suited for a small or home office, its media slots and good colour output make it useful for a busy family as well.

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