Canon PIXMA MP490 inkjet multifunction

An inexpensive inkjet multifunction with decent photo print quality

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Canon PIXMA MP490
  • Canon PIXMA MP490
  • Canon PIXMA MP490
  • Canon PIXMA MP490
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5


  • Good photo print quality, direct scanning, easy to use


  • No front paper cassette, no PictBridge USB port, poor LCD, expensive consumables

Bottom Line

Not quite a bargain bin printer, Canon's PIXMA MP490 inkjet multifunction is still a decent impulse buy. It provides decent quality photo and document printing and an easy-to-use interface.

Would you buy this?

Canon's entry-level PIXMA MP490 inkjet multifunction lacks the small luxuries of its more expensive counterparts, like an Easy Scroll Wheel, PictBridge USB port and CD/DVD printing. For the price, however, we can't complain; as a basic printer, scanner and copier, the PIXMA MP490 will do the job well.

The Canon PIXMA MP490 inkjet multifunction printer has a USB 2.0 connection, and a multi-card reader supporting SD, MemoryStick, MemoryStick Duo and Compact Flash memory cards over three slots.

The multifunction's control panel lacks the Easy Scroll Wheel found on more expensive Canon printers, but, as with the PIXMA MP560, the poky 1.8in LCD screen wouldn't really suit it anyway. Instead, the PIXMA MP490 inkjet multifunction has a basic directional pad as well quick-access buttons for menus and to start copying or scanning. You can also view photos from memory cards, but the display's small size and poor viewing angles make them difficult to see.

There's no front paper cassette, but the rear paper tray can easily hold A4 media without raising the back support.

Print Speed Results
Model Price Type B&W Draft
B&W Normal
Colour Draft
Colour Normal
4x6in photo
A4 photo
Canon PIXMA MP490 $99 Inkjet 8.7 8.4 6.3 3 34 1m28s
Canon PIXMA MP480 $99 Inkjet 8.6 7.4 6.3 2.9 34 1m25s
HP Stylus TX200 $99 Inkjet 12 4 19 5 60 3m17s
HP Photosmart C4480 $115 Inkjet 18.9 6.1 14.1 2.8 45 2m11s
Brother MFC-250C $149 Inkjet 15.9 3.2 14.5 3.2 36.5 1m36s
Canon PIXMA MP560 $229 Inkjet 10.2 8.7 5 4.6 34 1m35s

Though the Canon PIXMA MP490 inkjet multifunction's print speeds were almost identical in our draft and normal quality monochrome tests, the difference in quality is substantial. Document quality is satisfactory, though text can appear feathered when combined with colour, and the colours are oversaturated. Photos don't have any aberrations and colour quality is much improved when compared to results from its predecessor, the PIXMA MP480. For the occasional family photo, the results are pleasing.

Scans can be initiated directly from the control panel and saved in PDF or JPEG format to USB-connected computers and memory cards. Unfortunately, quality settings cannot be adjusted from the panel. Quality is acceptable for text and some photos, though detail is low and colours are a little too bright.

Canon claims the two ink cartridges used in the PIXMA MP490 can yield a total of 750 pages, but we're a little dubious; the black cartridge was already below half its capacity once we had finished testing. At 24.1c per A4 page, this printer's ink costs will quickly eclipse the low initial outlay. However, if you don't plan on printing much, the PIXMA MP490 should suffice for basic document printing and the odd photo.

Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: Printers, multifunctions, Canon
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?