capsule review

Canon MultiPass MP390

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Canon Bubble Jet i80 Printer

Canon MultiPass MP390
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The Canon MultiPass MP390 has a great mix of speed, quality, and features, and can handle both home-oriented and light office tasks well. Home users will appreciate the flatbed scanner, the media card slots, and the USB 2.0 port that communicates with PictBridge-compatible digital cameras. Small offices might find the built-in fax capability more attractive; only one other inkjet MFP in the group we tested came with this feature, and only the MP390 faxes in color.

The MP390's front panel includes buttons for copying, scanning, faxing, and printing photos from a media card. You also get a number pad for entering fax numbers, and a raised LCD panel paired with buttons for navigating menus. A nice touch: You can set the machine to Quiet Printing, which muffles the sound slightly.

At 5.3 ppm, text printed at average speeds; graphics were average, too, at 0.9 ppm. The MP390 had the fastest copy speeds--3.6 ppm--of any of the inkjet MFPs, and it was slightly faster than the average at scanning a 4-by-5-inch photo at 100 dpi, taking 28 seconds. You don't have to give up quality for such speed, either. Text looked dark and clean, and graphics showed good contrast and realistic skin tones. On our line art document, the MP390 was the only inkjet MFP we tested this month to earn a score of Good; though the line art's narrow parallel lines looked a tad fuzzy, they remained well separated and even. Photographs printed on glossy paper at best settings showed vivid colors and realistic textures. The MP390 made sharper copies of a text document than any other inkjet MFP we tested, earning a Very Good score more on a par with laser MFPs. Copies of color graphics, which we didn't formally score, looked too dark but improved when we selected a lighter copy setting.

Like other inkjet MFPs in our test, the MP390 incorporates some user-friendly features into its driver. For instance, the driver prompts you to choose a task, such as printing a photo, chart, text, or graphics, and automatically sets the print quality based on the task. Canon bundles its own image editing program with the MP390, as well as the Omniport optical character recognition application and the ArcSoft Photo Studio image editing program.

The Canon MP390 is a great addition to a home or small office, especially if you need to print high-quality photos and send a few faxes.

Lisa Cekan

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Canon Bubble Jet i80 Printer

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