capsule review

Canon Pixma MP780

At a Glance
  • Canon PIXMA MP780 Photo All-In-One Printer (25 PPM, 4800x1200, Color, PC/Mac)

    PCWorld Rating

    Quick like the MP760, but also offers faxing and an automatic document feeder. Fastest scanner on the chart.

Canon Pixma MP780
Photograph: Rick Rizner

Any small office working with both documents and pictures will value the Canon Pixma MP780. For $300, it's a good multifunction device for printing, copying, scanning, and faxing.

For instance, you can drop as many as 35 pages into its automatic document feeder for fast scanning or copying. Dual paper trays hold 300 sheets; and in case the paper runs out, the unit's memory can store 250 pages of incoming faxes. You can save paper by using the built-in duplexer to print on both sides. The MP780 lacks media card slots, but a PictBridge port lets you print directly from a compatible digital camera.

The numerous buttons on the control panel are clearly labeled, and the backlit monochrome LCD includes an ink-level display above its two lines of text. The unit also has eight speed-dial buttons that you can use to store frequently used fax numbers.

The MP780 uses four dye-based inks, supplemented by a second, pigment-based black ink. In our test prints, text looked crisp, with sharp italics. Large letters were dark and solid, while small fonts were easy to read. Line art printed darkly enough, but suffered from wide horizontal banding and blobs on narrow parallel lines. Overall, color graphics looked good, though the darkest areas had a posterized appearance where the pigment black seemed to kick in too strongly. On photo paper, the MP780 produced images with sharp detail, smooth color transitions, and bright colors.

The MP780 was consistently fast at all printing tasks. Considering that the MP780 delivered better text quality than its faster rivals, its 6.9-ppm text print speed was excellent. Also, it printed our test photo in just 77 seconds, much faster than the average of 127 seconds. The MP780 was quicker than average at copying, too, and it scanned faster than any other model that earned a spot on the chart.

Though the MP780 copied text documents well, its scans didn't impress us. In particular, our detailed photograph lacked sharpness and color accuracy despite being scanned at the highest resolution.

Canon bundles some helpful software with the MP780, including the Presto PageManager document management application and ScanSoft's OmniPage SE OCR software, though not ArcSoft's PhotoStudio image editor.

The Canon Pixma MP780 delivers fast performance and high-quality printing, plus office-friendly features like a duplexer, automatic document feeder, and built-in color faxing.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Quick like the MP760, but also offers faxing and an automatic document feeder. Fastest scanner on the chart.

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