capsule review

Canon Pixma MP830

At a Glance
  • Canon PIXMA MP830 All-In-One Printer (30 PPM, 9600x2400 DPI, Color, PC/Mac)

    PCWorld Rating

    The fast-performing Pixma MP830 includes fax and duplex ADF capabilities, and produces top-notch prints, copies, and scans.

Canon Pixma MP830
Photograph: Chris Manners

As its name might suggest, the $300 Pixma MP830 sits between the $200 MP500 and the $400 MP950 in Canon's Pixma multifunction printer product line (prices are as of 4/5/06). However, the MP830, geared more toward small-business use, provides two key features not found on the other two models: faxing capabilities and an automatic document feeder.

The ADF makes scanning, copying, or faxing documents (up to 35 pages) easy, and its duplexing ability means you won't have to flip two-sided sheets over manually. In conjunction with the front-loading 150-sheet cassette (on the unit's underside) and the rear 150-sheet automatic sheet feeder, the ADF also allows for high-capacity two-sided copying. For color faxing, the machine includes 36.6-kbps support plus memory for 250 incoming pages and 100 custom speed-dial numbers.

The MP830 uses a USB 2.0 interface. Despite its office-centric features, it doesn't include ethernet or Wi-Fi networking--and at press time, these weren't available as options, either.

Contributing to the model's ease of use is a central 2.5-inch color LCD that lets you perform basic image editing tasks through logically laid-out menu options. This is the same screen found on the MP500; it is smaller, though, than the MP950's stunning 3.6-inch display, which is geared more toward the photo buff.

Built-in media card slots sit behind a hinged door at the lower right of the unit's front panel. Most digital camera memory card formats are supported, but you'll need a third-party adapter to read the xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick Duo, and Mini SD Card formats. In addition, a direct-print port on the front allows you to output straight from a PictBridge-compatible camera or DV camcorder.

The MP830 uses black, yellow, magenta, and cyan dye-based ink in addition to pigment black. Each cartridge includes a red LED that flashes when ink is running low, a feature also found on Canon's Pixma MP500 and MP950. In our tests the MP830 equaled those printers in text output, producing sleek, dark letterforms. Though the unit's graphics and photo prints featured vibrant color and deep black, we saw some slight banding, and skin tones were a little unnaturally orange.

On the other hand, the MP830 gained points for terrific performance times in our lab tests. The MP830's speeds of 2.9 pages per minute for graphics on plain paper and 1.9 ppm for a letter-size photo printed on photo paper are the quickest of any model in our current inkjet multifunction printers chart (as of 5/5/06). In text printing, the MP830 achieved a rapid 8.2 ppm, bettered only by the MP950's mark of 8.4 ppm.

Furthermore, the speed and quality of the MP830's scans and copies are among the best we've seen. For instance, it scanned a 4-by-5-inch photo at 100 dpi in 5 seconds, beaten only by the Epson RX700, which took 3.6 seconds.

Although it's a little bulky, the MP830 has a strong combination of features and terrific performance, making it a worthy option for small businesses.

Danny Allen

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    The fast-performing Pixma MP830 includes fax and duplex ADF capabilities, and produces top-notch prints, copies, and scans.

    Pros

    • Top-notch performance across the board
    • Includes fax and duplex ADF capabilities

    Cons

    • No Wi-Fi or ethernet networking options
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