Canon Pixma MX700 Color Inkjet MFP
At a Glance
The Canon Pixma MX700 color inkjet multifunction printer offers strong overall performance for a comfortably midrange price. While no single multifunction unit could satisfy everyone--I dislike certain aspects of this model's print quality and design, for instance--the Pixma MX700 still deserves credit for its balanced mix of features.
One of the faster units we've tested to date (though it falls far short of the top engine speed Canon quotes), the Pixma MX700 pushed out text pages at a rate of 9.1 pages per minute; graphics pages averaged a swift 3.2 ppm overall. So far, only the HP OfficeJet Pro L7680
Text looks nicely black. A slight unevenness to the edges makes closely spaced fonts look mushy, though. Color images have an orange cast. On plain paper, this helps enliven the palette; on photo paper, it can be overpowering, especially with flesh tones. Copy samples we made were quite crisp, while scan samples were reasonably (if not perfectly) accurate for color and precision.
Cost per page is low: 3.2 cents for a half-page of black text, or just 8.8 cents for a page with small amounts of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. (A full-color photo will use more ink.)
The Pixma MX700's design includes a clearly labeled front control panel with a mostly intuitive layout. Buttons for primary functions adjust what's shown on the small (1.8 -inch), tiltable color LCD, whose menus are navigable using the adjacent arrow buttons. The automatic document feeder, which unfolds from the machine's top, takes a generous 30 sheets of paper. Its media slots take most card types; you'll need a third-party adapter to add xD media.
The dual 150-sheet input trays are a nice bonus. The rear, vertical input takes all accepted media sizes. Use the control panel's toggle button or the printer driver to choose between it and the front input, which takes just letter, A4, and B5. But this front tray is literally overshadowed by the two-part output tray, which guides paper over the front input tray, concealing it entirely. That's more going on in a small space than I'd like. The MFP lacks automatic duplexing, but on-screen prompts step you through the manual process. Dell's 948 AIO and Lexmark's X6570 offer automated duplexing for a lower price (with other tradeoffs). Canon's Pixma MP830 features duplex printing and scanning, but we haven't tested this unit.
Canon bundles its own and third-party software to cover scanning, photo printing, OCR, and even document management. Its well-designed Solutions Menu interface centralizes most of the machine's functions for easy management through your PC. HTML-based guides cover both hardware and software. Canon printers also scored better than average overall in our recent Reliability and Service survey.
Pumpkin-colored people aside, the Pixma MX700 is, overall, one of the strongest multifunction packages I've seen to date. It stuffs a lot of functions into a fairly user-friendly package and offers scads of software to help you along.