Stunning print quality at a decent price places Canon Pixma MX870 on our highly recommended list

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This article appeared in the June, 2010 issue of CRN magazine.

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Stunning print quality at a decent price places Canon Pixma MX870 on our highly recommended list

You'll need plenty of space for Canon's Pixma MX870, which isn't surprising given the raft of features it packs in. It's the successor to the equally massive MX860, and the additions are minimal but significant.

The vital new feature is Windows 7 support. The rest of the physical specification is unchanged, with a 2.5in colour display on the busy front panel; automatic two-sided printing and a 35-sheet automatic document feeder; the choice of 802.11g Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB connections; full fax capability; and memory card slots for most formats except xD-Picture.

Under the hood is where small improvements have been made. The five-ink engine remains intact, with both pigmented and dye-based blacks to ensure high-quality text and detailed images, but it's been tweaked a little to increase output speeds.

In our tests we saw mono document print speeds hit 8.8ppm, with colour at 6.8ppm, up from the MX860's 8ppm and 6.8ppm. It's a small improvement on an already reasonably fast device, but not enough to justify an upgrade.

The quality is beautiful, with perfect, thick text and photo prints that would rival those of the photo-specialist iP4700.
Running costs are reasonable.

If you shop around you can get all five of the cartridges for less than $30 each, meaning an A4 print will set you back around 6c in mono and 25c in colour (excluding paper).

It isn't up there with HP's OfficeJets in this regard, but that's the price you pay for a multifunction device that produces such flawless images.

So, if you work in a small office that rarely prints anything more advanced than documents with the odd image, the MX870 is overkill. If you need a device that's capable of rising to the occasion for top-quality photo output, however, this Canon is worth paying for

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