Canon Pixma MP600 review
A well-built machine with great print quality. The scanner is sufficient for everything but photo work
Review Date: 18 Jan 2007
Reviewed By: Dave Stevenson
Price when reviewed: (£113 inc VAT)
We've come to expect good things from modern inkjets - even sub-£100 machines can be capable of labs-quality photos, and some multifunction versions even have built-in scanners that can rival their standalone competitors. Immediate standout features here include the luxurious 2.5in colour screen, accompanied by an iPod-like jog wheel for scrolling through the onscreen menus - it makes navigating the MP600's already intuitive menus even easier.
Print quality is superb - you need to hold prints from the MP600 just inches from your face to be able to spot the slightest hint of grain, and all our tests produced excellent colours and skin tones. The only bugbear is speed - 6 x 4in prints emerge at a rate of one every 53 seconds, so if you print your photos in batches you could find yourself sitting around for a while.
The MP600 shares a print engine with the Pixma iP5200R (see issue 138, p132), and our tests revealed that it wastes quite a lot of ink when cleaning its printing heads, which means you'll be paying over the odds if you only print 6 x 4in prints occasionally. Canon's own figures show a final cost per page of around 10p per print. Default mode produced very poor results, though, with our photos losing all of the vibrancy we saw in best quality mode, with skin tones taking on a distinct red hue. For mixed text and graphics documents (again at default settings), Canon's own page yield quotes produce a final cost per page of just less than 6p per page. Canon doesn't publish the page yield of a mono document with 5% coverage.
The MP600 isn't particularly quick in everyday use. It printed a 50-page draft-quality document at a rate of 13 pages per minute and the output was legible, if a little too light. Using the MP600's normal printing settings produced a document remarkable for its laser-like quality, but speeds dropped to 4ppm, which means our 50-page document took well over ten minutes to finish.
The scanner's optical resolution is 2,400 x 4,800dpi and it proved fast in our tests, producing an image preview in just 13 seconds; that's faster than the AListed Epson Perfection V350 Photo. Scanning a 6 x 4in photo at 300dpi completed in just 14 seconds, and the longest we were drumming our fingers was 2mins 13secs, the time it took to scan a 6 x 4in photo at 1,200dpi. Image quality is lacklustre and, in spite of giving plenty of detail and reasonably accurate colour rendition, there's a notable lack of vibrancy.
But there are plenty of features that elevate the MP600 above the pack, including a built-in duplexer, which, as long as you can stand even longer print times (we printed ten double-sided sheets in 4mins 51secs), is a great way of keeping paper usage efficient. The TWAIN scanning software is among the best you'll find, and image quality is fine for basic archiving purposes, but not for those looking to permanently archive treasured prints.
The printer itself is hamstrung a little by being fairly expensive to run, but when mono and colour prints - on both uncoated and Canon's top-quality PR101 photo paper - print so beautifully, it's difficult to imagine many people having complaints, especially considering the MP600's price.
Author: Dave Stevenson
- LG making a webOS smartwatch
- Google Nexus 6 pictures leak online
- Facebook to drag queens: use any name you want
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Met Police unveils FALCON to fight cybercrime
- Free Windows attracts 50 new tablet and phone makers
- Send a text and these SSDs will self-destruct
- How to download Windows 10 Technical Preview
- Mozilla takes aim at Chromecast with $25 dongle
- Microsoft reveals Windows 10... no, really
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- Google Nexus 6/X/"Shamu" release date, specs and rumoured UK price
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- Smartphone benchmarks 2014: what's the fastest smartphone?
- What is Kindle Unlimited and how does it work?
- BlackBerry Passport release date, UK price and specs
- How to change keyboard in iOS 8: customise the iPhone 6 keyboard
- The 7 best Chromebooks of 2014
- Apple iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: is the new iPhone 6 better than the Galaxy S5?
- How to install iOS 8 without deleting apps and data
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office