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Canon Pixma MX870 review

Verdict

Good speed and a huge array of features, but it’s the print quality that makes this such an attractive all-in-one

Review Date: 3 Mar 2010

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Price when reviewed: £145 (£170 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

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. When the OS first arrived many people found their scanners stopped working, and it took manufacturers - not just Canon - too long to make patched drivers available. The support is now there for older models, but it's reassuring that the MX870 has it out of the box.

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.

Canon Pixma MX870

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 £10 inc VAT each, meaning an A4 print will set you back around 2.9p in mono and 8p 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.

Author: David Bayon

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User comments

Support for older models?

"The vital new feature is Windows 7 support.... The support is now there for older models"

Pah! My old LBP5000 looks like it will never have a 64bit driver (I sold it and bought an Epson instead). Shall not be purchasing anything else from Canon.

By no1SilverFox on 4 Mar 2010

Support for older models 2

Silverfox, I do agree but HP never produced a Vista driver for my HP printer. It basically worked but none of the smarter functions were available. I wasn't happy (and bought a Canon eventually) but it would appear that all of the manufacturers were equally bad in that respect. Well HP & Canon anyway, dunno about Brother, Epson, Lexmark.

Moving onto the current review, I don't think that ink cartridges for under a tenner each is deserving of praise unless they are monster capacity. My guess is that these are the 9ml cartridges. That's over £1 per mil!!! That makes petrol look cheap!

JH

By JohnHo1 on 4 Mar 2010

Ordered a MX860 last month and the supplier warned me the new model was coming, so I put off the purchase.

Windows 7 support is good, how can Canon still be selling printers today without Windows 7 support? :-S

I hope the OS X support is there as well!

By big_D on 5 Mar 2010

I have a perfectly working MP700 but it appears that this too will never get Win 7 drivers, even though it's supposedly on Canon's list of things to do. I can get a full set of ink for the MP700 for a tenner all in (compatibles obviously) whereas the 860/870 costs around £30 for a refill. 870 prolly gives better results though ;-).

By scoobie on 11 Mar 2010

Scratch that - it looks like a set of 860/870 compatible cartridges can be had for around £15 or less. H'mmm......

By scoobie on 11 Mar 2010

Drivers

we have a £12,000+ Canon multifunction printer with their iw360 document manager - and guess what - no support for Vista or Windows 7 64 bit and nothing in the pipeline. Stupid

By xtraseller on 11 Mar 2010

Poor user support

After the last three Canon printers I have used I will never buy another Canon product again. I live in South America and support here is zero.

For example, I bought a Pixma IP4300 and couldn't find any cartridges so I called Canon to find a local dealer contact in my country.... nothing. So I attempted to send the printer back on the international warranty as I couldn't get cartridges. Canon refused. So, I tried to get the cartridges refilled.... no problem but then your warranty is void and the cartridges had their little intelligence chip which prevented proper refilling.

Thanks Canon, and thanks PC Pro for consistently recommending a company that has bad customer support and bad environmental policies.

By GVernold on 11 Mar 2010

Drivers? don't talk to me about drivers

It isn't just Canon, I have a perfectly good EPSON GT7000U with a sheet feeder that is useless now because of no Windows 7 or MAC OSX 10.6.2 support.

By Dr_Zeus on 11 Mar 2010

HP7410

I know i's not a Canon but I've owned an HP 7410 all in one for the past four years. It was driver hell when it first came out with XP; I didn't migrate to Vista so I don't know how the drivers were, but now I've gone to 7 and HP have outdone themselves - the new software is far better than anything I've paid for before and has added features that weren't on it when I bought it.

By mario_miniaci on 12 Mar 2010

Windows 7 drivers...

Just a quick note that if you're having trouble with your scanner under Windows 7, it might be worth trying third party driver software. Vuescan is one such, which purportedly has Windows 7 support as well as support for the above-mentioned Epson scanner and hundreds of others. I've used the software in the past and, while not pretty, found it to be pretty effective. There's a free trial too, so it's worth giving it a whirl.

By JonBray on 12 Mar 2010

@JonBray

Thanks for the suggestion, gave it a go but it doesn't detect the scanner Grrrrr

By Dr_Zeus on 12 Mar 2010

Everything but not canon

I tried the Canon and the first day I stopped working...

By georgeUS on 30 Mar 2010

Try installing previous OS drivers...

I had similar driver problems with both HP1320 and HP2610 printers under W7: W7 initially only had rudimentary drivers and HP hadn't got their act together. However, remember that W7 has the facility to install a device using drivers for a previous version of Windows (e.g. Vista, XP).

HP has since released a pretty good software suite for HP2610 multi-function, but they haven't made available the excellent "Toolbox" software for HP 1320, which provided all sorts of interesting and useful information such as the amount of toner remaining, total number of pages printed, etc.

By sanjayj1 on 16 Apr 2010

Would be nice if Canon actually released it

I tried to get this printer - unfortunately it appears to be available no-where. A quick email to Canon led to a rather patronising response pointing to their website that noted it was released at the beginning of April. Which would be nice if it was actually true. Shame as this experience of customer service has put me right off.

By Nodule on 29 Apr 2010

STAY AWAY FROM THIS PRINTER

Horrendously slow to start up. Won't scan with empty cartridges (see the link here - printing, scanning? no I can't either...) SLOOOOW to print, very small capacity paper tray. You've been warned...

By hiedk on 29 May 2010

MX870 Compatibles that actually work ???

Any suggestions, the previous brand I used to use flawlessly on my MX860 keep giving the error message "cartridge not recognised" requiring me to lift the cover and adjust the cartridge. A real P.I.T.A. cus it happens a lot.

Apparently many folk suffer from this. Know of a brand of compatible that roks 100% like they did in the MX860? Am ready to bin this one if I don't find one soon.

By mickjgordon3 on 30 Nov 2010

The MX870 will be superb...

...if it's even half as good as the excellent MX850. We have just spent two years with the MX850, using compatible ink cartridges and moving on to a CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System) with no discernable reduction in print quality, and it's just given up on us after two and a half years of hard graft in a small office environment during which time it never missed a beat.

I have had absolutely no hesitation in ordering an MX870 to replace it today, having first visited this site to see what currently made he A-list and it was no surprise to find the Canon sitting proudly at the top.

I've tried just about every brand on the market over the past few years and never found anything that comes close to the build quality of Canon, and given the amazing range of features you get with this printer - especially useful are the dual paper trays including one at the front - I think this is a bargain.

It's easy to save money on ink - the £60 I paid for the CISS (Ebay) is a complete no-brainer that has paid for itself many times over.

As for Windows 7 and scanner issues, if you use Windows Scan and Fax utility instead of the 'Scan' button on your unit you may find it works fine - the MX850 did!

By coolcity on 3 Dec 2010

Updates

It seems Canon (just like Dell) have this idea that after a 2 year max period no updates are bothered with. I still use a Canoscan 1250 and the last update (whatever anything else says) seems to be 2005! In my case a year after I bought it (as it was supposed to be super great! lol).

By photomanlondon on 8 Jan 2011

Window Drivers - Epson

...perfectly good Epson Perfection 1650 scanner - no Windows 7 support - Epson, to give them their due, do now at least acknowledge that their scanner may still be working (it's not that old), and 1st on the list of FAQs is a recommendation that a 3rd party piece of software 'may' work - this is $40! Thanks!

By istrickl on 23 Jan 2011

Paper-free-office device

I love this product. It is ideal as a scanner that also prints for occasional use. It has an automatic feeder and does double sided (duplex) scanning. Any document that comes in is scanned easily and transmitted wirelessly into the (albeit slightly clumsy) software on my desktop. I couldn't find an equivalent scanner at this price, so the printing capability is a bonus.

By kevinsefton on 27 Apr 2011

Recomendation!

Hi guys,

I just bought a service manual for my Laser Printer CANON Image Runner 330 from: www.manualsparadise.com
They delivered in less than 20 minutes, the price was fair, and their service was really good compared to other sites where I have bought manuals in the past. And, they seem to have a huge collection of manuals!
Recommended.

By serviciotecnico2200 on 9 May 2011

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