Canon PIXMA MP600R

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Canon PIXMA MP600R
  • Canon PIXMA MP600R
  • Canon PIXMA MP600R
  • Canon PIXMA MP600R

Pros

  • Automatic duplex, wireless printing, two paper trays, CD/DVD printing

Cons

  • Wireless networking setup is cumbersome, no 'scan-to' button

Bottom Line

It may not look pretty, but underneath its boxy exterior the MP600R has plenty of useful features that make it a great all-round multifunction centre for the home or small office.

Would you buy this?

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The box-shaped design of this multifunction device isn't pretty, but its real beauty lies within. The more we used the Pixma MP600R, the more we liked it. It's packed with features that are useful for those who want to curb paper usage, increase productivity and who are keen on printing photos.

The MP600R comes with dual paper paths that,provide a total capacity of 300 A4 sheets when fully stocked. It also has an automatic duplex function. A duplex print takes almost four times as long to complete than a single-sided printout, but the automatic nature of the duplex feature (pages are elegantly sucked back into the printer and flipped so that the second side can be printed on) makes it easy to use, as well as a real paper-saver. The dual paper paths are fed by a tray at the rear of the machine, as well as a cassette on the front, and users can choose which tray they want to use by hitting the paper-feed button on the control panel. The two trays come in handy for those who regularly print photos. The rear tray can be stocked with photo paper while leaving the paper cassette full of plain paper.

Another useful feature is the disc printer. The supplied plastic tray lets you mount printable CDs and DVDs one at a time so users can customise burnt discs with images and professional-looking labels. It took us less than a minute to print a design onto a printable CD-R.

Canon has included an infrared port on the MP600R, used to print out photos directly from a mobile phone equipped with infrared. Depending on the quality of the camera phone, the transfer of data from a phone to the printer could take more than a couple of minutes. The biggest disadvantage of infrared over Bluetooth is that a phone needs to be within line-of-site of the printer's infrared port throughout the transfer. Despite this, we had no trouble printing photos from a Sony Ericsson V600i mobile phone.

While all these features are exciting, the best part about the MP600R is its inbuilt 802.11b/g network adapter. Unfortunately, it hasn't been implemented as well as we would have liked. Setup is cumbersome as you have to first connect the unit to a PC via a USB cable. The supplied IJ Network Utility software must then be used to provide the multifunction device with the settings of your wireless network. Most network encryption standards are supported, including WEP, WPA and WPA2 and we had no problem setting the machine up on our WPA-enabled network using the AES encryption algorithm.

When you use the IJ Network Utility to set up the printer on your machines, it will also map a drive to the multifunction unit's memory card reader. Memory cards will be easily accessible from any machines that have the card reader mapped. Unfortunately, the MP600R doesn't have a scan-to button on the unit itself, so scans can't be sent to a PC from the unit, but instead need to be initiated from a PC.

Printing wirelessly didn't exhibit any problems and, was quite speedy. Our five-page test document (comprised of text, graphs and colours) printed in only 36secs using the standard speed settings. The quality of the text was a little feathered, but clearly legible.

Five individual cartridges (two black, one cyan, magenta and yellow) quench the MP600R's thirst for ink and these are located directly on the print head. Overall, despite the boxy design and the cumbersome wireless networking setup, we really liked the features this model has to offer. If you're looking for a printer, scanner, copier and imaging unit for the home or small office, the MP600R is a fantastic product.

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