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This printer/scanner has just replaced my MP460 which was next to useless and was sent back to the shop. So before bringing this one home I asked to see a demonstration of its abilities. I was suprised when the shop said "yes ok". After that I decided it was right for me.
On getting it home, the unit was well boxed up and would be safe if you chucked it into your boot to travel home. Everything on the unit that would be loose or moved about were fastened down with what looks like orange tape keeping it in place.
When it is on the desktop it looks quite chuncky but not out of place. It is finnished in silver and black plastic but does not look cheap. The first thing I did was to load the drivers and extra features for the scanner into my computer. This actually took 25 minutes altogether. There seems to be a lot of software with it. After that was done I set about connecting the printer. Easy enough, only two leads, one power and one usb. Switched it on and it was recognised straight away.
At the front of the unit, on the top, is a little square when lifted shows the colour screen and other function buttons for using it when not having the computer on. To understand all the buttons that are there you need to read the instructions as they are only marked with icons, some of which are new to me. Just under that you have the paper exit opening. Nothing wrong with that. To the right of that flap is a little door that hides the memory card slots. You can reach the slots ok on this model even with chuncky fingers. Beneath that is the USB slot for pluging in a Bluetooth dongle and turning it into a bluetooth unit.
Now the fun bit. Lifting the lid and fitting the ink cartridges.
You could say the lid is in two parts. The first one is for the scanner, then the next part is to see inside the unit where the ink goes. With a lot of Canon printers, you have to fit a Printhead first. With the MP610 its no different. When you open the lid the printhead holder moves into the middle. The printhead fits in easily and locks down with a firm clunk of a little leaver. This cartridge is marked with the colours of the ink. They are easily fitted in and lock into place with a little plastic tag on the front of the cartridge. Thats that as far as they are concerned.
Next you need to align the printer cartridges up. Canon supply you with the paper to do this. You can use either the screen on the printer to set it away or the onscreen menu on the computer. Either way the outcome is the same. It took approx 15 minutes to do its thing. After which the printer is ready for use.
From start to finnish it took about 40 minutes to ready the printer for use. But you feel as if it was worth while.
I have run off twenty photos using Canon paper and the quality is very good. The skin tones are very real and dried before even getting hold of them in the tray. Using some Kodak paper for the photos made a bit of difference to the look of them. It was darker and was still tacky in the tray, taking a minute or so to dry to the touch. Again I tried some photo paper from Aldi, this came out very much like the Canon paper in picture quality, but was still tacky for a minute or so. I tried a page full of text and in black only I found it crisp and clear, right down to number 8 font size. On all the tests I did I could not see any bleeding of colours or the text being blurred at all.
The scanner was easy to use. Lift the lid and put onto the glass plate what you want to copy, then press the black and white button for....B/W. Press the colour button for photos and such. It was quick and started to print as soon as the scanner started to move. For a full A4 size page it took appro 15 seconds, that was with it set at default settings.
I have not used the built in screen yet but have looked through the menu on it and it looks easy to navigate. Like all things new, you really need to read the instuctions of how to use it and get the most out of it.
Overall this multifunction unit has it all. Good quality photo printing, quality scanning and copying, bluetooth and memory card slots. You have to buy your own Bluetooth dongle though. The printing program that comes with the unit does not manipulate the photos, which really is a down side. I think that Canon could do a basic one and fit it on thier setup disc.
I am really pleased with this unit and will be trying it out with its own screen shortly, but if the rest of it is to go by then it should be pleasing to use.
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