Product Type: Canon All in one Printer
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A complex printer with excellent print quality but with a very expensive taste for ink
Canon Pixma MP620
Member Name: litangmu
Canon Pixma MP620
Date: 17/09/10, updated on 17/09/10 (117 review reads)
Advantages: fantastic print quality, high resolution scanner, wireless printing, built in LCD screen
Disadvantages: large desktop footprint, heavy, ink thirsty, difficult to set up
After witnessing the untimely death of the umpteenth printer of mine in a matter of years through no fault of my own, I plucked up the courage to spend a lot more money on an all-in-one printer that I hoped would last me a much longer period of time. I genuinely wish I hadn't.
I paid over £100 for the Pixma MP620, and it was on offer even at that point. It really is a beast of a machine: it is very heavy for a printer, and the amount of desktop space it requires is unbelievable. Currently sat on a fairly deep shelf, the printer still hangs over the edge, and protrudes even further when the paper tray 'pops' out as if by magic when you begin printing. That feature, whilst undeniably cool, really doesn't make up for it when a product has many other downsides.
Setting up the printer was a challenge of cryptographic proportions. The manual is thick and tediously time consuming to plough through. The convenience of the wireless printing feature is severely outweighed by the time it takes to set up the printer in the first place. In case you may not be familiar with technology and believe that your document will be 'beamed' directly to the printer, I assure you it won't. The printer will become an unruly member of your home/office wireless network family, who may throw a tantrum and decide not to let itself be 'seen' on the network for a day or two, much to my irritation. If you are just printing via USB, then there really is little to complain about in the connectivity department, and the number of memory card slots and a USB port on the front of the printer, neatly covered by a silver door, mean that sometimes you won't even have to go anywhere near a computer. The software provided by Canon for your PC or Mac is quite user friendly, although there is quite a 'lot' of it, in other words, it seems that lots of tiny little applications are installed when you'd hope there would only be need for one.
As for printing and scanning, I cannot really criticise the quality of print at all; it produces sharp, clear and crisp documents, and wonderful quality images and photos, if using photo paper. This all comes at an astronomical cost however. The ink cartridges, unless you buy shoddily re-manufactured ones from the internet (which may not work because each cartridge is equipped with a 'chip' that, unless played around with, prevents a cartridge from being reused) will mean you will have to break open that piggy bank and shed a tear at the contents you have to hand over to replace your compliment of 5, yes FIVE cartridges, two of which are black. Don't be fooled that if one black cartridge runs out, you can just use the other to quickly print off your CV or essay. It won't let you. And don't be under any illusions that you'll get away with printing your notes in cyan or a peculiar shade of green; the Pixma MP620 won't let you, and will carp on at you constantly until you feed its insatiable need to be fed pricey ink. Expect to dish out around £40 on a new set of ink, more if you're buying genuine Canon ink. It wouldn't be so bad if the ink lasted ages either. This beast of a printer seems content to empty cartridges as fast as you can replace them, which, when you're on a budget, will only mean that the printer you paid so much for will end up being sorely underused.
During those times when you do have ink, you'll be able to play with the little 'dashboard' on top of the scanner lid. You can use these buttons and the display to copy, print from external media, or review a whole host of settings without going through the PC. A lovely concept, but ideally the screen is far too small to be of any practical use, especially when you're selecting which photos you want to print from a memory stick. I generally end up just using the PC to compile and sort before printing, it's much easier.
To summarise and conclude, having just lost the use of the scanner due to a technical fault and planning to very quickly claim for the item on the Argos insurance I bought at purchase, I have no intention of replacing like for like. If you have the money to spend on regularly replacing inks, enjoy tweaking and fiddling incessantly with buttons and settings, and have a lot of desktop space, then I am sure you'll get a lot of joy out of this item. For me however, I have confused high end printing and cost with practicality and ease of use. This is not a cheap printer and in my view, it has a lot of 'window dressing' to justify the cost. And cost is something you'll need to get used to with the MP620...
Summary: A promising printer with an array of functions that is sadly let down by complexity and cost
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