Sunday, October 17, 2010

Canon Pixma MX870 Printer

For the last 4-5 years I used a Hewlett-Packerd OfficeJet G85 AIO (all-in-one) printer that served me well (print, fax, scan, copy). But when HP stopped updating the drivers for higher versions of OSX it would no longer scan. I finally replaced it this weekend with a Canon Pixma MX870 all-in-one (below). I looked at a number of printers with three requirements in mind: multi-function (AIO), duplex printing (printing on both sides of a piece of paper), and wireless printing. I don't have a wireless set-up at present but probably will in the future so wanted that in a printer. Wireless in printers is getting more common, but duplex printing in less expensive models is still relatively rare.

I almost bought a higher-end Brother which got great reviews except for its print quality -- its extra benefit being that it will scan, copy, and print up to 11 x 17 size. SInce I rarely have need for that I decided to stick with 8.5 x 11 since they are considerably less expensive. Although I have to say that the Brother laser printer I bought last year (also duplex and wireless) has been FLAWLESS (HL-5280DW). You can see it just to the left in the picture below.

I've only delved into a fraction of what this new Canon will do, but quickly grew to appreciate the duplex copy feature: In addition to printing on both sides of a single sheet, it will COPY on both sides -- meaning put two separate photocopies on the front and back of a single piece of paper (or several other arrangements, e.g., up to four reduced-size copies on the same side of one piece of paper, etc.). Duplex copying is a huge paper saver -- cuts paper use in half.

It also prints photos very nicely on glossy paper -- quality good enough that I would frame a pic from this printer. (That's me -- I'm sure others might be more picky, but the quality seems good to me.) I printed this pic of Ellen and Arianna on a sheet of glossy photo paper and it came out great: (pic by Jennifer with a bit of color adjustment by me)

White dresses color corrected

This was $139 at Costco -- also available at Amazon for $149. Of course, this is the razor/razor blade model: they practically give you the printer in order to sell you overpriced ink cartridges down the road (pack of five color cartridges for this printer is $55 at Costco). The printer gets 4.5 stars from 240 reviewers at Amazon. So far, I like it a lot.



  1. nice printer. I like the duplex print, which mine does not have. Just bought the cannon pixma mp560 for ~$70 it was the amazon special of the day back in august.
    Yes, the sad part is the cartridges. Love the wireless.

  2. The duplex is definitely a paper-saver. This is my first Canon printer, but I'm impressed. I have a couple Canon cameras that have been great, so I guess I'm a fan!