Lab Test: Canon Pixma MP640

Anthony Caruana
18 May, 2010
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Canon has been in the print and imaging game for so long that it always ends up on the shortlist when looking at multifunction systems. The MP640 sits in the middle of their consumer/SME range and is a very solid unit.

Installation was straightforward using Snow Leopard’s default drivers although we did encounter one hassle. Our test system had Parallels installed and the network connections it established interfered with printer detection of the network. Once we disabled those connections through System Preferences we were OK. Printer connections by USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi are supported.

The MP640’s print quality was excellent. Photos were faithfully reproduced from originals and our Pages test document printed nicely although blacks weren’t very deep.

Paper handling was covered by two separate feeds. The driver was smart enough to know that we had A4 in the main tray and photo paper in the rear tray and directed jobs accordingly, although we could specify trays if we wanted.

Copying photos was well handled. We were able to take an A5-sized image, and, using the controls on the MP640’s display, scale it to fit 4 x 6in photo paper. The copied photo was an excellent copy of the original. Printing from iPhoto delivered excellent results as well.

Scanning over a network connection was straightforward using Image Capture and Preview. It’s also possible to initiate scanning at the MP640 and then direct the output to a computer on the network, although this required installation of Canon’s proprietary software. The MP640 lacks a automatic document feeder but does include double-sided printing and CD/DVD printing.

Lab Test sections

Jacks of all trades

Epson TX610FW

Brother MFC-9120CN

HP OfficeJet 6500

Canon Pixma MP640 (You are here)

Lexmark Prestige Pro805

Canon Pixma MP640

RRP Printer, $299; Replacement cartridges, $92
Cons No sheet feeder option
Rating 4
Pros Easy setup; excellent print quality

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