Toybox: Printer puts user in control (for a change)

2.5-inch colour display provides a good guide for each printing option

We have been playing around with Canon’s Pixma MP610 printer for a while now, here at Toybox, and we have printed all sorts of things — documents, photos, cards, even CDs. We have come to the conclusion this is a really cool little printer.

The all-in-one machine — aimed at the consumer and SMB market — prints, copies and scans.

While the MP610 is pretty good looking for a printer, it is not going to win awards for its silver and black design. But hey, it’s a printer, and anything is better than those huge, noisy, greyish white monsters that are still very common in many offices and homes.

The MP610 features a cool fold-up 2.5-inch colour display with some buttons and a jog dial, located on top of the machine. The menu provides a really good guide for each printing option, unlike most printers where you never know what the printer is going to do next. I don’t know about you but I have spent a lot of time trying to cancel print jobs.

With the MP610 you select what you want to do first. An example: you have made a backup of a CD, and you have burnt it on a printable CD (we used some Imation CDs from Dick Smith Electronics). Simply pop the CD in the special CD printing tray provided. The printer will ask you to place the original CD face down on the scanner, it then scans the original CD and prints directly onto the copied CD. The result is awesome.

The printer supports PictBridge and can read photos from memory cards (CF, MMC, SD and Memory Stick). Printing from an SD card is a breeze. Rotate the jog dial to Memory Card and follow the on-screen instructions, which are easy to follow — it even shows pictures on how to insert the memory card.

Scanning resolution is 4800x9600 dpi, and scanning from the printer to your computer is, again, very easy, just like it should be. Printing resolution is 9600x2400 dpi.

The MP610 also does automatic double-sided document printing, but be prepared this takes a bit longer than just doubling the one-sided print time.

Overall, this is a great printer. I finally feel in control of what is happening, the menus are easy to use and the colour LCD provides excellent feedback about what to do next.

The MP610 can be yours for $399 including GST.

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