Impressive performance from this top-of-the-range multifunction device
At first glance, Canon's multifunctional Pixma MP970 looks very similar to the Lexmark X4850. In practice, though, the MP970 is in a different league altogether.
The most obvious difference is the price - the list price of £249 being almost twice that of its Lexmark rival. However, that price does buy you a top-of-the range unit that provides impressive performance, quality and features.
Print speed is very impressive, turning out a single-page Word document in just 10 seconds (compared to 16 seconds for the Lexmark), and 10 pages in 75 seconds (100 seconds for Lexmark).
The MP970 also printed a full A4 borderless photo in just under one minute 30 seconds, compared to almost four minutes for Lexmark - although, oddly, the speeds for a smaller 4x6 print were identical at 30 seconds each.
The MP970 also produces noticeably better quality on photo-prints, thanks to its higher 9,600x2,400dpi resolution and the use of seven different inks - that's five coloured inks, as well as an ordinary black ink for text documents, and a pigmented black ink for photos.
The quality of our photo prints was excellent, and the MP970 will certainly meet the needs of serious amateur photographers. The coloured and black ink cartridges cost £9.99 each, and £11.99 for the pigmented black ink (Canon estimates 21p for a 4x6 photo print).
The MP970 has both USB and Ethernet interfaces, allowing you to share it with other users on your home or office network. There's also a built-in adapter for 35mm film scanning.
This product is smart too - it actually opened its own paper output tray on one occasion when we forgot to open it ourselves. So, while itís a bit pricey, the MP970's impressive performance, quality and features make it a great choice for the more demanding home user or smaller business.
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Pros: Good quality prints; fast; slide-scanning feature Cons: ExpensiveOverall: It's expensive, but the MP970's speed and quality will appeal to both keen photographers and business users alike
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