Canon Pixma MP530 review: Canon Pixma MP530

When you connect a PictBridge-enabled camera, you can access the photo print menu by pressing the menu button. Here, you can change paper size and type and the image layout or optimize the image. While we really appreciated it when printers include media card slots, we can understand why an office-oriented all-in-one doesn't.

You can set up the fax function in a number of different ways, depending on your needs. The included user guide outlines your options from connecting to an analog phone line or an ADSL to adding an answering machine to the mix. For numbers you fax to often, you can program up to 40 speed-dial entries. You can even use the ADF for sending a multipage fax. Also, the fax's memory can store up to 150 pages, perfect for when you want to be discreet about incoming faxes or you just want to weed out junk faxes to save paper.

When scanning, you also have a broad range of options. Using the included MP Navigator software, you can quickly select your task and choose options. You can save the document to your PC as a number of different file types, print the scanned document or photo, attach the scan to an e-mail, or use the optical character recognition software to convert the scan into an editable text file. Using the ADF, you can also do batch scanning.

Befitting the Canon Pixma MP530's office-oriented status, it was quick at basic office tasks, but slow at photo printing. It printed text documents at a snappy 6.77 pages per minute, scanned black-and-white images at 5.64ppm, scanned color documents at 5.22ppm, and copied at a rate of 3.83ppm. On the other hand, it printed 4x6 photos at a poky 0.29ppm. The similarly priced HP OfficeJet 5610 offers faster color scanning, but it's slower at everything else.

CNET Labs' multifunction printer performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Copy speed  
Color scan speed  
Grayscale scan speed  
Photo speed  
Text speed  
Canon Pixma MP530*
Brother MFC-5840cn
HP OfficeJet 5610
Note: We tested the Canon MP530's photo speed by printing a 4x6 photo. The other printers were tested using an 8x10 photo.

The print quality was also impressive. The text prints were nearly perfect to the naked eye, about as good as it gets for inkjet printers. The color graphics prints were also excellent: smooth curves, nicely saturated colors, grain-free color blocks, and excellent photo elements. The only problem we saw was some minor banding in color gradients. We also really liked the photo prints: good detail, great color handling (a tad dark, perhaps), and nice flesh tones.

Scan quality is often the downfall of all-in-one printers, but not so for the Pixma MP530. The color scan showed excellent detail and smooth gradients. The colors were a bit on the light side, but nothing egregiously bad. The grayscale scan also displayed nice detail and a good handling of patterns. The Canon Pixma MP530 is an all-around impressive performer.

CNET Labs' multifunction printer quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
Graphics on inkjet paper  
Text on inkjet paper  
Canon Pixma MP530
Brother MFC-5840cn
HP OfficeJet 5610
Canon provides a one-year limited warranty for the Pixma MP530, as well as a year of free, toll-free phone support Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. You can extend the warranty to three years for $95. You can also get tech support via e-mail, and Canon says it will respond within 24 hours. Canon's site has FAQs, a troubleshooting tool, downloadable drivers and software, and PDFs of product and software manuals.

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