A few months ago, we tested the Canon Pixma MX700 with strong results. The multifunction printer, scanner, fax machine, and copier performed intuitively and yielded excellent quality prints. Most importantly in the world of multifunction printers, each of the functions operated easily and efficiently on their own. Our only complaints were that it was a tad slow on text prints, lacked advanced faxing options, and didn't have an autoduplexer. Canon answered those issues with the new $400 Pixma MX7600. The MX7600 features superb photo print quality that you simply won't get with a laser printer. This, coupled with a new proprietary print head system, autoduplexer, and significantly faster output speeds, make the MX7600 an excellent option for anyone in the market for a high-grade, photo-capable all-in-one.
The MX7600 retains the same overall design of the MX700, using gunmetal grays, matte blacks, and glossy finishes to enhance its visual appeal. This printer demands a lot of desk space at 10.1 inches tall by 19.7 inches wide by 21 inches deep, and it's certainly not meant for personal use. It's also a lot heavier than the MX700, weighing a hefty 36.6 pounds. You'll find the automatic document feeder on the rear of the printer behind the flatbed scanner and it can hold 35 pages of plain or legal-sized paper. The feeder itself also folds down and out of the way when not in use.
In general, the MX7600 is a space-saving device, despite its large footprint. The paper trays extend out to corral sheets and fold away into the body afterward. The media card slots (Compact Flash, SD, Memory Stick, and MMC) are also covered by a foldout piece of plastic to protect them from dust. Next to that, there's a PictBridge USB port for connecting a camera directly into the printer. We also like the design of the main output tray that, like the auto document feeder, can fold into the printer during downtime, but it automatically opens when it's processing a document. A front-loading input tray can hold up to 150 sheets of paper.
The front of the MX7600 is taken up by the comprehensive control panel. Alongside the standard buttons (directional keys, alphanumeric keypad, start, power, functions), the MX7600 also includes eight buttons for speed dialing individuals or groups. There are also dedicated buttons for search, two-sided printing, fax quality, and image enlarging/reducing. A 1.8 inch angle-adjustable color LCD sits in the middle of it all for onsite editing, photo selection, and general functionality display.
The copier on the MX7600 contains all the standard functions you'd find on a full size office machine. It has options for special copying, including two-sided, two-on-one, four-on-one, borderless, image repeat, collated copy, and fade restore. You can also control zoom magnification in 25 percent-to-400 percent intervals, through preset ratio increases, or a fit-to-page option.
The scanner relies on the PC for connectivity; you can't scan to the MX7600's internal memory and print from there. The scanning options are mostly handled by the MP Navigator EX software that comes with the unit. The software is pretty standard, allowing for minor edits and page formats for printing. Scanned data can be saved to the PC, sent directly to an e-mail, or saved in PDF form on your hard drive. A limited optical character recognition functionality is available through the Navigator EX program. The MX7600 can save files as JPEG, TIFF, bitmaps, and PDF. Unfortunately, the MX7600 still doesn't have the capability to scan directly to a USB card or memory card, a feature we also missed on the MX700.