The Good Intuitive scroll wheel; large 2-inch LCD for photo viewing; wireless; auto-duplexer included; dual paper trays.
The Bad Mediocre print speeds; competition offers better image quality for less.
The Bottom Line The Canon Pixma MP560 multifunction printer and its flashy 2-inch LCD screen and auto-document feeder may seem appealing at first, but the average consumer will find that Lexmark's Impact S305 offers faster performance and higher quality results for $50 less.
Canon Pixma MP560
The days of dropping 300 bones on an all-in-one printer are fading away, while $150 devices like the Canon Pixma MP560 are quickly taking their place on retail shelves. The MP560 looks great and offers useful features like an auto-document feeder and a bright 2-inch LCD display, but it can't keep up with other multifunction printers like the Epson WorkForce 310 and Lexmark's Impact S305. Canon technically gives you more features, but we suspect that the sub-$150 market is more invested in print quality and speed. That leads us to recommend the Lexmark Impact S305 instead, which gives you higher quality pictures and prints documents in half the time for $50 less than the Canon Pixma MP560.
Design and features
You'll immediately notice that the Canon Pixma MP560 is similar in size, shape, and appearance to Canon printers of the past, most notably the Pixma MP560. It has the familiar glossy black and matte silver finish and sits unassumingly in your workspace at just 18 inches wide, 14.5 inches deep, and 6 inches tall. We should note that you have to extend the outbound paper tray in order to use the printer, which will add about 4 inches to the width. At the same time, we never expect a lot of design flair in these cheaper multifunctions, but Canon proves that creative shapes and a professional finish never go out of style.
The heads-up display is perhaps the most stylish and innovative facet on the printer. The control panel on the right flips up to reveal a beautiful color LCD with a comprehensive set of adjoining buttons that control application--switching, number of copies, start/stop functions, and Canon's Easy Scroll Wheel in the middle that lets you navigate image albums and onscreen menus with minimal effort. While we wouldn't necessary recommend a jog dial for a two-line LCD like we saw on the Epson WorkForce 310, the feature certainly proves its worth on the 2-inch screen.
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