The cleanly designed and easy-to-use Canon ImageClass MF5750 offers image quality and performance that excel at the most important tasks and suffice for the less important ones. The $399 model that CNET tested combines a 21-page-per-minute (ppm), 600dpi monochrome laser printer with a 1,200dpi grayscale and color scanner that sends documents either to your PC or out the built-in fax modem. You can get a network-ready version of this printer, the MF5770, for $499.
The MF5750 is well designed, but Canon faces stiff competition from other diligent vendors. For example, the offers essentially the same features for $100 more but includes a USB flash-drive reader for saving scans and other files, and it outperformed the Canon on speed and image quality for some tasks. Another contender, the , costs only $350 with a network-ready Ethernet interface. A machine geared for home offices should be easy to move and handle, and the Canon ImageClass MF5750 wins points here. It weighs around 30 pounds, stands a compact 17 by 17 by 19 inches (HDW) high, and provides two deep handgrips, located right where you need them, that come in handy when you move the unit. The motor of the 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF) is separate from the scanner lid, which you can slip off to make room for big books on the glass bed. The ADF has its own scanner lens and can capture legal-size pages that won't fit on the letter-size glass.
The machine's attractive two-tone taupe shell, scanner lid, and 250-sheet removable paper tray all feel sturdy enough for any office. And when you raise the top half of the machine to access the toner cartridge, three strong hinges hold that section up so that it won't chomp down on your hands. Note that Canon's 2,500-page combined toner cartridge and drum costs $74, so a page of ordinary text runs almost 3 cents--among the priciest we've seen in CNET Labs. By contrast, toner for the runs only 1.6 cents per page.
Some offices might find the MF5750's paper handling limited; it lacks a built-in duplexer for two-sided printing, and Canon doesn't offer one as an add-on. Nor can you buy extra paper trays, unlike with the Dell 1600n and the . Still, a home office might not require the extra capacity. Just above the main paper tray sits a razor-thin manual-feed slot that accepts a single envelope, transparency, or sheet of labels at a time. If you open a flap on the back of the machine, delicate media can exit without bending, but you'll have to grab each sheet as it comes out because there's no exit tray.
The MF5750's control panel offers three big buttons for switching between copy, fax, and scan modes, and a big green start button to launch a job. The backlit LCD, in conjunction with four small arrow buttons and onscreen prompts, makes for straightforward menu navigation. The MF5750 lacks a power switch--you can put it into sleep mode with the push of a button, but to completely shut down, you'll have to pull the plug. The control panel of the Canon ImageClass MF5750 provides the full gamut of walk-up features. You can launch scans and make copies with the touch of a button and reduce or enlarge a copy, adjust the quality, and shrink two originals to fit onto one page without mucking with the print utility on your PC. The MF5750's fax capabilities let you keep up to 99 coded speed dials for groups and individual numbers. You can also connect an answering machine to the printer to shuttle calls to the right destination. The MF5750 knows to send voice calls to the recorder and faxes to the printer, but the fax component lacks features such as forwarding, polling, scheduled sending, holding confidential faxes in memory, and synchronizing fax address books between the machine's memory and your PC.
The software bundled with the MF5750 is versatile, though it doesn't work with Mac or Linux computers. You get two useful business-friendly scanning packages: ScanSoft OmniPage SE version 2.0 OCR software, which converts scanned pages into live text, and the Newsoft Presto PageManager 6.03 document-archiving database to store, organize, and annotate digital files. Canon's MF Toolbox palette floats on your PC's desktop and provides buttons to launch scans, configure their settings, and send them to e-mail, OCR, and elsewhere.
The Canon MF5750's print driver is unusually rich for a noncolor device: it can reduce and print several pages on one sheet or enlarge a page onto a multisheet poster. The watermark feature is detailed, letting you date-stamp documents and add page numbers; the CAD setting prints fine lines; and you can even experiment with halftone patterns for photos. Speed
The Canon ImageClass MF5750 surprised us by printing our grayscale test pages faster than it did plain text. We clocked its text speed at 14.8ppm, close to that of rivals in its class; its grayscale 16.1ppm was faster by 1 page per minute than the rates of the , the , and the . The Canon ImageClass MF5750 scanned grayscale documents at 3.9ppm and color at 3.7ppm; the color scans were faster than average for printers in its class but its grayscale scans were one-third slower than the average. The MF5750 was also a slower photocopier; its 4.2ppm score was only 75 percent as fast as the competition.
|Copy speed||Grayscale scan speed||Color scan speed||Black graphics speed||Black text speed|
The ImageClass MF5750 turned out some of the best-looking plain black text we've seen--dark yet clean letters free of spatter and shadow. Grayscale print jobs produced a pleasing range of shades, but the MF5750 suffered a dotty texture--a common weakness of monochrome laser printers. Grayscale scans showed more or less the opposite problems: they lacked contrast but retained detail well. The scanner captured color documents with smooth shading and gradients and accurate colors, but color documents suffered a soft-focus look throughout.
|Grayscale quality||Color scan quality||Graphics quality||Text quality|
Canon's documentation, both printed and PDF, is smart. The main book, a 250-page PDF, covers the installation, along with printing, faxing, and scanning in fine-tooth detail; it also describes network setup and management for the network-ready 5770 model. You can download drivers and documentation from Canon's Web site, and you can search FAQs and find contacts for repairs and tech-support there, as well. We e-mailed a question to tech support and received a thoughtful, detailed response within two hours.