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Canon MultiPASS F60 review: Canon MultiPASS F60

Canon MultiPASS F60

Jim Freund
5 min read
Like its competitor the HP PSC 2110, the Canon MultiPass F60 doesn't do faxes. But it tackles every other chore you expect from an all-in-one, including photocopying, scanning, and printing. Thus, for about $300, the F60 (and other similar devices) saves you oodles of money and office space. True, the resulting output isn't always up to par--a pretty big deal. But factor in the printer's supersilent engine, and this MFD makes a good choice for small and home offices. If you want to pony up an extra $100, you can opt for the F80, which includes a self-contained fax and a document feeder. Setting up the F60 is simple enough, even though the illustrated guide could use better descriptions to supplement the illustrations. You can have the machine from crate to operational in approximately half an hour.

Detachable cover for scanning books.

Convenient PC Card slot.

At 18 by 23 by 13 inches (add another 5 inches in height to account for the upright paper tray), this all-in-one may be built like a small tank, but it's reasonably compact for a multifunction device. Its surprisingly graceful design features a rounded, futuristic-looking front panel. Behind and above the front panel is the flatbed scanner, protected by a cover that you can remove to copy large books and other oversized items. You can easily access the PC Card slot on the right-hand side (for memory cards). Paper feeds into the printer in a straight path from the rear of the machine, then comes out of the lower front. The back of the unit is relatively bare, playing host to the power cord and the USB cable, which, in an increasingly annoying trend, is not supplied with your purchase.
Naturally, you can control the F60 from your PC. But the controls on the printer itself are simple to learn. The left side of the front panel offers a Resume button followed by an LCD that is controlled by a Menu button, two directional buttons, and Set. Next, a vertical row of four buttons allows you to choose the size and quality of your job. The number pad follows and is situated beneath the main function buttons: Copy, Scan, and Photo. At the right of this grouping are the Start and Stop buttons, as well as two more for choosing color or black and white. Finally, at the far right is the On/Off switch.

USB port but no USB cable.

Meaty but straightforward control panel.
You won't find an automatic document feeder (ADF) on the F60, which means you have to copy documents and scans one at a time. This might not be a problem for low-traffic offices, but if you often copy scores of pages at a time, you should cheat toward the next model in the series, the F80. Fortunately, the 100-sheet input tray and sturdy output tray enables the printer module to churn out sizable print jobs.
The bundled software includes Canon's own MultiPass Suite, Easy-PhotoPrint, and ScanSoft's OmniPage SE. The MultiPass Suite targets users who want to easily e-mail or share photos, but its only essential function is to provide paper-jam alerts--which you're likely to notice without the benefit of software. (Happily, we never encountered a paper jam in a month of usage, but we did take note that the paper path is straight and easy to access in emergencies.) Easy-PhotoPrint is unexceptional but fine for tweaking images, and we like OmniPage SE's accurate character recognition. TWAIN drivers install automatically with the packaged software and integrate nicely with all the applications on our test computer.

Handy software complement.
As for speed, the F60 lagged significantly behind other multifunction printers we've reviewed. A 10-page text document printed at 6.28ppm (pages per minute), similar to the MultiPass F50's rate, while an 8x10 color photo did not fare as well at 0.6ppm. By comparison, the similarly priced HP PSC 2210 scored 4.1ppm for text and 3.3mpp (minutes per page) for color.
Under testing conditions, CNET Labs had a few concerns about the printer's overall output quality. Our technicians rated both color and grayscale scans as fair, and although the skin tones were accurate, complained about occasional color washout. Under more casual conditions, however, we found the output to be quite acceptable, especially when tweaked with an image editor. It's important to note, however, that CNET Labs' official tests actively compare each printer's output with that of its competitors. So prints that look fine on their own may pale in comparison with those of other machines.
When you're hard at work, silence can be golden, and small offices will appreciate the F60's hushed engine. In contrast to most machines we have worked with, such as the HP Officejet d145, this printer is quiet in both idle and operation modes, an asset for noncorporate environments. Better still, if even the minimal noise the F60 produces is too much for you, you can switch it to the even quieter Quiet mode.
Multifunction printer text speed
Pages per minute; longer bars indicate better performance
Canon MultiPass F60
HP Officejet d145
HP PSC 2210
Sharp AJ-5030
Laser printer quality
Poor   ••Fair   •••Good   ••••Excellent
 Printer Text Graphics Photo
Plain paper  Coated paper  Plain paper  Coated paper  Photo paper 
 Canon MultiPass F60 •• ••• •• •• ••
 HP Officejet d145 •• ••• •••• •••• ••••
 HP PSC 2210 ••• ••• ••• •••• •••
 Sharp AJ-5030 ••• •••• •• ••

Canon provides a one-year limited hardware warranty, with the option of upgrading to a three-year premium service. The Web site posts downloads, FAQs, a knowledge base, and e-mail support. You can contact free tech support by phone Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m ET for the length of your warranty, after which you pay a fee of $9.99 per call. We tried both phone and e-mail support with two different hypothetical questions. In about 20 hours, we received an e-mail answer that was accurate but rather formulaic. However, our phone call got through within 10 minutes (despite the holiday season) to a technician who provided an informed, unrushed resolution to our questions.

Canon MultiPASS F60

Score Breakdown

Design 9Features 7Performance 6Support 8