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Canon Pixma MP130 review: Canon Pixma MP130

Canon Pixma MP130

Jeffrey Fuchs

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5 min read

As with other low-cost inkjet printers, the MP130's sole paper source is a vertical sheet feeder in back, built to hold 100 pages of plain paper or 10 sheets of glossy photo paper. You can adjust the feeder to fit envelopes or 4x6-inch or 5x7-inch snapshots. A rickety plastic paper support and tray extender prevent legal and letter-size pages from flopping over.

6.5

Canon Pixma MP130

The Good

Low price; prints great text and good photos; compact design; helpful software; digital camera card slots.

The Bad

Poor color scanning; so-so grayscale scanning; small ink tanks; no color LCD or PictBridge port to preview photos; no fax engine.

The Bottom Line

The MP130 is a low-cost, personal all-in-one with good printing skills but iffy scan quality.
Canon Pixma MP130
The Canon Pixma MP130 photo all-in-one is a bargain desktop printer, scanner, and copier that creates decent photos and great text prints. Tailored for a small desk, the printer works faster than rival HP PSC 1610, but while both furnish memory card slots, this Canon lacks photo-friendly features such as a PictBridge camera port and photo inks. Still, you can use the Canon MP130 without a computer to make photo prints from memory cards or page-at-a-time photocopies in grayscale or color. Connect this device to a PC or a Mac to scan and edit images using the generous package of bundled software. For business-friendly features, such as an automatic document feeder (ADF) for multiple page copying or a built-in fax machine, you should consider the Brother MFC-420cn. But if you're happy with a low-cost, family-friendly inkjet that scans and copies on the side, the Canon MP130 will do. The oyster-gray and smooth, black-plastic finish of the Canon Pixma MP130 lend this device a sporty look. This unit measures a compact 16 by 17 by 13 inches (LWH) with the paper trays loaded. The control panel is small and uncluttered, with an unlit 32-character text LCD as the centerpiece.

You can place images up to letter size on the glass flatbed to scan at up to 2,400x1,200dpi. The scanner lid doesn't detach entirely, but its inch-long clear plastic hinges lift so that you can scan thick magazines or books. There's no automatic document feeder (ADF), so you can photocopy only one page at a time. To access the MP130's two ink tanks, just lift up below the scanner bed, squeeze your hand inside, and open an inner cover--an easy process unless you have large hands.

You can use the Canon Pixma MP130 photo all-in-one to print photos from memory cards without a computer, but the small black-and-white LCD can make it difficult to identify the shots you want to print. We found it necessary to print an index sheet before committing our snapshots to paper. Fortunately, printing an index sheet is as simple as inserting your camera card and pressing the Photo and the Photo Index Sheet buttons. We waited less than three minutes for an index page to print. With your index sheet in hand, scrolling through the MP130's LCD menu and selecting photos to print is easy.

The MP130 accepts CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Secure Digital, Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard, and Microdrive storage cards. If your digital camera uses xD-Picture Card, mini SD Card, or Memory Stick Duo, you can buy an adapter for the MP130 to accept them--or look to the HP PSC 1610, which already accepts these formats.

Via its USB 2.0 port, the MP130 connects to Macs running OS 10.2.4 to 10.3x and to PCs running Windows 98 SE and up. Hooked up to your computer, the MP130 uses the same software that comes with the more expensive Canon Pixma MP780 and MP760. You can enjoy the editing, enhancing, and effects tools of ArcSoft Photo Studio 5.5 for photos and turn your scans into text files with ScanSoft OmniPage SE 2.0.

The MP130 comes with two small ink tanks, one black and one tricolor, and no special photo cartridge. The black tank costs $7 to replace, and Canon says it's good for 300 text pages at a very low 2 cents each. Replacement color cartridges cost $18.50 each and print about 170 pages, according to vendor estimates, for an affordable average of 9 cents per page, which is in line with upkeep estimates for the HP PSC 1610. Canon's more expensive all-in-ones, such as the MP760 and the MP780, feature individual inks and boast less expensive maintenance.

Speed

The Canon Pixma MP130 performed its tasks quickly in CNET Labs' tests; its text printing speed of nearly 6ppm is admirable for a budget inkjet. The fastest model in this category, the Dell 942, beat the Canon MP130 to the finish line in every category but photo print speed.

CNET Labs' speed tests (pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Copy  
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
Photo  
Text  
Dell 942
3.49 
2.99 
4.15 
0.21 
6.9 
Canon Pixma MP130
1.92 
3.12 
3.12 
0.32 
5.99 
HP PSC 1610
1.15 
3.12 
3.11 
0.29 
4.79 
Brother MFC-420cn
2.27 
3.1 
2.95 
0.15 
3.19 
Lexmark P6250
1.57 
3.08 
4.15 
0.18 
1.15 

Quality

Printed on the company's high-resolution inkjet paper at default settings, the text quality of the Canon Pixma MP130 photo all-in-one was excellent; letters were dark but not too bold and perfectly legible in all sizes. Printed on the same paper, the MP130's color graphics output was good, with bold colors, though photographic images came out too dark and overdosed on red.

The MP130 did a good job with photos on Canon's Photo Paper Pro; colors were bold but not too dark, and flesh tones appeared accurate. However, a close inspection of CNET Labs' test photos betrayed graininess throughout and horizontal banding along the bottom edge; you can avoid this flaw if you print with a 0.75-inch border along each page.

CNET's tests of the MP130's color-scanning capabilities found disappointing results. The grayscale sample was fair, with good details despite low contrast. But our color test scan looked poor and overexposed with inaccurate colors, uneven dithering in solid color areas, and bits of color creeping into grayscale areas. We easily corrected the paleness by increasing the contrast in an image-editing program, but the remaining errors were not so easily corrected.

CNET Labs' quality test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
Photo  
Graphics  
Text  
Canon Pixma MP130
1 
2 
3 
4 
4 
Lexmark P6250
2 
2 
3 
3 
3 
HP PSC 1610
2 
2 
3 
3 
3 
Brother MFC-420cn
2 
2 
3 
3 
3 
Dell 942
1 
1 
4 
3 
1 

The Canon Pixma MP130 photo all-in-one is easy to set up and install, thanks to a glossy, poster style, easy-setup sheet and a 31-page paper quick-start guide. The software CD contains a detailed user manual in three parts: a photo application guide, a software guide, and a user guide for hardware. Canon's Web site is well organized and provides driver downloads, manuals, answers to FAQs, and an e-mail contact to reach a technician.

The MP130 comes with a year-long warranty, covered by Canon's generous Instant Exchange policy. If your MP130 is a lemon, Canon will replace it during the warranty. You get toll-free tech support during that period, from Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., except on holidays. As with any home all-in-one machines, we'd like to see tech support cover the entire weekend.

6.5

Canon Pixma MP130

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 6Support 7
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