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Canon Pixma MP800 all-in-one review: Canon Pixma MP800 all-in-one

As with any other printer, printing documents from a computer is a straightforward task. When printing photos, you can also print from a media card or directly from a PictBridge camera. When printing from a card or camera, you don't even need to touch your PC. You have options such as printing photos one at a time, specifying a range of photos to be printed, or even printing an index sheet of all the photos on a card. You can indicate on the index sheet which images you want printed and scan in the index sheet, and the MP800R will print just those images. And when using a memory card, you can even search by shooting date.

Copying also presents a useful range of options, including special copy (such as borderless or image repeat), shrinking or enlarging, fitting two or four pages onto a single sheet, and double-sided copying with the built-in duplexer. When scanning, you can save your scanned documents as JPEGs, TIFFs, bitmaps, or PDFs. You can scan into an application such as Photoshop or attach the file to e-mail. With the included ScanSoft OmniPage SE, you can convert the scanned document to text using optical character recognition. In addition to scanning documents, the MP800R scans up to six negatives and or four slides at once. With slides and negatives, you can scan them to a PC or print them as photos. The negative- and slide-scanner feature gives this printer a leg up over printers such as the office-oriented HP 7410, but you don't get an automatic document feeder (to scan or copy a multipage document mostly hands-free) or fax capability.

The Canon MP800R uses five ink cartridges: a dye-based black, a pigment-based black, and separate cyan, magenta, and yellow tanks. The upside to this is that you can replace each color separately as it runs out, instead of ditching a partially full tank because just one color runs dry. And you won't have to switch out tanks to print photos, either. When you open the body of the printer to access the ink tanks, each tank has a light that indicates whether it needs to be changed. Also, a graphical representation of the ink tanks on the LCD keeps you updated as to the relative amount left in each tank. The tanks are simple to switch out, and the print head is labeled so that you know which tank goes where. (The lights flash if you insert them incorrectly.) The dye-based ink tanks cost $14.25 each, and the pigment-based black tank costs $16.25 to replace. Canon ships with full tanks. The cost per page of the MP800R is the same as that of the MP830: both black and color text prints will cost an inexpensive 2 cents per page. The Canon Pixma MP800R's speeds were quite impressive, especially when compared to an office all-in-one. It produced text at 7.97 pages per minute (ppm), scanned grayscale photos at 11.88ppm, scanned color photos at 10.75ppm, and printed 4x6 photos at 1.84ppm. The MP800R's scores are nearly identical to those of the MP830 but blew away those of the two HPs, including the office-oriented 7410.

CNET Labs multifunction printer performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Copy speed  
Color scan speed  
Grayscale scan speed  
Photo speed  
Text speed  
Canon Pixma MP830*
5.8 
10.75 
11.61 
1.83 
7.7 
HP OfficeJet 7410
1.79 
3.15 
3.02 
0.52 
7.06 
HP Photosmart 3310
2.17 
6.11 
6.22 
1.21 
5.26 
Canon Pixma MP800R*
N/A
10.75 
11.88 
1.84 
7.97 
Note: *Both Canon printers' photo speeds were tested by printing a 4x6 photos. The HPs were tested by printing 8x10 photos. The Canon MP800R has no automatic document feeder, so we couldn't test the copy speed.

We had high hopes for the MP800R's print quality, but it didn't quite live up to expectations. Since it's a photo-oriented printer, we weren't totally surprised by the subpar text quality. At first glance, it looked fine, but closer examination revealed jagginess everywhere. As the text point size decreased, the letters began to look slightly fuzzy, even on coated inkjet paper. The blotchiness was evident on the color graphics print, too. The colors in the image portion of the color graphics page were off: flesh tones were overly red, and the grayscale portion was overly blue. The color graphics were a bit grainy and not as saturated as we like, though the printer handled the color gradients and grayscales nicely. We were satisfied with the 4x6 photo prints, as they showed good flesh tones, sharp detail, and only the slightest compression in the dark end of the grayscale. We liked the color scan, with its good detail and color representation. The grayscale scan was also good, though it also showed slight compression in the dark end of the grayscale, resulting in some detail loss in shadow areas.

CNET Labs multifunction printer quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
Photo  
Graphics on inkjet paper  
Text on inkjet paper  
Canon Pixma MP830
Good 
Good 
Good 
Fair 
Good 
HP OfficeJet 7410
Fair 
Good 
Excellent 
Good 
Excellent 
HP Photosmart 3310
Good 
Good 
Fair 
Fair 
Fair 
N/A
Canon Pixma MP800R
Good 
Good 
Good 
Fair 
Fair 
Canon provides a one-year warranty for the Pixma MP800R all-in-one printer, which is standard. You can purchase an extended service plan for $95, which will cover your printer for three years. Toll-free phone support is available for the length of the warranty, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. You can e-mail tech support via an online form, though the form encourages you to try the step-by-step troubleshooting tool first. Canon says you should get a response to your e-mail within 24 hours. Other online support options include FAQs, downloadable drivers and software, and downloadable manuals. Additionally, the user guide on the CD covers all the features and gives instruction in exhaustive detail, as do the hard-copy installation guide and the user guide.

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