At the $400 price point, the Canon Pixma MX7600 is a beautiful all-in-one (AIO) printer. For most small office/home office users (SoHo’s), it could easily meet their needs. It is moderate in size (21.0″ x 19.7″ x 10.1″) and includes wired networking.
One of the novel features of this device is the way in which it puts the ink to the paper. Initially, the Pixma 7600 lays down a layer of clear ink and then begins to add the respective colors. Honestly, this seemed like a marketing gimmick, until I viewed the print quality.
To be clear, the Pixma MX7600 print quality for documents is fantastic. Color pops on the page and even small point sizes (6-8pt) are readable. Further, when using relatively inexpensive paper, the ink does not bleed. I have not printed any photos, although the demos from within the store I have seen are exceptional. As an additional bonus, the Canon prints in near silence and includes a quiet-mode setting.
The Pixma MX7600 supports duplexing for copying, scanning and printing. It supports networking over Ethernet, although it is not wireless capable. From the unit, you can scan items to any Mac on the network.
One annoyance with this unit is that setting it up over the network is a little clumsy. First, you must connect the printer to the Mac via USB while at the same time, connect it to the router over Ethernet. This happens because Canon implemented their own network discovery software rather than using Bonjour from Apple.
On the positive side, each time you print, the printer tray door opens automatically, avoiding any potential paper jams. It’s nice to see Canon consider small touches like this for an AIO printer because in a network environment, it is possible that users will be printing where they cannot directly access and/or see the printer and ensure that the print tray is extended.
Another small issue with the printer is that you cannot mount media cards (compact flash, etc.) over the network. This feature is only available via USB. If this is an important feature for your SoHo, consider it in your evaluation.
Faxing with the Canon is relatively straightforward. Insert your document into the ADF, utilize the touch screen to specify the destination and send it. The Pixma MX7600 can store up to 100 speed dials and has a 250 page memory for previously receive faxes, making it easy to reprint them.
As an added bonus, this printer is built like a tank, which is pretty exceptional seeing how it is made of recycled plastics. Nothing feels flimsy or under-developed.
If I were to make any recommendations for the next generation of this printer, I would suggest that Canon increase the size of the small 1.8″ color screen for additional readability. Epson sets a new standard here with their 7″ touch screen display. Canon could consider this as well, although call me old school, but I like the mixture of simple screen and hard buttons with the Pixma MX7600.
Canon’s support team is excellent. The standard business reply time via email is 24 hours. I received a reply within two hours of problem submission. Further, the answer was clear and solved my problem immediately (setting up the printer over IPv6).
The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of this printer includes the following:
- Canon Pixma MX7600: $399 (MSRP)
- Replacement Inks: $92.94 (5 x 14.99 low capacity + 1 Clear Ink @ 17.99)
The inks can print approximately 800 pages (averaged across all colors) before replacement. If you print a ream a month, expect that you will be spending about $60 (average). Granted, this is just printing/copying regular paper. Your mileage may vary if you print photos and other types of content. For more information, Canon has this information at their support site.
If you are in the market for a new all-in-one printer, and have a more sizable budget, then you should consider this device from Canon. The Pixma MX7600 is a very solid device with a rich feature set.
After five weeks of research and testing printers, there was much learned. For one, there are many great products out there for SoHo users to choose from when selecting an AIO printer. Second, be clear on your personal/business needs for selecting a printer. Lastly, make sure that you understand the costs of what you are purchasing, as buying a printer is not a one-time action.
For me, the Canon Pixma 7600 met my requirements and is becoming the SoHo daily workhorse in our household. Its print quality, build quality, relatively manageable TCO and ability to duplex copy/scan/print made it the clear winner.